During conventional pharmacologic dose corticosteroid therapy, ACTH production is inhibited with subsequent suppression of cortisol production by the adrenal cortex. Recovery time for normal HPA activity is variable depending upon the dose and duration of treatment. During this time the patient is vulnerable to any stressful situation. Although it has been shown that there is considerably less adrenal suppression following a single morning dose of prednisolone (10 mg) as opposed to a quarter of that dose administered every six hours, there is evidence that some suppressive effect on adrenal activity may be carried over into the following day when pharmacologic doses are used. Further, it has been shown that a single dose of certain corticosteroids will produce adrenal cortical suppression for two or more days. Other corticoids, including methylprednisolone, hydrocortisone, prednisone, and prednisolone, are considered to be short acting (producing adrenal cortical suppression for 1¼ to 1½ days following a single dose) and thus are recommended for alternate day therapy.
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As someone who lives with Crohn's disease, I have taken such prednisone bursts on many occasions, the longest of which was about a 50 mg / 10 day burst without any sort of taper afterwards. My GI specialist informed me that such treatment was perfectly OK in my case given my health status and age at the time (late 20s, early 30s at the time). He said that bursts in the elderly carry an increased risk as their natural adrenal production will be suppressed much more quickly by the prednisone than that of a younger person. Furthermore, recent periods of long-term steroid treatment can also reduce the time in which it takes for an individual's body to cease its natural adrenal production and as such must be taken into account. Your prescribing doctor will take all of these things into consideration when he prescribes the prednisone, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.