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NJW12 01-27-2009 01:39 PM

Prednisone side effects
Hello, my son is 6 weeks old with a hemangioma on his left cheek. We saw a ped. dermatologist who prescribed prednisolone 3 ml (15MG/5ML)every morning. He took his forst dose this morning. I am wondering what type of side effects others have noticed after giving their infant this medicine. I am a first time parent and am kind of scared. Thank you in advance.

nickbar 01-27-2009 10:32 PM

I wrote a paper on oral steroid side effects, edited by Dr. Levitin, if you are interested. Please email me and I can attach it or you can find it on the resource list on


khubbard 01-28-2009 02:33 AM

My daughter took steroids from the time she was 7 weeks old until 5 months old. The only side effect we had a hard time with was the gastrointestinal irritation. She had a really hard time with that and experienced a lot of stomach pain, spit up constantly, could not tolerate ANY formula (only breast milk), and had to take a medication called Carafate to coat her tummy. We tried three different antacid medications as well to no avail. Just make sure that your child is taking a prescription antacid med to try to counteract the stomach problems (usually generic Zantac). Other than that (and that was enough!) we had no other problems. We did not see any changes in terms of her behavior, sleep, or appetite, which are other possible side effects. Hope this helps.

lpm 01-28-2009 12:52 PM

My youngest had/has a hemangioma on the right cheek, as well as one on top of the head. She started oral steroids at 2 months old. Dose was 2.8 mg/kg, then increased to 4.2 mg/kg since the hemangioma was still growing.

The oral steroids temporarily stopped/slowed hemangioma growth, but it started growing again after weaning off oral steroids at 5.5 months old. She had a steroid injection at 7.5 months old, then surgeries at 11 months and at 2 yrs 4 months.

She really didn't have any side effects. Even when we skipped the Zantac, she was fine. The only possible side effect was stunted growth after weaning off of steroids. Height was only affected for a few months. Weight may still be affected - weighs 28 lbs at 4.5 years old - but it is tough to tell since her sisters are also lightweights (and they never took steroids). Middle child, age 11, has BMI 3rd percentile and eldest, age 13, is 7th percentile, so maybe she is destined to be lightweight.

I would give the steroids a try. I wanted her on steroids when she was just 2-3 weeks old, but the pediatrician said "No." I made appointments with specialists to get the steroids. I still think we would have avoided surgery if the pediatrician had prescribed them...

Good luck with whatever you do.

Sam's Mom 02-06-2009 03:37 PM

My son took steroids from 7 - 10 months of age, with a dose of 2 mg/kg, for his parotid hemangioma. The two most difficult aspects were, by far the lack of sleep and the difficulty getting the medicine into him.

On sleeping, after a couple of weeks on the medication, he would not sleep for longer than 1.5 hours at a time - day or night. I have to say that it was awful. Also, he hated the taste of the medicine and so getting it into him was a constant battle - thank god that he was taking a bottle by then but if we put too much formula, he wouldn't drink it all and too little and he wouldn't drink any because of the taste! If we just tried to give it to him straight, he would either spit it out or throw it up.

On the positive side, he wasn't crankier than usual and didn't have any stomach problems (he took Zantac with the steroids). And, best of all, the steroids had a really positive impact on the size of the hemangioma - we couldn't have hoped for better results!

Good luck and I hope it goes well.

Dawn and Baby Presley 02-09-2009 10:38 AM

Hi there, just to let you know, that there are Drs out there now that have stopped medicating with Prednisone because of the side effects. Although very new, its very promising with no side effects beside a lower heart rate(which sounds scary..but is totally fine) Propranolol is what the med is called..some parents see a difference in coloring in 24hrs. Our daughter is on this new treatment and you should see the difference!
here is the link to my photo album on Facebook...showing the progress, i hope you talk to your doctors about this new treatment.

nickbar 02-09-2009 05:37 PM

A child must be evaluated for a number of issues prior to going on Propranolol... no cardiac issues, normal liver function, etc. It is not a new drug, but new to treating hemangiomas. Many specialists are using it now, but I caution everyone to make sure they ask questions, do research and understand risks involved. No medicince or treatment goes without risk. The benefits often are greater than the risks.

NJW12 02-12-2009 03:46 AM

Thank you everyone for your responses. We are still doing the prednisolone doses. My son is having some trouble sleeping during the day, but fortunately not at night. We are also doing the Zantac and that is helping some with the reflux. We are possibly starting propranolol next week. I am interested in finding out as much about it as possible though, as I know that there are possible side effects with it as well. Our Dr. is very aggressive, since his hemangioma could grow into his eye if we do not treat it. Thanks again for your responses, they have helped with my initial fears of the steroid treatment.

Dawn and Baby Presley 02-12-2009 01:04 PM
this is the article to the New England Journal of Medicine, like i have said before on here, i am not a Doctor, all i know is what we are going through with this treatment. With proper evaluation and monitoring everything was and is fine for us, and i understand that every case is different, but please research thats all i can tell you. Every specialist (and there are many) i have talked to are talking about this being the new treatment for Hemangiomas.
Best of Luck

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