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Use of prednisone or any of the other above listed catabolic steroids will usually lead to increased thirst, urination and appetite.  Pets may have to be walked more often to help prevent urine accidents in the house.  Steroids can cause stomach upset and lead to ulceration.  Stop giving prednisone or other steroids and call right away if vomiting or black stools are observed.  The stomach can be moderately protected  by giving an over-the-counter acid production blocker, such as famotidine (Pepcid AC or generic), cimetidine (Tagamet or generic), or ranitidine (Zantac or generic) as your doctor advises.  Do not give prednisone or other steroids while you are giving any NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug) such as aspirin, Rimadyl (carprofen), Deramaxx (deracoxib), Metacam (meloxicam), Zubrin, Etogesic (etodolac) or bismuth subsalicylate preparations (Pepto Bismol, KaoPectate, or generics).  (This warning does not usually apply to ANABOLIC steroids such as Winstrol).  Longer term use of prednisone, Depo Medrol and other such steroids can lead to dependence.  Prednisone and other such steroids as listed above replace and thereby suppress the natural production of cortisol from the adrenal glands.  Cortisol is a stress hormone that is essential to life.  After sometimes even a short while on prednisone, the glands have been suppressed significantly so that when prednisone is discontinued, the adrenal glands cannot quickly resume production of normal amounts of cortisol, leading to serious illness. To prevent this illness, patients usually need to be gradually weaned off of prednisone if they've been on it for awhile.   Prednisone is a catabolic steroid.  It is not an anabolic steroid, such as some bodybuilders might take to build muscle mass.  Prednisone and other catabolic steroids such as those listed above can delay healing,  and prevent healing of cuts, incisions and other wounds.   Catabolic steroids suppress the immune system to varying degrees, making some patients more prone to illness.  Prednisone, Depo Medrol and such steroids can hasten the onset of diabetes mellitus ('sugar' diabetes) in pets genetically or otherwise predisposed to this disease.  Catabolic steroids cause an elevation of alkaline phosphatase, and enzyme commonly measured in blood tests to assess liver health.  They can also lead to 'osteopenia' (bone thinning).    For all of these reasons, we recommend that the minimum effective dose of prednisone and similar steroids be used when treating allergies.  Giving antihistamines, cyclosporine, essential fatty acids, hypo shots, low allergen foods, prescription shampoo and conditioner therapies, and controlling fleas all may help your pet be able to get by with a lower dose of catabolic steroids.  Prednisone and other catabolic steroids are used intentionally to suppress the immune system in many diseases such as lupus, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, immune mediated thrombocytopenia, pemphigus, SLO, idiopathic cystitis,  among others.  Catabolic steroids such as prednisone are some of the most widely used drugs in the world -they are used to help treat itchy skin, control swelling, increase appetite, treat autoimmune disease, hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's disease), anaphylactic shock, shock from automobile or other trauma, brain swelling, spinal trauma,  and even to help fight cancer among many other uses.  Never use catabolic steroids indiscriminately or to 'spot treat' a condition.  Please use it exactly as prescribed with the above information kept in mind during its use, and let your doctor know if you have any questions or concerns.

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