- Psoriasis Slideshow: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
- Psoriasis Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
- Moderate to Severe Forms of Psoriasis Slideshow
- What is prednisolone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for prednisolone?
- Is prednisolone available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for prednisolone?
- What are the side effects of prednisolone?
- What is the dosage for prednisolone?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with prednisolone?
- What else should I know about prednisolone?
What is prednisolone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Prednisolone is a synthetic adrenal corticosteroid (cortisone). Corticosteroids are natural substances produced by the adrenal glands located adjacent to the kidneys. Corticosteroids have potent anti-inflammatory properties, and are used in a wide variety of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, colitis, asthma, bronchitis, certain skin rashes, and allergic or inflammatory conditions of the nose and eyes. There are numerous preparations of corticosteroids including tablets, capsules, liquids, topical creams and gels, inhalers, eye drops, as well as injectable and intravenous solutions. The FDA approved prednisolone in June 1955.
What are the side effects of prednisolone?
Prednisolone side effects depend on the dose, the duration and the frequency of administration. Short courses of prednisolone - days to a week or two - are usually well tolerated with few and mild side effects. Long-term, high doses of prednisolone will usually produce predictable and potentially serious side effects. Whenever possible, the lowest effective doses of prednisolone should be used for the shortest length of time to minimize side effects. Alternate day dosing can also help reduce side effects.
Side effects of prednisolone and other corticosteroids range from mild annoyances to serious irreversible damage. Side effects include
- fluid retention,
- weight gain,
- high blood pressure,
- potassium loss,
- muscle weakness,
- puffiness of and hair growth on the face,
- thinning and easy bruising of the skin,
- peptic ulceration,
- worsening of diabetes,
- irregular menses,
- growth retardation in children,
- convulsions, and
- psychic disturbances. (Psychic disturbances can include depression, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and even psychotic behavior.)
Prolonged use of prednisolone can depress the ability of body's adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids. Abruptly stopping prednisolone can cause symptoms of corticosteroid insufficiency, with accompanying nausea/a>, vomiting, and even shock. Therefore, withdrawal of prednisolone is usually accomplished by gradual tapering. Gradually tapering prednisolone not only minimizes the symptoms of corticosteroid insufficiency, but it also reduces the risk of an abrupt flare of the disease under treatment.
Prednisolone and other corticosteroids can mask signs of infection and impair the body's natural immune response to infection. Patients on corticosteroids are more susceptible to infections and can develop more serious infections than healthy individuals. For instance, chickenpox and measles viruses can produce serious and even fatal illnesses in patients on high doses of prednisolone. Live virus vaccines, such as smallpox vaccine, should be avoided in patients taking high doses of prednisolone, since even vaccine viruses may cause disease in patients taking prednisolone. Some infectious organisms, such as tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, can remain dormant in a patient for years. Prednisolone and other corticosteroids can reactivate dormant infections in these patients and cause serious illnesses. Patients with dormant TB may require anti-TB medications while undergoing prolonged corticosteroid treatment.
By interfering with the patient's immune response, prednisolone can impede the effectiveness of vaccinations. Prednisolone can also interfere with the tuberculin skin test and cause false negative results in patients with tuberculosis infection.
Prednisolone impairs calcium absorption and new bone formation. Patients on prolonged treatment with prednisolone and other corticosteroids can develop thinning of bone (osteoporosis) and an increased risk of bone fractures. Supplemental calcium and vitamin D are encouraged to slow this process of bone thinning. In some patients, medications used to treat osteoporosis may be prescribed. In rare individuals, destruction of large joints (osteonecrosis) can occur while undergoing treatment with prednisolone or other corticosteroids. These patients experience severe pain in the involved joints, and can require replacement of joints. The reason behind such destruction is not clear.
What is the dosage for prednisolone?
Dosage requirements of corticosteroids vary among individuals and the diseases being treated. The usual starting dose range is 5 mg to 60 mg daily depending on the disease being treated. Doses are adjusted based on patient response. In general, the lowest possible effective dose is used. Corticosteroids given in multiple doses throughout the day are more effective, but also more toxic than alternate-day therapy where twice the daily dose is administered every other morning. Prednisolone should be taken with food to reduce irritation of the stomach and intestines.
Which drugs or supplements interact with prednisolone?
Rifampin decreases blood levels of prednisolone by increasing its breakdown in the liver. The dose of prednisolone may need to be increased in order to avoid therapeutic failure.
Corticosteroids have variable effects of warfarin (Coumadin) therapy. Coagulation levels should be monitored more closely when anticoagulants are combined with corticosteroids.
