Is Prednisone A Performance Solution?
If you have some Prednisone tablets left over from when you had a nasty chest infection a while back and they were prescribed to you by your doctor and you used them to treat a cold and it was over within a few days and your symptoms were a lot less severe, as you all know this can be unheard of for some of us. As a performer, we are generally scared to let a cold go untreated, if you’ve had chest infections before, and antibiotics have given you nasty side affects in the past. What are the risks of a self-treatment with prednisone?
There is no doubt that prednisone will make your symptoms better. But please consider this: the symptoms that you experience, such as congestion and pressure and mucus production, are not generated by the infection but by your body. This is part of how the body deals with an infection. Prednisone impairs the body’s response to infection. The result is that, while your symptoms may be better, the infection will persist.
If it’s a mild viral infection such as a cold, this may not have any long term implications.
On the other hand, if you do have a more serious infection and you impede your body’s immune defenses with prednisone, you are looking for trouble. Unfortunately there is a tendency by performers, and the physicians who aid and abet them, to over prescribe prednisone “just to get you through the next performance”. This is simply kicking the can down the road and ultimately is a disservice to you the patient and your long-term health.