Prednisolone (By mouth)

Introduction

Prednisolone (pred-NIS-oh-lone)

Treats inflammation, arthritis, asthma, allergies, and many other medical problems. Also treats flare-ups of ongoing illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. May be used for some symptoms of cancer. This medicine is a corticosteroid (steroid).

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Orapred, Orapred ODT, Prelone, Cotolone, Millipred DP, Millipred, Veripred 20, Pediapred

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to prednisolone. Do not use this medicine if you have any kind of fungus infection.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet, Dissolving Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • If you are using the disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not open the blister pack that contains the tablet until you are ready to take it. Remove the tablet from the blister pack by peeling the foil, then taking the tablet out. Place the tablet on your tongue. You may swallow the tablet whole or allow it to melt in your mouth. You may take the tablet with or without a liquid. Do not cut, split, or break the tablet.
  • Some people take this medicine only every other day, which helps to decrease side effects. If you are told to take your medicine every other day, you might have some mild symptoms of your illness on the day you do not take the medicine (the "off" day). If this is a problem for you, tell your doctor.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you take this medicine one or more times every day, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • If you take this medicine only every other day and you remember that morning, take the missed dose that same morning. If you remember the missed dose later in the day, skip the missed dose and take your dose the next morning. Then go back to your regular schedule. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. You might need to store the oral liquid in the refrigerator. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure how to store the medicine. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin®), ephedrine (including diet pills), rifampin (Rifadin®), cyclosporine (Sandimmune®, Neoral®), amphotericin B (Fungizone®), digoxin (Lanoxin®, Digitek®), estrogen (including birth control pills), or ketoconazole (Nizoral®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®), pain or arthritis medicine (NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil®, Aleve®, Motrin®), a diuretic ("water pill") such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), medicine for diabetes (such as insulin, glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Glucotrol®), or medicine for myasthenia gravis (such as pyridostigmine, Mestinon®, Regonol®).
  • Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have thyroid problems, liver disease, kidney disease, myasthenia gravis, tuberculosis, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure (CHF), glaucoma, cataracts, or an eye infection (especially herpes simplex). Tell your doctor about your health history, especially if you have ever had malaria or mental or emotional problems.
  • Make sure your doctor knows about any digestion problems you have, such as an ulcer, colitis, diverticulitis, Strongyloides (threadworm) infection, or recent surgery. Tell your doctor if you have recently spent time in a tropical climate, especially if you have also had diarrhea or a history of amebiasis.
  • This medicine might cause bone problems, such as osteoporosis (thinning bones). Tell your doctor if you have any bone pain or problems, or if you have an increased risk for osteoporosis. If your child is using this medicine, tell the doctor if you think your child is not growing properly.
  • Avoid people who are sick or have infections, because you may get sick more easily. If you are exposed to chickenpox or measles, tell your doctor right away. If you start to have a fever, chills, sore throat, or any other sign of an infection, call your doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any extra stress or anxiety in your life, including other health concerns and emotional stress. Your dose of this medicine might need to be changed for a short time.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect results of certain skin tests.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Bone pain.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, or sore throat.
  • Headache, trouble seeing, or eye pain or swelling.
  • Muscle weakness, cramps, pain, or aches.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf).
  • Pink, red, or purple spots on your skin.
  • Rapid weight gain.
  • Seizures.
  • Severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or red or black stools.
  • Shortness of breath, cold sweats, and bluish-colored skin.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in your menstrual periods (in women).
  • Gaining weight around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Increased hair growth.
  • Increased sweating.
  • Mood changes or trouble sleeping.
  • Unusually full or round face.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
Adam Data Copyright The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only--they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

For information 410.787.4000

© 2013 UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center.  All rights reserved.

301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie, MD 21061 | 410-787-4000 | TTY 410-787-4498