Estrogens may increase the levels of prednisolone by decreasing its breakdown. When estrogens are used with prednisolone, side effects of prednisolone should be monitored.
Combining aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects.
Combining corticosteroids with potassium-depleting agents (for example, diuretics) increases the risk of low blood potassium (hypokalemia). Vaccines are less effective in patients on prolonged corticosteroid treatment because corticosteroids suppress the immune system. Corticosteroids may also allow organisms contained in live attenuated vaccines to replicate.
What else should I know about prednisolone?
What preparations of prednisolone are available?
- Tablets: 5 mg.
- Tablets (Disintegrating): 10, 15, 30 mg
- Syrup or Suspension: 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 mg/5 ml (teaspoon).
How should I keep prednisolone stored?
Store at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Do not refrigerate.
Prednisolone (Flo-Pred, Pediapred, Orapred, Orapred ODT) is a corticosteroid prescribed to achieve prompt suppression of inflammation due to inflammatory and allergic conditions (for example, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, hay fever, types of dermatitis, and many others. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Psoriasis Types, Images, Treatments
What is psoriasis? Explore psoriasis treatment options such as topical ointments, phototherapy, natural remedies and more. Learn...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms & Treatment
What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Learn about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Discover rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms,...
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Ulcerative Colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease and is slightly different than Crohn's disease. Your diet can impact...
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) is a common allergic skin condition. Get the latest information on causes of eczema and skin rash...
Crohn's Disease Causes, Symptoms, Diet
What is Crohn's disease? Get more information on this digestive disorder and how Crohn's can affect your diet. Learn more about...
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Quiz
COPD is a combination of three conditions? Take this quiz to learn the three conditions that make up the pulmonary disease called...
Atopic Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Quiz: Test Your Skin Disorders IQ
Does dry, itchy, flaky, scaly, red, inflamed skin sound familiar to you? Take the Atopic Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Quiz to learn...
Psoriasis Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the mystery out of psoriasis. Take the Psoriasis Quiz and see what you know about the types, symptoms, treatments and more....
Ulcerative Colitis Quiz: Diet, Symptoms & Treatment
What is ulcerative colitis and what risks are associated with suffering over the long term? Take this Ulcerative Colitis Quiz to...
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating neurological condition. Take the MS Quiz to test your knowledge of the causes, symptoms,...
Gout Quiz: What is Gout? Is There a Gout Diet?
Learn what causes those painful crystals to form during a gout flare. Take the Gout Quiz to learn all about this painful...
Crohn's Disease Quiz
What causes Crohn's disease? What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease? How is Crohn's treated? Take this quiz to get the facts...
Rheumatoid Arthritis Quiz: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
How is rheumatoid arthritis different from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and gout? Take the Rheumatoid...
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Quiz: Test Your SLE IQ
This Lupus Quiz covers causes, signs, symptoms, facts, and treatments for this inflammatory autoimmune disease....
Picture of Psoriasis 1
A reddish, scaly rash often located over the surfaces of the elbows, knees, scalp, and around or in the ears, navel, genitals or...
Picture of Allergic Contact Dermatitis
A red, itchy, weepy reaction where the skin has come into contact with a substance that the immune system recognizes as foreign....
Gout Attack Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Diet
Gout attacks (gouty arthritis) are caused by crystals of uric acid deposits. Learn about symptoms, causes, treatments and...
Picture of Psoriasis 2
More than one-quarter of all individuals with psoriasis develop their disease during childhood or adolescence. See a picture of...
Picture of Psoriasis 3
This figure shows the erythema, scaling, and thickening of portions of the thumb and soles that are very common in both children...
Picture of Dermatitis From Common Carpet Beetle
The common carpet beetle is not common in modern well-sanitized homes, and even where it is abundant, effects from it are not...
Picture of Atopic Dermatitis
This condition is the most common of all pediatric dermatoses. See a picture of Atopic Dermatitis and learn more about the...
Picture of Lupus
A chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune disease. See a picture of Lupus Rash and learn more about the health...
Picture of Gout
Condition characterized by abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, recurring attacks of joint inflammation...
Picture of Sea Urhcin Dermatitis
Puncture sites on the plantar surface of an individual who stepped on a sea urchin. See a picture of Sea Urchin Dermatitis and...
Picture of Nickel Contact Dermatitis
The development of an itchy eczematous eruption near the umbilicus is virtually pathognomonic for contact dermatitis to nickel....
Picture of Nickel Contact Dermatitis from Necklace
Allergy to nickel is one of the most common causes of contact dermatitis in children. See a Nickel Contact Dermatitis from...
