Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks. Also tell your doctor if you have diabetes. Steroid medicines may increase the glucose sugar levels in your blood or urine. You may also need to adjust the dose of your diabetes medications.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether prednisolone passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. Follow all directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not use prednisolone in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Prednisolone is sometimes taken every other day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. You may need to shake the oral suspension liquid well just before you measure a dose.
Follow the directions on your medicine label. Keep the disintegrating tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take the medicine. Open the package using dry hands, and peel back the foil from the tablet blister do not push the tablet through the foil. Remove the tablet and place it in your mouth. Allow the disintegrating tablet to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
Your dose needs may change if you have unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you. This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests.
Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using prednisolone. You should not stop using prednisolone suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose. Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take prednisolone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you take steroid medication. If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using prednisolone. Your doctor will probably want to reduce your dose gradually over several weeks to prevent these side effects.
Do not stop taking prednisolone without talking to your doctor - you will need to reduce the dose gradually. Taking prednisolone for many months or years can have several harmful effects on your body. It can lead to:. If you have to take prednisolone for a long time, there are steps you can take to stay as healthy as possible:.
Taking prednisolone makes you more likely to catch infections such as flu , the common cold and chest infections. Keep away from people with an infectious disease, especially chickenpox or shingles. If you have never had these illnesses they could make you very ill. Tell your doctor straight away if you come into contact with someone who has an infectious disease such as chickenpox or shingles. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a medicine to protect you.
Taking prednisolone lowers your immune system. If you have a "live" vaccine, like the shingles vaccine, while you are taking prednisolone your immune system might not be able to handle it. This may lead to an infection.
Inactive vaccinations, like the flu vaccine, are safe. If you are taking prednisolone for longer than 3 weeks, or you have been prescribed a high dose of more than 40mg daily, your doctor or pharmacist will give you a blue steroid treatment card. The card is the size of a credit card and fits in your wallet or purse. It tells you how you can reduce the risks of side effects. It also gives details of your doctor, how much prednisolone you take and how long the treatment will last for.
If you need any medical or dental treatment, show your blue steroid card to the doctor or dentist so they know that you are taking prednisolone. For most health problems, these steroids are very similar to prednisolone in terms of how well they work and how safe they are.
There's no firm evidence to suggest that taking prednisolone will reduce fertility in either men or women. However, speak to a pharmacist or your doctor before taking it if you're trying to get pregnant. Prednisolone will not affect the contraceptive pill or emergency contraception. It's thought that real liquorice increases the amount of prednisolone in the body and also increases the risk of low potassium. Page last reviewed: 22 January Next review due: 22 January Prednisolone On this page About prednisolone Key facts Who can and can't take prednisolone How and when to take it Side effects How to cope with side effects Pregnancy and breastfeeding Cautions with other medicines Common questions.
About prednisolone Prednisolone is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid or steroid. NHS coronavirus advice As long as you have no symptoms of coronavirus infection, carry on taking your prescribed steroid medicine as usual. Updated: 20 March Take prednisolone once a day in the morning so it doesn't keep you awake. The most common side effects of prednisolone are insomnia, weight gain, indigestion and sweating a lot.
Taking prednisolone can make you more likely to get infections. Tell your doctor if you're exposed to infectious illnesses like chickenpox or shingles. If you take prednisolone for more than 3 weeks, or you're on a high dose, you'll get a blue steroid card. Show this card to your doctor or dentist before any treatment, so they know you're taking prednisolone.
Prednisolone can cause extra side effects if you stop taking it suddenly. Do not stop taking prednisolone if you've been on it for more than 3 weeks or have taken high doses more than 40mg for more than 1 week. It's also called by the brand names Deltacortril, Deltastab, Dilacort and Pevanti. Prednisolone can be taken by adults and children. Prednisolone isn't suitable for some people.
Tell your doctor before starting the medicine if you: have had an allergic reaction to prednisolone or any other medicine have an infection including eye infections are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or you are breastfeeding have recently been in contact with someone with shingles , chickenpox or measles have recently had, or are about to have, any vaccinations Make sure your doctor is aware if you have: had liver problems had mental health problems either you or close family members any unhealed wounds heart failure or have had a recent heart attack high blood pressure diabetes epilepsy glaucoma underactive thyroid osteoporosis thinning bones a stomach ulcer.
