How does it work?
Oral corticosteroids are well absorbed by the body after ingestion (80%) and rapidly enter the blood stream (peak blood level is reached 1-2 hours after the dose is taken)
Prednisone must be converted into prenisolone by the body in order to function. However, doctors often prescribe prednisone instead of prednisolone because it is not absorbed as well by the patient. For reasons that are specific to your disease and its evolution during treatment, your doctor may prefer to prescribe either one for your particular case. Other types of steroids may even be considered by your physican depending on your condition.
The body quickly eliminates prednisone and prednisolone following a single oral dose. It takes less than 24 hours for it to be completely removed from your system.
The mechanisms of action of corticosteroids are numerous and complex. After they are absorbed by the body, they act in cells through a specific receptor. You can find this receptor in all human cells. However, their number varies with different cell types.
Once the steroid has been set at this receptor, it becomes active and is capable of regulating many cell activities. For example, it can increase the production of anti-inflammatory proteins and decrease the number of molecules that cause inflammation.
Steroids are mainly used for their anti-allergic and immunosuppressive properties as they weaken the immune system. They also limit the creation of specific cells (including certain white blood cells) which serves as a useful quality for the treatment of many diseases.