Prednisolone

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Prednisolone belongs to a class of medicines called corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are hormones that are found naturally in your body and help to keep you healthy and well. Prednisolone can help reduce inflammation and reduce symptoms of swelling, redness and itchiness.

Prednisolone can also be used to treat conditions such as:
  • Asthma
  • Allergic conditions
  • Skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis (a skin disease that causes red itchy scaly patches) and bullous pemphigoid (a condition where the skin develops large itchy blisters that are filled with fluid)
  • Different diseases affecting the immune system such as Lupus
  • Joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis (an immune condition causing joint pain and joint damage) and gout
  • Nephrotic syndrome, a condition where the kidney releases too much protein into the urine

This medication may also be given as a replacement if the body does not produce enough corticosteroid hormones.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional. You may need to slowly reduce the dose taken before stopping the medication completely.
  • Take this medication with or after food to prevent stomach upset.
  • Do not take more medication than prescribed as this may increase your risk of experiencing side effects.


What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose. 


What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding 
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies. 
  • You have any of the following conditions
    • Tuberculosis or other infections
    • Stomach ulcer
    • Severe depression
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Kidney, liver, heart or thyroid problems
    • Osteoporosis where you have thin or brittle bones
    • Any form of cancer
    • Glaucoma (a type of eye condition linked to increased pressure in the eye)
  • You are planning to receive any vaccinations
  • You are going for surgery or skin tests
You may get infections more easily while being treated with this medication. Avoid crowded places or being near people who are sick. Avoid close contact with people who have chicken pox, shingles or measles. See a doctor if you develop fever, sore throat or other signs of infection.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Upset stomach, nausea or vomiting 
    • Take this medication after food to reduce chances of an upset stomach.
  • Unable to sleep or feeling restless
    • Do not take this medication at night, try to take it earlier in the day or afternoon.
  • Water retention, increase in weight 
  • Muscle weakness or cramps (with long term use)
  • Easy bruising

Inform the doctor if any of the above side effects lasts for more than a few days or if they become severe.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Other rare but serious effects that may occur include: 
  • Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores or wounds that will not heal
  • Signs of high blood sugar, such as confusion, feeling very tired, increased thirst, increased hunger, passing urine more often, flushing or fast breathing 
  • Very bad stomach pain
  • Swelling, warmth, numbness, changes in colour or pain affecting the legs or arms
  • Changes in vision 
  • Bone pain or fractures 
  • Sudden mood changes like feeling depressed, anxious, fluctuating feelings
  • Abnormal bruising or bleeding, including black tarry or bloody stools or vomiting 
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Avoid taking alcohol with this medication to reduce the chance of an upset stomach.
If your doctor has put you on a low salt diet, follow this dietary instruction strictly. This is usually done to prevent excessive water retention.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 


How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.


Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Apr 2021




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Prednisolone

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