Corticosteroids are primarily used to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. Prednisone, like other corticosteroids, quickly reduces inflammation, reducing pain, redness, and swelling. It also weakens the immune system. Under normal conditions, this system protects you against elements such as viruses and bacteria that cause infections and diseases.
Prednisolone works by blocking the effects of certain chemicals that cause inflammation within the body. It doesn't cure polymyalgia rheumatica, but it may help ease symptoms. Steroids reduce inflammation and reduce immune system activity. Inflammation is a process by which white blood cells and chemicals in the body protect the body against infections and foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses.
For most people, steroid inhalers and steroid injections shouldn't cause annoying side effects. You may not be able to start taking steroids if you have an infection or if you have a wound on your body, because steroids can slow your improvement or cover up some of your symptoms. If you need to take steroids for more than 3 weeks, your family doctor or pharmacist should arrange for them to give you a steroid card. While small amounts of steroids can pass into breast milk, there is no research to show that they are harmful to the baby, so guidelines indicate that people can breastfeed while taking steroid tablets.
High-dose inhaled steroids can sometimes cause some of the more serious side effects that are most commonly related to steroid tablets (see below), but this is rare. Steroid creams and eye drops usually don't cause serious side effects, but if you take them for a long time or at a high dose, the medication may be absorbed into the blood and increase the risk of side effects that normally occur only with steroid tablets. There's usually no reason why a person can't use a steroid inhaler or spray, but they should be used with caution in people with ongoing infections, such as tuberculosis (TB).