Prednisone and prednisolone

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Prednisone is also known as Apo-prednisone®, Novo (Teva)-prednisone®. Prednisolone is also known as Pediapred®, Apo-prednisone®.

What are prednisone and prednisolone?

Prednisone and prednisolone are medications called corticosteroids. They work by preventing your body from rejecting your new organ and are called immunosuppressants or anti-rejection medications.

Not only can these drugs prevent rejection, but they are also used in higher doses (through your vein) to treat you if your body has already started rejecting your new organ.

What prednisone and prednisolone look like

Prednisone and prednisolone can come in a tablet or a liquid.

Many drug companies produce prednisone tablets. Here is a photo of one brand of prednisone tablet, Apo-prednisone®.

Note: This photo is a close-up of the tablet; it is not to scale.

Several companies produce also prednisolone liquid.

How to take prednisone and prednisolone

  • Wash your hands before and after handling prednisone or prednisolone.
  • Take prednisone or prednisolone at the same time every day.
  • If your dose is just once a day, take it in the morning.
  • Take prednisone or prednisolone with food. This will help reduce stomach upset.
  • Follow a careful diet to minimize side effects and get the most out of your medication.

Possible side effects of prednisone or prednisolone

If you are taking a high dose of prednisone or prednisolone

  • Nausea (upset stomach), vomiting (throwing up)
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar (some teens develop diabetes)
  • Bigger appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Edema (swelling or puffiness)
  • Mood swings, irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mild headache
  • Acne
  • Slow wound healing
  • Stretch marks

If you are taking prednisone or prednisolone over a long period

  • Weaker bones
  • Slowed growth (height)
  • Cataracts (cloudiness over the eye(s))

How to store prednisone or prednisolone

  • Keep it out of reach of any small children.
  • Never store it in the bathroom or near heat sources in the kitchen.

Prednisone tablets

  • Store prednisone tablets in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Prednisone suspension (5 mg/mL liquid)

  • Keep prednisone suspension in the refrigerator. Never store it in the freezer.
  • The prednisone suspension is stable only for a certain amount of time. Check the label for the expiry date.

Prednisolone suspension (1 mg/mL liquid)

  • Keep prednisolone liquid at room temperature in a cool dry place away from sunlight.
  • Never store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Last updated: November 30th 2017