Picture of Allergic Contact Dermatitis (Tattoo)
Contact allergy to temporary tattoos has become an increasingly common phenomenon. See a picture of Allergic Contact Dermatitis...
Picture of Allergic Contact Dermatitis (Arm)
Allergic contact dermatitis (reaction to temporary tattoo). Contact allergy to temporary tattoos has become an increasingly...
Picture of Acute Systemic Lupus
Acute systemic lupus erythematosus. See a picture of Acute Systemic Lupus and learn more about the health topic....
Picture of Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema
Eczema is a skin condition caused by inflammation. See a picture of Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema and learn more about the health...
Lupus Symptoms, Rash, and Treatment
What is Lupus? Learn about lupus symptoms like butterfly rash, joint pain and fatigue. Find causes, diagnosis, and treatments for...
Could I Be Allergic? Discover Your Allergy Triggers
Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system where the body's defenses react to substances such as pollen, food and more....
Types of Psoriasis: Medical Pictures and Treatments
Learn about the common skin condition psoriasis. Explore about the different types of psoriasis such as vulgaris (plaque...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Exercises Slideshow: Joint-Friendly Fitness Routines
Regular exercise boosts fitness and helps reverse joint stiffness for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our experts offer...
Home Allergy Quiz: Is Your Home Allergy-Proof?
Take this home allergy quiz and test your knowledge on allergens, dust mites, pollens and more to see how allergy-proof your home...
Nasal Irrigation: Natural Relief for Cold & Allergy Symptoms
Nasal irrigation can relieve sinus symptoms associated with colds & allergies. Learn how nasal irrigation can help unclog sinuses...
Pictures of Allergy Relief Tips at Home: AC Filters, Electronic Air Cleaners, and More
Learn how a combination of medication, preventing allergens, and allergy relief products can reduce allergy symptoms and help you...
The Most Common Food Allergies for Kids and Adults
What common food allergens cause the most problems for adults and children? See this list of common food allergies and learn to...
Out-of-Control Allergy Symptoms: Treatment Relief in Pictures
Learn 10 signs your allergies are out of control. See these surprising allergy symptoms and find out how to get relief for...
Nasal Allergy Attack: Causes, Triggers, Treatments
What causes allergies? What are your allergy triggers? Discover how allergies work, why our bodies react to them, whether...
10 Worst Cities for Spring Allergies With Pictures
See pictures of the top 10 "spring allergy capitals", according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). From...
Related Disease Conditions
The word "rash" means an outbreak of red bumps on the body. The way people use this term, "a rash" can refer to many different...
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
An upper respiratory infection is a contagious infection of the structures of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the...
Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip (Symptoms, Treatment)
Chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip symptoms include an itchy, runny nose, sneezing, itchy ears, eyes, and throat. Seasonal...
There are several types of thyroid disorders including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiters, thyroid nodules, and thyroid...
Steroid Drug Withdrawal
Corticosteroid drugs such as prednisone and prednisolone are commonly used to treat asthma, allergic reactions, RA, and IBD....
Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales....
Eczema is a general term for many types dermatitis (skin inflammation). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of...
Hives (Urticaria & Angioedema)
Hives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin that is usually a sign of an allergic reaction. The allergy may be...
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain)
Sacroiliac joint (SI) dysfunction is a general term to reflect pain in the SI joints. Causes of SI joint pain include...
Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood cells in which the growth and development of the blood cells are abnormal. Strictly...
Anemia is the condition of having less than the normal number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin...
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...
Migraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on...
Night Sweats (In Men and Women) Causes, Remedies, and Treatments
Night sweats are severe hot flashes that occur at night and result in a drenching sweat. The causes of night sweats in most...
Is Tonsillitis Contagious?
Tonsillitis is a common infection, especially in kids. Tonsillitis is caused by viruses and bacteria like the flu and herpes...
Pulmonary fibrosis is scarring throughout the lungs. Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by many conditions including chronic...
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition. Symptoms and signs include a red, scaling rash on the scalp, face, ears, and...
Crohn's Disease (Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Treatment, Life Expectancy)
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect...
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Life Expectancy
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung condition caused by smoking tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke, and/or...
Spinal Cord Injury: Treatments and Rehabilitation
When vertebrae are broken or dislocated, the result can cause traumatic injury to the spinal cord. A spinal cord injury can have...
Bronchitis (Acute) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Remedies, and Cures
Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways in the lung. Acute bronchitis is is short in duration (10 to 20 days) in comparison...
Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from...
