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Prednisolone: ​​what is it for, side effects and how to take

Prednisolone is a steroidal anti-inflammatory, indicated for the treatment of problems such as rheumatism, hormonal changes, collagenoses, allergies and skin and eye problems, generalized swelling, blood disorders and problems, respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological problems and infections. In addition, this remedy can also be used to treat cancer.

This medicine is available in the form of tablets, oral suspension or drops and can be purchased in pharmacies for a price of about 5 to 25 reais, depending on the pharmaceutical form and size of the package, requiring the presentation of a prescription.


What is it for Prednisolone

Prednisolone is a drug that acts as an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant, being indicated for the treatment of diseases in which inflammatory and autoimmune processes occur, treatment of endocrine problems and associated with other drugs for the treatment of cancer. Thus, prednisolone is indicated in the following cases:

  • Endocrine disorders , such as adrenocortical insufficiency, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, non-suppurative thyroid and hypercalcemia associated with cancer;
  • Rheumatism , such as psoriatic or rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis, nonspecific acute tenosynovitis, acute gouty arthritis, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, osteoarthritic synovitis and epicondylitis;
  • Collagenoses , in particular cases of systemic lupus erythematosus and acute rheumatic carditis;
  • Skin diseases , such as pemphigus, some dermatitis, mycosis and severe psoriasis;
  • Allergies , such as allergic rhinitis, contact and atopic dermatitis, serum diseases and hypersensitivity reactions to drugs;
  • Ophthalmic diseases , such as marginal allergic corneal ulcers, ophthalmic herpes zoster, anterior segment inflammation, choroiditis and diffuse posterior uveitis, sympathetic ophthalmia, allergic conjunctivitis, keratitis, chorioretinitis, optic neuritis, iritis and iridocyclitis;
  • Respiratory diseases , such as symptomatic sarcoidosis, Löefler syndrome, berylliosis, some cases of tuberculosis, aspiration pneumonitis and bronchial asthma;
  • Blood disorders , such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and secondary thrombocytopenia in adults, acquired hemolytic anemia, erythrocytic anemia and erythroid anemia;
  • Cancer , in the palliative treatment of leukemias and lymphomas.

In addition, prednisolone can also be used to treat acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, to reduce swelling in cases of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome and lupus erythematosus and to maintain the patient who has suffered from ulcerative colitis or regional enteritis. 

How to take Prednisolone

The prednisolone dosage varies a lot according to weight, age, disease to be treated and pharmaceutical form and must always be determined by the doctor. 

1. 5 or 20 mg tablets

  • Adults : the starting dose varies from 5 to 60 mg per day, equivalent to 1 5 mg tablet or 3 20 mg tablets. 
  • Children : the starting dose varies from 5 to 20 mg per day, equivalent to 1 5 mg tablet or 1 20 mg tablet. 

The dosage should be reduced gradually when the drug is administered for more than a few days. The tablets should be swallowed whole, together with a glass of water, without breaking or chewing. 

2. 3 mg / mL or 1 mg / mL syrup

  • Adults : the recommended dose ranges from 5 to 60 mg per day;
  • Babies and Children : the recommended dose varies from 0.14 to 2 mg for each 1 kg of the child’s weight per day, divided into 3 to 4 daily administrations;

The volume to be measured depends on the concentration of the oral solution, as there are two different presentations. The dosage should be reduced gradually when the drug is administered for more than a few days. 

3. 11 mg / mL drop solution

  • Adults : the recommended dose ranges from 5 to 60 mg per day, equivalent to 9 drops or 109 drops per day.
  • Children : the recommended dose varies from 0.14 to 2 mg for each 1 kg of the child’s weight, administered 1 to 4 times a day.

Each drop is equivalent to 0.55 mg of prednisolone. The dosage should be reduced gradually when the drug is administered for more than a few days. 

The recommended dose and duration of treatment with Prednisolone should be indicated by the doctor, as these depend on the problem to be treated, age and the individual response of the patient to treatment.

prednisolone Side effects 

The most common side effects that can occur during treatment with prednisolone are increased appetite, poor digestion, peptic ulcer, pancreatitis and ulcerative esophagitis, nervousness, fatigue and insomnia.

In addition, allergic reactions, eye disorders, such as cataracts, glaucoma, exophthalmos and intensification of secondary infections by eye fungi or viruses, reduced tolerance to carbohydrates, a manifestation of latent diabetes mellitus and increased need for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents may occur. in diabetics.

Treatment with high doses of contortionists can induce a marked increase in blood triglycerides.


Prednisolone is contraindicated for people with systemic fungal infections or uncontrolled infections and for patients with allergies to prednisolone or any of the components of the formula.

In addition, this medicine should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, unless recommended by the doctor.

What is the difference between prednisolone and prednisone?

Prednisone is a prodrug of prednisolone, that is, prednisone is an inactive substance, which in order to become active needs to be transformed in the liver into prednisolone, to exert its action.

Thus, if the person ingests prednisone or prednisolone, the action exerted by the drug will be the same, since prednisone is transformed and activated, in the liver, into prednisolone. For this reason, prednisolone has more advantages for people with liver problems, as it does not need to be transformed in the liver to exercise activity in the body.

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