Posted by admin on 8 Jan, 2011
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Low dose prednisone, taken for a few days or even a few weeks, does not normally cause any unwanted side effects.
If prednisone is taken in high doses or for a long time, certain predictable side effects can occur. Some of these improve after prednisone is stopped.
One is the side effects is osteoporosis.
To reduce the risk, it is recommended that you:
- have 1000mg of calcium each day (e.g.3 serves of dairy or calcium tablets)
- take 30 minutes of weight bearing exercise each day (e.g. walking)
- avoid smoking and avoid drinking more than 2 standard drinks of alcohol a day
- get some sunlight exposure each day to maintain vitamin D levels.
You should wear sunscreen as usual to protect your skin from sun damage.
For more information on side effects please visit Australian Rheumatology Association http://www.rheumatology.org.au
It is very important that you should not stop taking prednisone suddenly or increase or reduce the dose you have been prescribed unless your doctor tells you to.
Management of OA usually includes:
• Exercise (specific exercises for joints) and regular stretching, walking is also very good for people with osteoarthritis.
• Joint support – planning, preserving energy and using special gadgets, splints and tools that can support joints
• Pain medication – not waiting for pain to build up, taking medications on a regular basis(panadol, voltaren and other)
• Local heat (wheat bag)treatments
• Local application of crèmes or lotions containing chili – Capsaicin or anti-inflammatory agents such as voltaren
• Complementary therapies – fish oil – ~ up to 3 g of omega 3 per day (this needs to be checked with her GP)
Some people also report improvements after taking Glucosamine up to 1500 mg per day – the evidence is not consistent. Some physiotherapists use machines that can help to manage pain – Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
For further information please call 0800 663 463 to speak to one of our Arthritis Educators.
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