It’s estimated that over 60 per cent of the human population has a clinically significant allergy to the irritant weed known as poison ivy. The number of allergy cases involving poison ivy grows during the summer months since more people engage in outdoor activities around this time, including camping and hiking. Poison ivy reactions typically resolve on their own. In most cases, no medical intervention is required. That said, recovering from poison ivy exposure may take over a week; this is an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience.
Obtaining treatment for a reaction to poison ivy can help make the patient more comfortable; it may also help to cut down the risk of a skin infection. Should you approach a dermatologist, it’s likely that you will be prescribed prednisone for your poison ivy symptoms. A synthetic corticosteriod, prednisone is often used to treat inflammatory conditions. Prednisone treatment is a steroid therapy frequently used in cases of severe allergy. The drug can be injected into the muscles or taken orally. It is a medication in the form, basically, of a corticosteriod; once in the system, the liver converts it to prednisone. As a treatment for poison ivy, prednisone functions through the suppression of the patient’s immune response. This is what enables prednisone to provide relief even when the reaction to poison ivy is severe.
Prednisone for Poison Ivy: Dosages
In cases of poison ivy, the dose of prednisone is usually administered orally and taken for a 15-day period. In the initial five days of treatment, you would usually take 60mg of the medicine every day. For the next five days, you’d take a reduced dose of 40mg of prednisone. In the final five days, the dosage is cut back to 20mg of the drug each day. Typically, the skin inflammation will have resolved completely after six or seven days on prednisone therapy. Even so, patients are advised to continue with the full course of prednisone treatment for their poison ivy to obtain the fullest recovery.
The right dose of prednisone for poison ivy is not universal and your dose may be different from those outlined above. It’s always best to comply exactly with the directions that your doctor or dermatologist gives you. When prednisone is prescribed for poison ivy, it will be supplied in a labeled container with the exact instructions for taking it printed on the label. Ensure that you take the recommended amount and the prescribed number of doses.
Take care never to miss a dose. Should you accidentally miss a prednisone dose, it should be taken at the earliest opportunity. If the time for your next dose is very close, you should skip the missed treatment and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Taking a double dose or two doses very close together is not recommended. Certain ingredients used in the formulation of prednisone may cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals, resulting in side effects that may be moderate or severe.
Prednisone Treatment for Poison Ivy: Precautions
Because prednisone has the effect of suppressing your body’s immune response, it inevitably leaves you more prone to infections and illnesses. To maintain your safety and avoid unnecessary problems with your health, you should take certain precautionary measures.
• Avoid coming into contact with individuals suffering from colds, flu or other infectious conditions.
• Inform your doctor straight away if you should be exposed to measles, tuberculosis or chickenpox while currently taking a dose of prednisone or if it’s been less than a year since you took prednisone.
• If you need dental or other medical care, inform the practitioner about your prednisone prescription before they administer any sort of treatment or care.
• Prednisone may have the effect of causing water retention, lowering the amount of potassium ions in the blood and of raising blood pressure. For this reason, you should cut back on your salt intake while on prednisone.
• Prednisone can cause a loss of calcium and may create a greater vulnerability to osteoporosis. For this reason, vitamin D and calcium supplements are advised.