Prednisolone (By mouth)

Introduction

Prednisolone (pred-NIS-oh-lone)

Treats inflammation (swelling), allergies, arthritis, asthma, skin conditions, kidney problems, 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)

Orapred, Orapred ODT, Prelone, Cotolone, Millipred DP, Millipred, Flo-Pred, Veripred 20, Pediapred

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to prednisolone, or if you are pregnant.

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.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

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 aminoglutethimide (Cytadren®), amphotericin B (Fungizone®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®), cholestyramine (Questran®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), ephedrine (including diet pills), isoniazid (Nydrazid®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), pancuronium (Pavulon®), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), certain antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, Biaxin®, Ery-tab®, or Zithromax®), or estrogen (including birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), pain or arthritis medicine, sometimes called NSAIDs, (such as aspirin, celecoxib, ibuprofen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, or Motrin®), a diuretic or "water pill" (such as hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], spironolactone, triamterene Aldactone®, or Dyazide®), insulin or diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Amaryl®, Avandia®, Glucotrol®, or Glucovance®), or medicine for myasthenia gravis (such as pyridostigmine, Mestinon®, or 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

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, adrenal problems (such as Cushing's syndrome), diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, osteoporosis (thin bones), a herpes simplex eye infection, myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness), a history of tuberculosis, or any other type of infection. Tell your doctor if you have ever had mental or emotional problems (such as depression or personality changes) or digestion problems, such as ulcers, colitis, or diverticulitis.
  • Using too much of this medicine or using it for a long time may increase your risk of having adrenal gland problems. Talk to your doctor right away if you or your child have more than one of these symptoms while you are using this medicine: blurred vision; dizziness or fainting; a fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat; increased thirst or urination; irritability; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • This medicine may cause you or your child to get more infections than usual. Avoid people who are sick or have infections and wash your hands often. If you or your child 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.
  • This medicine might cause thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) or slow growth in children if used for a long time. Tell your doctor if you have any bone pain 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.
  • If you are using this medicine for a long time, tell your doctor about 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 while you have extra stress.
  • Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you or your child to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
  • This medicine may cause changes in mood or behavior for some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you have depression, mood swings, a false or unusual sense of well-being, trouble with sleeping, or personality changes while taking this medicine.
  • 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.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Blood or urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

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

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bone pain.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • 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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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