Rayos (Prednisone) - Oral

What Is Rayos?

Rayos (prednisone) is one of several drugs in a family known as adrenocortical steroids or corticosteroids. It is a synthetic version of one of the hormones made by our body’s adrenal gland. It is most commonly used to decrease swelling (inflammation) in organ systems in various conditions. Prednisone is less widely used as a replacement hormone in people whose bodies do not produce the proper amount of hormones.

Prednisone is available under several different brand names, with Rayos being one. It comes as a delayed-release tablet, tablet, and solution (liquid) taken by mouth.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Prednisone

Brand Name(s): Prednicot, Prednisone Intensol, Rayos, Sterapred, Sterapred DS

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Oral

Therapeutic Classification: Endocrine-metabolic agent

Available Generically: Yes

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Prednisone

Dosage Form(s): Delayed-release tablet, tablet, solution

What Is Rayos Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved prednisone as an anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive therapy for certain types of:

Prednisone can also be used to treat endocrine conditions and help with symptoms of certain types of cancer.

How to Take Rayos

Take prednisone with food or milk to decrease the chance of stomach upset. Rayos tablets (a delayed-release formulation of prednisone) should not be cut, chewed, or crushed. Generic prednisone tablets may be cut. Some people experience insomnia when taking prednisone, so taking the dose shortly after waking up (in the morning, for most people) can be helpful.

Storage

Store at room temperature and protect tablets from light or moisture. The easiest way to do this is to keep tablets in the vial provided by your pharmacy.

Off-Label Uses

Healthcare providers may prescribe prednisone for off-label uses, meaning for conditions not specifically indicated by the FDA.

Off-label uses for prednisone can include:

  • Bell’s palsy
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Temporal arteritis

What Are the Side Effects of Rayos?

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a medical professional. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Rayos can include:

Severe Side Effects

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcer, or perforation
  • Psychosis
  • Bone fracture or tendon rupture

Long-Term Side Effects

Corticosteroids such as prednisone are the most common cause of drug-induced osteoporosis (weakening of the bone structure). People who take prednisone doses of 7.5 milligrams (mg) or more per day are at a higher risk of bone density loss and bone fractures. Long-term use of prednisone causes decreased bone growth in children and adolescents.

Prednisone’s effects on the immune system can impair wound healing and increase the risk of infection. Corticosteroids may also hide some symptoms of infection.

Corticosteroid-induced acne can appear after weeks or months of treatment with prednisone and appears as comedones, pustules, and redness. It primarily affects the face, chest, upper back, and shoulders. Acne improves once prednisone is stopped.

Report Side Effects

Rayos may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much of Prednisone Should I Take?

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The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage forms (concentrated solution, solution, delayed-release tablets, and tablets):
    • Dose depends on medical condition:
      • Adults—At first, 5 to 60 milligrams (mg) per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Modifications

If you are pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider before taking prednisone. Some human data suggest that corticosteroid use during the first trimester of pregnancy increases the rate of cleft lip or cleft palate from 1 in 1,000 infants in the general population to 3 to 5 in 1000 infants.

Prednisone and its active metabolite prednisolone are secreted in breast milk, though the amount is small. There have been no reports of adverse effects on breastfed infants with the use of corticosteroids while breastfeeding.

Older people (65 years and older) may be at risk for more side effects (such as osteoporosis) while taking prednisone.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of prednisone, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Do not take an extra dose to make up for the missed dose.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Rayos?

Taking too much prednisone at once rarely causes serious bodily problems. When stopping prednisone, you should consult with your healthcare provider as the dose may need to be decreased slowly (tapered) over time.

What Happens If I Overdose on Rayos?

If you think you or someone else may have taken too much Rayos at once, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or stops breathing after taking Rayos, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

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If you will be taking this medicine for a long time, it is very important that your doctor check you at regular visits for any unwanted effects that may be caused by this medicine. Blood or urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

If you are using this medicine for a long time, tell your doctor about any extra stress or anxiety in your life, including other health concerns and emotional stress. Your dose of this medicine might need to be changed for a short time while you have extra stress.

Using too much of this medicine or using it for a long time may increase your risk of having adrenal gland problems. Talk to your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms while you are using this medicine: blurred vision, dizziness or fainting, a fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat, increased thirst or urination, irritability, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

This medicine may cause you to get more infections than usual. Avoid people who are sick or have infections and wash your hands often. If you are exposed to chickenpox or measles, tell your doctor right away. If you start to have a fever, chills, sore throat, or any other sign of an infection, call your doctor right away.

Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, eye pain, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

While you are being treated with prednisone, do not have any immunizations (vaccines) without your doctor's approval. Prednisone may lower your body's resistance and the vaccine may not work as well or you might get the infection the vaccine is meant to prevent. In addition, you should not be around other persons living in your household who receive live virus vaccines because there is a chance they could pass the virus on to you. Some examples of live vaccines include measles, mumps, influenza (nasal flu vaccine), poliovirus (oral form), rotavirus, and rubella. Do not get close to them and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.

This medicine may cause changes in mood or behavior for some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you have depression, mood swings, a false or unusual sense of well-being, trouble with sleeping, or personality changes while taking this medicine.

This medicine might cause thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) or slow growth in children if used for a long time. Tell your doctor if you have any bone pain or if you have an increased risk for osteoporosis. If your child is using this medicine, tell the doctor if you think your child is not growing properly.

Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain skin tests.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Rayos?

Do not take prednisone if you have a known hypersensitivity (allergy) to prednisone or any of its inactive ingredients. Rare reports of anaphylaxis (severe allergy) have been reported with prednisone.

What Other Medications Interact With Rayos?

If you are taking an immunosuppressive dose of prednisone, you should not receive live or live-attenuated vaccines. The immunosuppressant properties of prednisone increase your risk of infection from replicating organisms in the vaccine. However, people taking adrenocortical replacement doses of prednisone may receive vaccinations.

Drugs that interact with prednisone include:

  • Anticoagulants: Taking prednisone with anticoagulants may increase or decrease the effect of the anticoagulant.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Taking NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, with prednisone increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal side effects (e.g., ulcers, bleeding).
  • Gengraf, Neoral, and Sandimmune (cyclosporine): Cyclosporine and prednisone used together can increase the activity of both medications. Convulsions have been reported with the combination of these medications.

What Medications Are Similar?

Drugs that are similar to prednisone and also belong to the adrenocortical steroid class include:

  • Prednisolone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Triamcinolone

These medications differ in their relative potency, anti-inflammatory potency, duration of action, and effects on sodium retention.

In most cases, people should only take one oral corticosteroid at a time. It is safe to combine one oral corticosteroid with a corticosteroid administered by a different route (e.g., topical skin cream, ointment, or oral/nasal inhaler).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Rayos used for?

    Prednisone is commonly used as an anti-inflammatory medication to decrease swelling in any organ system that several conditions may cause. For this purpose, your healthcare provider may prescribe prednisone for a short course, usually two weeks or less. This is often referred to as a “steroid burst.”

    Prednisone may also be used to suppress the immune system to treat conditions such as autoimmune disorders or prevent transplant rejection.

    People who do not make enough adrenocortical hormones may be prescribed prednisone as adrenocortical replacement therapy. For this condition, prednisone is generally used long-term at a low dose.

  • What side effects can I expect while taking Rayos?

    Short-term “burst” therapy side effects include changes in mood, difficulty sleeping, elevated blood glucose levels, and increased appetite. Long-term prednisone use increases the risk of gastrointestinal ulcers, osteoporosis, and a decrease in the amount of hormones produced by the body.

  • How do I safely stop taking Rayos?

    It is important to consult with your healthcare provider before stopping prednisone. Short courses (generally 14 days or less) usually do not require a gradual reduction in dose. Long-term prednisone use (more than 14 days) often requires a gradual reduction over the course of days or weeks (commonly called a “taper”) to minimize the chance of the inflammatory condition rebounding and to allow the body’s adrenal gland to increase its production of hormones back to normal levels. 

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Rayos?

For short-term courses of prednisone, your focus should be on managing any side effects so that you can complete the course of prednisone as prescribed. Take it with food upon waking to minimize stomach side effects and sleep disturbances. For any intolerable side effects, check with your healthcare provider to see if they have ideas for managing those side effects before stopping prednisone.

If you are prescribed prednisone long-term, you can decrease your risk of developing steroid-induced osteoporosis by doing the following:

  • Taking in an adequate amount of calcium (through diet or supplements) and vitamin D
  • Avoiding tobacco
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Weigh-bearing exercises

Your healthcare provider should monitor your bone density regularly while on prednisone and may prescribe a medication to increase bone density if needed.

If you have diabetes or a history of elevated blood sugars, you should monitor your blood sugar more frequently while taking prednisone. Your healthcare provider may need to adjust your medications to control your blood sugar while on prednisone.

Finally, closely follow your healthcare provider’s plan for decreasing or stopping prednisone. Do not stop this medication suddenly without discussing it with your healthcare provider. You may need to slowly decrease your dose of prednisone before stopping it.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

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