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding....
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease....
Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP or anaphylactoid purpura), a type of blood vessel inflammation, results in rash, arthritis, and...
Is Eczema Contagious?
Eczema is a skin condition characterized by inflamed, rough skin patches that occasionally produce fluid-filled bumps that may...
Sarcoidosis, a disease resulting from chronic inflammation, causes small lumps (granulomas) to develop in a great range of body...
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. ...
Chronic Bronchitis (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Remedies)
Chronic bronchitis is a cough that occurs daily with production of sputum that lasts for at least three months, two years in a...
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD) is a condition that features atypical symptoms including pain (often "burning" type),...
Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disorder of the muscles and joints that causes pain and stiffness in the arms, neck, shoulders,...
Vasculitis (Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Types)
Vasculitis (arteritis, angiitis) is a general term for a group of uncommon diseases which feature inflammation of the blood...
Still's disease (systemic-onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) is a disorder characterized by inflammation with high fever...
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints,...
Microscopic Colitis (Lymphocytic Colitis and Collagenous Colitis)
Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis) is a disease of inflammation of the colon. Microscopic colitis...
Bell's Palsy (Facial Nerve Problems) Paralysis Causes and Treatments
Bell's palsy is one type of facial nerve paralysis. The 7th cranial nerve controls the muscles of the face, and although...
Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an irritation of the nose caused by pollen and is associated with the following allergic...
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Intestinal Problems of IBD)
The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The intestinal complications of...
Polymyositis is a disease of the muscle featuring inflammation of the muscle fibers. It results in weakness of the muscles which...
Addison disease is a hormonal (endocrine) disorder involving destruction of the adrenal glands (small glands adjacent to the...
Poison ivy, oak, and sumac contain a substance called urushiol, which causes a rash on people who come in contact with them....
Relapsing polychondritis is an uncommon, chronic disorder of the cartilage that is characterized by recurrent episodes of...
Erythema nodosum is a skin inflammation that results in reddish, painful, tender lumps most commonly located in the front of the...
Churg-Strauss Syndrome is a form of vasculitis. Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels. Symptoms of Churg-Strauss...
Bullous pemphigoid is a skin disease that causes blistering eruptions on the skin's surface and sometimes affects the inner...
Eosinophilic Fasciitis (Shulman's Syndrome)
Eosinophilic fasciitis is a skin disease that causes thickening and inflammation of the skin and fascia. Symptoms include...
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is an infection of a facial nerve that causes a red painful rash with blisters and facial paralysis. Other...
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and can be caused by a variety of infections, conditions, and viruses....
Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland. The inflamed thyroid gland can release an excess of thyroid hormones into...
There are two types of asthma medications: long-term control with anti-inflammatory drugs and quick relief from bronchodilators....
Contact dermatitis is a rash that occurs after exposure to an irritant. It can be allergic. Symptoms include a red, elevated rash...
West Syndrome (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prognosis, Life Expectancy)
West Syndrome is rare condition that affects infants and children, and has three distinct signs and symptoms (characteristics),...
Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis is a condition that usually affects young or middle-aged adults, is an inflammation of the...
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis)
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or JRA) annually affects one child in every thousand. There are six...
Takayasu disease (also referred to as Takayasu arteritis) is a chronic inflammation of the aorta and its branch arteries....
Polyarteritis nodosa is a rare autoimmune disease characterized by spontaneous inflammation of the arteries of the body. The most...
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Treatment (PBC)
Primary biliary sclerosis (PBC) is thought to be an autoimmune disorder that involves the deterioration of the liver's small bile...
Essential Mixed Cryoglobulinemia
Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia is a condition caused by abnormal blood proteins called cryoglobulins. Symptoms include joint...
Latex allergy is a condition where the body reacts to latex, a natural product derived from the rubber tree. The reaction can...
Insect Sting Allergies
The majority of stinging insects in the United States are from bees, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, and fire ants. Severity of...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Gout FAQs
- Rheumatoid Arthritis FAQs
- Psoriasis FAQs
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus FAQs
- Multiple Sclerosis MS FAQs
- Eczema FAQs
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) FAQs
- Ulcerative Colitis FAQs
- Crohn's Disease FAQs
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Osteoporosis - Calcium &Vitamin D Prevent Bone Loss From Cortisone
- Corticosteroid Side Effects
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): 17 Warning Signs of Serious Complications
- What Is the Treatment For Polymyositis in the Lungs (Pulmonary)?
- Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) Symptoms and Causes
- Lupus Nephritis Treatment
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Quick GuidePsoriasis Types, Images, Treatments
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.