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For Find Out Friday - Is Prednisone a Miracle Drug?


Everybody has been on it at some-point in their life. 

It seems to be a miracle drug. I have taken it when I had a rash from an allergic reaction and even a few times to break a migraine that lasted days on end. 

I know that it is used to treat/manage kidney disease and bells palsy as well. 

So what’s its deal?? 

How can one drug seeming cure anything that ails you?

The only other drug that I know of, that has ever worked for me and been able to treat more than one problem is Botox ( 

Is prednisone just as magical?

Apparently the short answer is yes. 

Prednisone is a kind of anti-inflammatory medication, meaning it suppress our immune system. The fancy name is glucocorticoid (corticosteroid) medication. Its sole job is to suppress the immune system and decrease inflammation in the body. While artificial, it is made to mimimic the function of our adrenal glands. 

The compounds that would become Prednisone were first identified and isolated by Arthur Nobile in 1950. Arthur was born in Newark, New Jersey on May 6, 1920 and had earned of Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He died on January 13, 2004.

In 1954, Arthur and his team at laboratory company then known as the Schering Corporation, created the drug. In 1955 they were granted a patent and it was then available for medical use.  

The Schering Corporation made several transitions, first to Shering-Plough, and then eventually merging with Merck & Co. in 2004, taking on that name on as its own. 

Schering-Plough had  a few other claims to fame. They are behind the creation of another well known drug, Claritin. They also owed and operated the Dr. Scholl’s and Coppertone brands. When they merged with Merck & Co. so did the brands under their umbrella.  

The list of diseases and symptoms Prednisone can treat is sort of mind-blowing. Here are the top five:

  • Arthritis;
  • Blood disorders;
  • Breathing problems like COPD;
  • Severe allergies; as well as 
  • Skin diseases.

However, if it was truly a miracle drug we would all be on it for the entirety of our lives. I know when I have taken it I have never had more energy, less stomach issues, or a wellness to thrive. 

But no drug comes without cost. I have personal experience with that as a chronic migraine patient. 

The side effects are as varied as the illnesses it can treat:

  • Weight gain;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Ulcers;
  • Increased blood sugar; and 
  • Insomnia (which I always got).

The longer you are on prednisone the more dangerous the side effects become. If you combine prednisone and alcohol or abruptly try to stop it you may also suffer additional side effects. The list and likelihood of each is too numerous to share here. Always follow the specific instructions of your physician when taking this drug. 

I guess Arthur goes on the list for future baby names, along with all those involved in bringing Botox into my life. 

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