It's important to take prednisolone as your doctor has advised. Sometimes, you may be advised to take prednisolone on alternate days only. How much will I take? Will my dose go up or down? Your dose may go up or down. Once your illness starts to get better, it's likely that your dose will go down.
Your dose may go up if your illness gets worse. What if I forget to take it? Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten one. What if I take too much? Taking too many prednisolone tablets by accident is unlikely to harm you. If you're worried, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Common side effects Common side effects happen in more than 1 in people. Keep taking the medicine, but tell your doctor if they bother you or don't go away: weight gain indigestion sleep problems restlessness sweating a lot Serious side effects You are more likely to have a serious side effect if you take a higher dose more than 20mg daily of prednisolone or if you have been taking it for more than a few weeks.
Information: You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme. Stunted growth in children Long periods of prednisolone treatment can slow down the normal growth of children and teenagers. Talk to your doctor about the risks of giving prednisolone to your child if you are concerned. What to do about: weight gain - try to eat well without increasing your portion sizes so you don't gain too much weight.
It may also help if you avoid rich or spicy food while you're taking this medicine. If symptoms carry on, ask your doctor if you may benefit from taking an additional medicine to protect your stomach. If this doesn't help, talk to your doctor as you may be able to try a different medicine. If you take prednisolone in pregnancy, the baby's growth will be checked often. Prednisolone and breastfeeding You can usually take prednisolone while you're breastfeeding. Non-urgent advice: Tell your doctor if you're:.
Mixing prednisolone with herbal remedies or supplements There's very little information about taking herbal remedies and supplements with prednisolone. Important For safety, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements. How does prednisolone work? When will I feel better? This can vary. For some illnesses, you will feel better after a couple of days. Ask your doctor what to expect for your illness. How long will I take prednisolone for?
This depends on your health problem. You may only need a short course of prednisolone for up to a week. You may need to take it for longer - even for many years or the rest of your life. Will I put on weight? How do I come off prednisolone and will I get withdrawal symptoms? Your health condition may flare up again. You may also get extra side effects including: severe tiredness weakness body aches joint pain These side effects are most likely to happen if you have taken prednisolone for more than a few weeks or you take more than 40mg daily.
Important Do not stop taking prednisolone without talking to your doctor - you will need to reduce the dose gradually. Can I take prednisolone for a long time? It can lead to: thinner bones osteoporosis poorly controlled diabetes eyesight problems slower growth in children and teenagers If you have to take prednisolone for a long time, there are steps you can take to stay as healthy as possible: Take regular exercise and make sure you get enough calcium in your diet to help strengthen your bones.
Calcium-rich foods include milk, cheese and leafy greens. To check your bones, your doctor may arrange for you to have an occasional bone scan. If you have diabetes , you may need to check your blood glucose more often.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Use effective birth control. Prednisone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Steroids can affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine. Take prednisone exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Your dosage needs may change if you have any unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice. Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup.
If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. While using this medicine, you may need frequent blood tests at your doctor's office. Your blood pressure may also need to be checked. This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine. Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take prednisone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are using a steroid.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose. An overdose of prednisone is not expected to produce life threatening symptoms. However, long term use of high steroid doses can lead to symptoms such as thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in the shape or location of body fat especially in your face, neck, back, and waist , increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.
Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using a steroid. Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using this medicine. Prednisone may increase your risk of harmful effects from a live vaccine.
Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella MMR , rotavirus, yellow fever, varicella chickenpox , one type of the typhoid vaccine and nasal flu influenza vaccine. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to prednisone: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. Many drugs can interact with prednisone. Prednisone can help lower certain immune-related symptoms, including inflammation and swelling. The body recognizes a transplanted organ as a foreign mass.
These conditions can lead to nephrotic syndrome. As a result, large amounts of protein leaks into the urine. This in turn reduces the amount of protein in your blood, known as proteinuria. Prednisone is used to help lower proteinuria in these disorders. People taking prednisone can also experience higher blood sugar, which is a special concern for those with diabetes. Therefore, some precautions need to be taken. Your healthcare provider will weigh the possible benefits and side effects when giving this and other medications.
Many people have benefitted from prednisone without serious side effects. Talking to your healthcare provider, using your medication as instructed, and taking the necessary precautions, can help you benefit from prednisone while managing side effects. Here are some things you can do to keep yourself healthy:. Skip to main content.
September 23, , pm EDT. What is prednisone? How does it work? What is prednisone used for? What are the side effects of prednisone? However, prednisone also has possible side effects.