Prednisolone is a corticosteroid medication used to treat chronic and acute inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, allergic disorders, and conditions affecting the eyes, skin, lungs, stomach, nervous system, or blood cells.
Prednisolone is a glucocorticoid drug which is an adrenocortical steroid that mimics the effects of cortisol which regulates metabolism and stress. The medication also inhibits the release of inflammation-causing substances.
Alongside reducing inflammation, this glucocorticoid medication helps prevent inflammation and pain caused by your body’s immune system. Prednisolone does this by modifying your immune system response to different stimuli.
Uses and Dosage
The dose prescribed of prednisolone may vary depending on the person and condition being treated. Follow your doctor’s instructions and read the medication packaging carefully when taking the medication.
- Do not take more or less than prescribed
- Use for the prescribed length of time
- Adults may take between 5mg to 60mg per day
- Do not suddenly stop taking prednisolone
- Dosage strengths should gradually decrease after achieving a favourable response
- Tell medical professionals you take prednisolone because it can affect medical tests
- Store away from moisture at room temperature
Prednisolone may cause some side effects while it prevents inflammation. Consult with your doctor for more information regarding any symptoms you may encounter when taking this corticosteroid medication.
Common Prednisolone side effects:
- Fluid retention
- Dizziness, spinning sensation
- Changes in menstruation
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Stomach discomfort, bloating
Serious Side Effects
Some more serious side effects may occur when taking this medication. Stop taking prednisolone and call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath, swelling, rapid weight gain
- Bruising, thinning skin, or any wound that won’t heal
- Severe depression, personality changes, unusual thoughts or behaviours
- New or unusual arm, leg, or back pain
- Bloody or tarry stools, coughing blood, vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Severe pain in upper stomach spreading to back
- Nausea and vomiting
- A seizure
- Low potassium (leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling
Steroids may affect growth in children; tell your doctor if you notice an abnormal growth rate in your child using prednisolone.
Do not take this medication if you are allergic to Prednisolone. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, stop taking this medication and call your doctor.
Prednisolone allergy symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling in your face, lips, tongue, or throat
Do not take Prednisolone if you have a fungal infection.
Prednisolone affects your immune system and may make it easier for you to get an infection. Taking steroids can worsen an active infection or reactive one you recently had. Tell your doctor if you have had any illness or infection within the last few weeks.
Consult with your doctor to ensure the safety of taking this medication; tell them if you have ever had any of the following:
- Active tuberculosis
- A thyroid disorder
- Herpes infection of the eyes
- Stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis
- Mental illness, depression, or psychosis
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
- Muscle disorder
- Multiple sclerosis
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have diabetes. Taking steroid medications like Prednisolone may increase the levels of sugar in your blood or urine.
Certain vaccines may not work as well while you are taking prednisolone and could leave you not fully protected. These live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella, polio, rotavirus, and typhoid. Do not receive a smallpox vaccine while taking this medication, serious complications could develop.
Call your doctor if you are exposed to chickenpox or measles, these conditions could become serious or fatal for those using a steroid medication.
Some other medications could interact with prednisolone and cause unwanted side effects. Tell your doctor about all the medications you take including over the counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
The effects of prednisolone on an unborn baby are unknown; tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking this medication to ensure its safety.
It is unknown whether prednisolone passes into breastmilk or if it will affect a nursing baby. Consult with your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
Steroids such as prednisolone can impact growth in children; tell your doctor if your child is growing at a slower rate.
Form and Strength
This medication is available in tablet form.
Prednisolone tablet strength:
These 5mg tablets are available in quantities of 28 and 84.
Is Prednisolone best taken in the morning and why?
When you take prednisone once a day, you may benefit from taking it in the morning with breakfast. This can increase your body’s absorption because it coincides with your natural production of cortisone.
What is the difference between prednisone and prednisolone?
Both drugs are glucocorticoids used to treat similar inflammatory conditions. The main difference between the two is that prednisone must be converted into prednisolone by liver enzymes. Prednisolone is recommended for those with liver disease or issues.