What is Orapred&Reg;?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Orapred® is the generic version of prednisolone, a steroid and a very close relative of prednisone. Prednisolone is almost identical to prednisone except that the latter goes through some changes when processed by the liver to become prednisolone, and it may be called a parent drug. When Orapred® is administered, it is already in prednisolone form and doesn’t require liver action to change it. Both drugs are used in the treatment of short and long-term conditions for things like autoimmune disorders, chronic allergies and asthma, and inflammation of many kinds.

Prednisone tablets can have many effects on the body, but are most commonly used for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Prednisone tablets can have many effects on the body, but are most commonly used for their anti-inflammatory properties.

The guidelines for dosage and treatment with Orapred® depend on the type of condition treated. For short-term conditions like a sudden case of contact dermatitis, prednisolone is usually given in small doses that build to a higher dose and then taper to discontinuation. Tapering is almost always necessary, if people take the medicine for more than a couple of days.

Some individuals may experience hives as part of an allergic reaction to Orapred.
Some individuals may experience hives as part of an allergic reaction to Orapred.

Other people will take this steroid on a daily basis to manage conditions that cause chronic inflammation. It’s not uncommon for this drug to be prescribed for autoimmune disorders like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Some people with Crohn’s disease find benefit in using prednisolone, and the drug might be used for long periods of time to prevent transplant rejection.

The side effect profile of Orapred® is on par with prednisone side effects. There are potentially extremely dangerous reactions that include pancreatitis, intestinal bleeding, extreme changes in mood, dramatic changes to vision, and seizure or very high blood pressure. Additionally, some people may have an allergic reaction to this medicine that results in anaphylactic shock, which might include symptoms of swollen tongue, mouth and face, hives, wheezing or trouble breathing and loss of consciousness. Any of these side effects require emergency treatment.

Less medically urgent side effects are also noted, especially with longer use. These include dramatic swelling and rounding of the face, unusual hair growth, persistent nausea, weight gain, and excess perspiration. People might notice mood changes, especially more sadness or more temper. Skin changes also occur, and people may be more prone to bruises or rashes, or suffer from chronic dryness. Should these side effects become significant, they should be discussed with a physician.

There are other cautions when taking Orapred®. It lowers natural immunity and people are advised not to get any type of vaccination that contains live viruses or to be with those who are actively ill. Many medications interact adversely with prednisolone, and some medical conditions make the drug inadvisable.

Despite the laundry list of side effects and interactions with other medicines or medical conditions, there is great benefit in drugs like Orapred®. It can arrest severe symptoms of ongoing illnesses, stop transplant rejection, end profound swelling, control dangerous asthma or heal the body in other ways. While doctors prefer steroids with fewer adverse reactions, they are still grateful for medications like this because they can be skillfully used to promote healing. When deciding to use these medicines, physicians determine appropriateness by weighing risk versus benefits.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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