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Prednisolone (Tablet)

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Corticosteroid

Prednisolone (Tablet) - What is it for

​​Prednisolone is a cortico-steroid, similar to a hormone produced within your body by your adrenal glands. It reduces the activity of the body's immune system, resulting in decreased inflammation. It is used to treat various conditions such as allergic eye disorders, severe cornea transplant rejection, and excessive inflammation involving the eye and orbit, such as uveitis, scleritis, optic neuritis and thyroid eye disease.

Prednisolone (Tablet) - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Prednisolone (Tablet) cause?

  • ​Increased risk of unusual infection
  • Slow wound healing
  • Reactivation of old viral disease such as herpes
  • Poorer diabetic and blood pressure control
  • Salt level disturbance in the blood
  • Gastritis / gastric ulcers
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Water retention leading to swelling of legs and body
  • Depression, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, restlessness
  • Irregular menstrual periods​
If high dose steroids are required over a prolonged period of time, you may develop:
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Cataracts and glaucoma
  • Reduced immunity to unusual infections
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure
  • Thinning of skin / easy bruising
  • Increased hair growth / excessive acne
  • Growth suppression in children

Before taking Prednisolone (Tablet), what precautions must I follow?

​Before taking Prednisolone, tell your doctor if you

  • Are allergic to any drug
  • Are taking any other medications or over-the-counter medications
  • Have liver, kidney or heart disease
  • Have history of gastritis, gastric ulcers, or other intestinal problems
  • Have diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, thyroid disease or myasthenia gravis
  • Have Hepatitis B or C (including carrier state)
  • Have any type of infection such as tuberculosis (TB) or fungus
  • Have a history of herpes virus eye infection
  • Have a history of osteoporosis or unusual fractures
  • Have depression or any psychiatric problems
  • Are pregnant or breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant
Other precautions:
  • In order to maximize your safety and the effectiveness of treatment, you must adhere to your specified appointments for close monitoring and treatment adjustment. Regular monitoring of blood pressure, blood sugar and salt levels are important
  • Do NOT adjust or stop your treatment on your own without your doctor's supervision as this may worsen your condition or cause harmful side effects.
  • If you have diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure, it is highly recommended for you to monitor your control closely if you have your own glucometer or automated blood pressure monitoring devices.
  • Your resistance to infections may be reduced during treatment. You should avoid excessive crowds or reduce your chance of acquiring infections such as chicken pox, measles or tuberculosis (TB) from others. You must consult a doctor if you feel unwell or are exposed to people with chicken pox, measles or tuberculosis (TB).
  • Inform your doctor ​about your treatment before​ any immunisation, vaccination or skin tests. You should not receive live vaccines while on high dose treatment.
  • Avoid alcohol while you are taking Prednisolone to avoid gastric ulcers.
  • If you have taken high dose Prednisolone for a prolonged period of time, you may require supplementary ​steroids during periods of stress (e.g severe injuries, infections, asthma attacks, after a major surgery). Do carry an identification card (eg, Medic-Awas card) which indicate your need to any potential emergency medical personnel.
  • Use of high dose steroids during pregnancy may result in low birth weight of fetal abnormality. Steroids can also be secreted into breast milk. Please discuss with your doctor if you intend to breast-feed.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Prednisolone (Tablet)?

Prednisolone (Tablet) - Dosage and How to Use

How should Prednisolone (Tablet) be used?

​​It is taken orally as tablet. A high dose is used for the initial therapy or during periods when the condition worsens to suppress the inflammation quickly. The dosage is then tailed down gradually to the minimal dose needed to control the disease. The duration of treatment will depend on how your body responds to the treatment.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​It is very important to avoid missing doses of Prednisolone.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Prednisolone (Tablet) - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Prednisolone (Tablet) safely?

How should I store Prednisolone (Tablet)?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Prednisolone (Tablet) safely?

Prednisolone (Tablet) - Additional Information

Seek medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Unusual fever / chills
  • Excessive stomach pain, nausea or vomiting​
  • Bloody or unusually dark stools
  • Eye pain, redness or reduced vision
  • Unexplained headache, hearing ringing sounds
  • Unusual shortness of breath, chest pain, irregular heartbeat or coughing blood
  • Confusion, depression, having suicidal thoughts or behaviour
  • Having seizure (convulsion)
  • Unusual rash, skin sores, prolonged ulcers, or having poor wound healing
  • Hypersensitivity or allergic reactions like rash, hives, itch, swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

You should consume a low-salt, high potassium and protein diet. Prednisolone can be taken with other anti-inflammatory medication such as NSAIDs (eg. Aspirin, Diclofenac, Ibuprofen) but you should inform your doctor. Concurrent use of traditional medication such as Chinese medicine is discouraged as these may contain additional unpredictable levels of steroids, making it difficult to monitor your disease control and associated side-effects.

  • Updated on
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department Singapore National Eye Centre

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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