Prednisolone is used to relieve inflammation and treat a wide variety of diseases such as severe skin allergy, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation of fingers, wrist, feet, and ankles), lupus (an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation), inflammatory bowel diseases (e.g. ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease), and inflammatory skin diseases.
This medicine may also suppress or reduce the strength of the body's immune system.
Prednisolone may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Prednisolone exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take this medicine with food or a glass of milk to decrease stomach discomfort. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Prednisolone is available as a conventional tablet, orodispersible tablet, soluble tablet, gastro-resistant tablet, or oral solution or syrup.
If you are taking the conventional or gastro-resistant tablet, swallow it whole with a glass of water.
If you are taking the orodispersible tablet:
- Remove it from the foil only just before you take it. Do not leave the orodispersible tablet exposed to air. Do not push the orodispersible tablet through the foil as it is fragile and easily broken.
- Remove the orodispersible tablet with dry hands by peeling the backing off the foil and tipping the tablet onto your dry hands.
- Place the orodispersible tablet directly on your tongue as soon as it is taken out of the foil. The orodispersible tablet will immediately start to melt on the tongue. It can then be swallowed with or without water.
Do not cut, break or crush the orodispersible tablets.
If you are taking the soluble tablet, dissolve it in a glass of water or you may swallow the tablet whole.
If you are taking an oral solution or syrup, use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type of your disease and response to the medication.
Prednisolone must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it suddenly as this may worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have an infection that is not being treated, as Prednisolone may not be suitable for you.
Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated.
You must avoid any vaccinations without consulting with your doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- existing or family or personal history of severe mood disorder
- history of a lung infection known as tuberculosis (TB) or have an existing TB infection but the bacteria in the body are inactive and cause no symptoms
- known or suspected bowel infection caused by a certain type of roundworm
- existing or family history of diabetes
- stomach or bowel disease e.g. ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestines), stomach ulcer
- eye problems e.g. existing or family history of glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye), cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye), history of viral infection in the eye
- heart problems e.g. high blood pressure, recent heart attack, heart failure (weakness and inability of the heart to pump blood)
- osteoporosis (brittle or weak bones) or at risk of having osteoporosis e.g. women who had gone through menopause for more than a year
- existing or history of epilepsy (fits or seizures)
- systemic sclerosis (a rare autoimmune disease characterised by hardening and tightening of the skin)
- Cushing's disease (high levels of the hormone cortisol in the body)
- muscle problems e.g. myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder), muscle weakness after taking a steroid drug, Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (a genetic disorder characterised by progressive weakness and loss of skeletal and heart muscle)
- blood clotting problems
- thyroid disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Prednisolone to a child or the elderly. Children or elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Avoid exposure to anyone who is infected with chicken pox, shingles, or measles. If you are exposed to these infections, contact your doctor immediately.
If you are going for certain laboratory tests (e.g. nitroblue tetrazolium test for bacterial infection), inform your doctor that you are taking Prednisolone.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. blood test, sugar or electrolyte levels, kidney function, eye examination) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
- Your blood pressure may rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure during treatment.
- Your doctor may need to check the height of your child regularly.
- Regular monitoring of signs and symptoms of infection and changes in vision may also be needed.
Prednisolone may cause any of the following side effects: headache, dizziness with or without sensations of spinning, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, diarrhoea, hiccups, changes in menstruation, and increased sweating.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- severe stomach pain, dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, tiredness, not feeling hunger, weight loss
- decreased amount of urine passed
- weight gain in the upper back or belly, moon face, slow healing
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour), difficulty sleeping
- pass out bloody or black as tar stools and vomiting blood or ground coffee-like material
- bone or joint pain
- changes in eyesight
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Avoid live vaccinations during treatment with this medicine. Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated or if you are planning to get vaccinated.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any of these medicines:
- medicines for fits or seizures e.g. phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone
- medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin
- NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. indometacin, aspirin
- blood thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- asthma medicines e.g. salbutamol, salmeterol, terbutaline, theophylline
- medicines to treat TB e.g. rifampicin, isoniazid
- water pills or medicines for water retention e.g. hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole, amphotericin B
- ciclosporin (medicine used in organ transplants or certain immune disorders)
- muscle relaxants used during surgery e.g. pancuronium
- birth control pills
- medicines that neutralise stomach acid e.g. magnesium trisilicate, aluminium hydroxide
- erythromycin (an antibiotic)
- cobicistat (medicine for HIV infection)
- mifepristone (medicine to lower blood sugar in patients with Cushing's syndrome [a condition in which the adrenal glands overproduce certain hormones such as cortisol])
- somatropin (a growth hormone used to treat growth disturbance, failure, or deficiency due to certain conditions)
- medicines to treat overactive thyroid gland e.g. carbimazole, thiamazole
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Prednisolone.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol intake may worsen the stomach irritation caused by Prednisolone.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Protect the oral syrup from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.