Prednisolone is used in a wide range of inflammatory and auto-immune conditions.
Why have I been prescribed Prednisolone?
Prednisolone is used in a wide range of inflammatory and auto-immune conditions including:
- allergies, including severe allergic reactions
- inflammation affecting the: lungs, including asthma
- blood vessels and heart
- bowel or kidneys
- muscles and joints, including rheumatoid arthritis
- eye or nervous system
- skin conditions
- some infections
- some cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma
- to prevent organ rejection after a transplant.
- to boost steroid levels when the body is not making enough natural steroid on its own.
- to treat high calcium levels.
How does it work?
- Prednisolone belongs to a group of medicines called steroids. Their full name is corticosteroids.
- These corticosteroids occur naturally in the body, and help to maintain health and well-being.
- Boosting your body with extra corticosteroid (such as Prednisolone) is an effective way to treat various illnesses involving inflammation in the body.
- Prednisolone reduces this inflammation, which could otherwise go on making your condition worse.
When and how do I take it?
- Prednisolone should be swallowed with water, usually in the morning.
- You can take Prednisolone before or after a meal.
What’s the dose?
- Different illnesses require different doses of Prednisolone. Depending on your illness your daily dose may be between 5 and 60 mg. In some cases you may be instructed to take it every other day. Your doctor will decide when and how to treat you with Prednisolone.
- Once your condition starts to get better, your doctor may change your dosage to a lower one. Your doctor may also reduce your dosage before stopping treatment completely. This may depend on your illness, your dosage and how long you have been taking this medicine. In all cases you should be careful to follow any changes.
Could it interact with other tablets?
Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.
The following medicines may interact with Prednisolone:
The following types of medicine may interact with Prednisolone:
- cardiac glycosides
- liver enzyme inducers
- liver enzyme inhibitors
- ulcerogenic drugs
If you are taking Prednisolone and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.
Herbal products should also only be taken after talking with your doctor.
What are the possible risks or side-effects?
Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.
The frequency of these side-effects is unknown:
- hiding symptoms of infection
- eye or eyesight problems
- reduced growth
- thinning of the skin
- metabolic problems
- raised blood pressure
- blood or bleeding problems
- hypersensitivity reactions such as anaphylaxis
- general feeling of being unwell
- heart problems
- stomach problems
- weight gain
- appetite gain
- muscle problems
- bone problems
- bone fractures
- water retention
- tendon rupture
- muscle pain or tenderness
- healing problems
- skin problems
- may affect the results for certain tests
- skin rash or rashes
- irregular menstrual periods
- raised intracranial pressure in children
- worsening of schizophrenia
- worsening of epilepsy
- prednisolone dependence
- reactivation of tuberculosis
- sleeping problems
- feeling dizzy
- personality changes
- adrenal problems
- mood swings
- gastrointestinal problems such as peptic or oesophageal ulcers
- increased risk of getting infections which may become severe - some of these such as chickenpox may be fatal
- abnormal laboratory test results
- increased blood sugar levels
- worsening of eye infections
- worsening or reactivation of infections
- cushingoid facies
- decreased carbohydrate tolerance - this may lead to an increased requirement for anti-diabetic therapy
- feeling anxious
- behavioural changes
- memory problems
- psychotic-like behaviour such as mania, delusions, hallucinations and worsening of schizophrenia
- psychiatric problems - seek immediate medical advice if symptoms such as feeling irritable, euphoria, depressed and labile mood or thoughts of committing suicide occur
- withdrawal symptoms can occur when this medicine is stopped. These include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, headache, shedding of the skin, fever, muscle pain, joint pain, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, weight loss or painful, itchy skin. If the dose of Prednisolone is reduced too rapidly serious problems can occur including adrenal problems, lowered blood pressure or death
- urinary problems
- hair overgrowth
Can I drink alcohol while taking it?
- There are no known interactions between alcohol and Prednisolone.
- Always ask you doctor or pharmacist however as other medications you are taking may have a bearing on this.
What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?
You should only take this medicine during pregnancy or while breast feeding if your doctor thinks that you need it.
If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.
Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.