Is Prednisone normally prescribed to boost appetite?

Juanq asked...

My husband recently had surgery to have a tumor removed from his colon. He has lost 16 kilos and his appetite. To boost his appetite, the oncologist has prescribed : Deltacortene (also known as Prednisone). It really seems to work but when I looked up general knowledge about the drug, I found that is an anti-inflammatory drug. It is used for various "things" except loss of appetite! Is it okay for him to take this drug and if so, are there any side effects such as causing damage to the prostate? After reading up on this drug, I'm very concerned as to it has been prescribed to boost appetite. Thank you very much.

Expert Answer

Prednisone boost appetite: Prednisone can be used to boost appetite. Usually it is used as a short-term appetite stimulant (due to the potential side effects). Your husband's likelihood of experiencing certain side effects will depend on his dose and length of time he is taking prednisone. Some common side effects include higher risk for weight gain, infection, and bone loss. Prednisone is not typically known to cause direct harm to the prostate. There are other options, such as megestrol, that can be used to stimulate appetite as well. However, prednisone is less expensive than megestrol. It may be of benefit to discuss the risks and benefits of using prednisone versus other options with your husband's oncologist.