What is it?

Prednisone is a corticosteroid. It is used to reduce swelling, redness, itching, and allergic reactions and can be used to treat severe allergies, skin problems, asthma, arthritis and other conditions.

FDA approved:

September 1955

Brand Names and International Availability:

Apo-Prednisone (Canada, Malaysia, New-Zealand); Adasone; Cartancyl; Colisone; Cordrol (US); Cortan (US); Cortancyl (France); Dacortin; Dacorten (Spain); Decortin (Bulgaria, Germany); Decortisyl (England, Ireland, Philippines); Delcortin (Denmark); Dellacort; Dellacort A (Indonesia); Delta-Dome (US); Deltacortene (Italy); Deltacortone (Japan); Deltasone (US); Deltison (Sweden); Deltisona (Argentina); Di-Adreson (Japan); DiAdreson; Econosone; Encorton (Poland); Fernisone (US); Hostacortin (Indonesia); Liquid Pred (US); Me-Korti (Finland); Meticorten (US); Nisona (Peru); Novoprednisone (Canada); Orasone (US); Origen Prednisone (New-Zealand); Panafcort (Australia, South-Africa); Panasol (US); Paracort; Parmenison; Pehacort (Indonesia); Predeltin (South-Africa); Prednicen-M (US); Prednicorm (Germany); Prednicort (Belgium); Prednicot (US); Prednidib (Mexico); Predniment; Prednitone (Israel); Rectodelt; Sone (Australia); Sterapred (US); Ultracorten (Germany); Winpred (Canada 

How does it work?

Prednisone is a synthetic glucocorticoid used for its potent anti-inflammatory effects in disorders of many organ systems. Glucocorticoids cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, they change the body’s immune responses to many stimuli.


The initial dosage of prednisone tablets may vary from 5 mg to 60 mg of prednisone per day depending on severity of the condition being treated. Prednisone should be used at the lowest effective dose, for the shortest possible time.

How should I take it?

Prednsione should be taken with food or milk.


Live vaccines should be avoided in those on prednisone. 

Prednisone should be avoided in those with a history of peptic ulcer or GI bleeding. 

Prednisone may increase depression and emotional instabilty and should be used with considerable caution in patients with these conditions.

Prednisone should be used in pregnancy only when the benefits outweigh the potential risks.

Prednisone should be used with caution in those with a history of high blood pressure and/or fluid retention.

Drug Interactions:

Prednisone can increase the effect of anti-coagulants.

Because of the potent nature of this medicine, be sure to tell your doctor about any other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines and vitamins.

Possible side effects:

These side effects are not considered serious but are certainly annoying for those experiencing them. The most frequently reported side effects include diarrhea or constipation, headache, increased or decreased appetite, nervousness, restlessness, or difficulty sleeping, upset stomach, unusual increased growth of hair on the face or body, menstrual problems, thin skin, easy bruising, “moon” face, and weight gain.

More serious side effects that you should report right away include bloody or black, tarry stools, eye pain, decreased or blurred vision, or bulging eyes, fever, sore throat, sneezing, cough, or other signs of infection, wounds that will not heal, increased thirst, irregular heartbeat, mental depression, mood swings, mistaken feelings of self-importance or of being mistreated, and swelling of feet or lower legs. 

Signs of a possible allergic reaction are rash, swelling and difficulty breathing. These symptoms should be reported immediately. 

Prednisone can cause glaucoma and cataracts, please let your eye doctor know you are taking it. 

Prednisone can increase blood sugar levels. 

Precautions & Special Notes:

Prednisone can mask the signs and symptoms of infection. Report any sign of infection immediately.

Let all of health care providers know you are taking prednisone. 

Prednisone suppresses the immune system. Avoid exposure to illnesses and viruses when possible.

You will be required to have frequent blood work while on this medication. It is very important that you keep all lab and doctor’s appointments.

If you get black, tarry stools or vomit up what looks like coffee grounds, call your doctor at once. You may have a bleeding ulcer.

For more information:

RxList Prednisone
MedicineNet Prednisone
Pharm Info Net Prednisone

Mosby’s GenRx®, 10th ed. Copyright © 2000 Mosby, Inc.
Complete Guide to Prescription and Nonprescription Drugs, H. Winter Griffith, M.D. , Copyright © 1997