Prednisone is a synthetic glucocorticoid drug that is mostly used to suppress the immune system. It is used to treat certain inflammatory diseases (such as moderate allergic reactions), some autoimmune diseases, and (at higher doses) certain types of cancer. It is usually taken by mouth in the form of tablets.
Common side effects include weight gain, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, mood changes, blurred vision, dizziness, and headache. Long-term use can lead to cataracts, bone loss, thrush, easy bruising and muscle weakness. It is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy.
It is a prodrug to prednisolone, which mediates its glucocorticoid effects. It works by binding to the glucocorticoid receptor, activating it and triggering changes in gene expression, that suppress the immune system and produce changes to metabolism.