Prednisone, Prednisolone, And Dexamethasone (Corticosteroids), Short-Term Use

Your child will need to take one of the drugs called prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone. This leaflet will explain to you what these medicines do, how they are given. It will also explain what problems and side effects your child may experience after taking them for a short period of time (less than seven days).

What Is This Medicine?

Prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone are used to eliminate inflammation in the airways. Your child will only use this medicine for a few days if he has asthma problems.

You may have heard of these drugs like corticosteroids. These corticosteroids are not like the steroids that athletes use to improve their performance. The side effects of these drugs are not the same as those of steroids used by athletes.

How Should You Give This Medicine To Your Child?

Follow these instructions when giving your child corticosteroids:

  • Keep giving your child corticosteroids exactly as your doctor or pharmacist says, even if your child is looking better. Talk to your doctor before stopping this medication for any reason.
  • Give your child corticosteroids with food.
  • Give your child corticosteroids at the same time every morning. Choose a time that is comfortable for you to avoid missing out on food.
  • If your child is taking liquid corticosteroids, shake the bottle well before feeding.
  • If your child is taking liquid corticosteroids, give your child a special corticosteroid spoon or syringe given by your pharmacist. A syringe is an empty tube with a plunger, which holds the medicine inside.

What should you do if your baby misses a meal?

  • If your child misses a corticosteroid dose:
  • Give your child small meals as soon as they remember.
  • If it is time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and give the next dose on time.
  • To make up for your child’s missed dose, do not give your child two doses together.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of This Medicine?

When your child uses corticosteroids for only a few days instead of for a long time, they will have few side effects or none at all. If you notice any of these signs and symptoms in your child that do not go away, contact your doctor:

  • Bad stomach
  • Vomiting
  • More appetite than usual
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Discomfort

If you notice discomfort in your baby or your baby’s stool is black or tar-like, contact your doctor immediately or take your baby to the emergency room.

What Important Information Should You Have?

Tell your doctor if your child has chickenpox or if a person who lives with them has chickenpox. Before your child has any type of surgery, including dental surgery or any emergency treatment, tell your doctor or dentist that your child is taking corticosteroids.

Tell your doctor if your child has an abnormal reaction to corticosteroids or is allergic to corticosteroids or any other medication. Tell your doctor before giving your child any kind of medicine, even if it is not prescribed by a doctor. Do not keep medicines that have expired. Talk to your pharmacist to find out the best way to dispose of obsolete and junk medicine.

Keep corticosteroids out of sight and reach of children and keep them in a safe place. If your child is taking too much of these drugs, call one of the emergency numbers at the Ontario Poison Center.

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