Doctors often prescribe an oral corticosteroid, like prednisone, along with an antihistamine to treat mild itchy rashes. But steroids, which carry risks, even in the short term, may not be needed. Researchers randomly assigned 100 adults with itchy hives to have daily treatment with either an antihistamine (levocetirizine, brand name Xyzal) and prednisone, or the antihistamine and a sugar pill. Two days later, 62 percent of the patients in the prednisone group reported that the itching had gone away, but so did 76 percent of those in the placebo group. The rash had disappeared completely in 70 percent of the prednisone group and in 78 percent of the placebo group. There were no differences in adverse effects between the two groups, and no differences in the number of relapses after the treatment period. The authors acknowledge that the data depends on self-reports from patients who were not examined clinically. Dominique Lauque, a professor of medicine at the University of Toulouse III in France, one reason doctors still use steroids to treat rash is that patients demand them. But, he said, it is better to avoid them when the rash is mild. Steroids are used to suppress inflammation and come in many forms, including topical steroids, inhaled steroids, oral steroids, injectable steroids, and IV (intravenous) steroids. Oral steroids, also called systemic steroids, systemic corticosteroids, or glucocorticoids, are a class of steroids taken by mouth and used for many human diseases, including various skin conditions. They are synthetic forms of the natural hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal gland. Below are oral steroids commonly used for skin conditions, including brand names and a comparison of their potencies: Table 1. Oral Steroids Used in Dermatology Oral steroids mimic the steroid hormones that are naturally produced by our adrenal glands and act on various receptors throughout the body to exert their anti-inflammatory effects. Steroids bind to glucocorticoid receptors in almost every cell of the body. These steroid/receptor pairs then bind to specific sequences of DNA to decrease the production of many different types of inflammatory molecules.
Possible Side Effects of Docetaxel and Prednisone. Swelling of the body; Hair loss; Change in nails; Rash, itching; Vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, constipation. Nov 15, 2015. Prednisone learn about side effects, dosage, special precautions, and more on MedlinePlus.