Reviewed by Peggy Coryat, RPh, October 9, 2023
Before they begin using prednisolone, patients must find out if this prescription drug is right for their specific condition and can offer reliable relief of their symptoms without compromising their overall well-being. This medication is often used as part of a complex treatment of inflammatory and allergic conditions, as well as several other medical problems, including certain autoimmune and respiratory issues. However, the decision to use it should only be made by a licensed healthcare provider based on their analysis of the patient’s medical history and general state of health.
Prednisolone is in the class of drugs known as corticosteroids. Unlike anabolic steroids, which some athletes use illegally to enhance their performance and gain a competitive edge over opponents, corticosteroids are prescribed as a safe substitute for cortisol hormones naturally produced by the adrenal glands. They are used to reduce inflammation and manage the symptoms of some medical conditions like asthma, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and other inflammatory disorders.
The mechanism of action of prednisolone is quite straightforward: it reduces inflammation in the body by suppressing the immune system’s response to various triggers such as allergens or injuries. Prednisolone works by stopping the release of certain substances that create inflammation.
Important Components and Their Roles in the Action of the Drug
Prednisolone is the name of a generic medication, whose active drug ingredient is also called prednisolone. This key component of the drug is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and suppress the activity of the immune system. It produces a regulatory effect on various biological processes, which makes it effective in the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Depending on its form, the medication can contain a wide array of inactive ingredients that play a supporting role in the drug’s action. They have no therapeutic properties on their own but ensure that the medicine is safe and effective, remains stable over time, is easy for people to administer, disintegrates within the body at the right moment, and achieves the intended action without causing harm and adverse effects.
The inactive components of prednisolone medications can include:
- disodium edetate
- sodium hydrogen phosphate dodecahydrate
- potassium dihydrogen phosphate
- ethanol 96%
- propylene glycol
- lactose monohydrate
- potato starch
- calcium stearate
- soft paraffin
Some patients may be allergic to one or several of these inactive components, so consulting with a doctor is essential to ensure safe and effective use of the medication.
Dosage and Administration: How to Use Generic Prednisolone Correctly
The correct and safe dosage of prednisolone depends on the nature of the condition it is being used for and the patient’s characteristics. Upon in-person consultation and examination, the doctor will provide specific recommendations about the dosage and expected duration of treatment. It is crucial to strictly follow these recommendations to achieve maximum treatment effectiveness and minimize the risk of side effects.
The typical daily oral dosage of prednisolone (in the form of tablets, DR tablets, and solutions) can range from 5mg to 60mg, and, in some cases, higher doses may be recommended based on the patient’s weight and height parameters. The tablets come in strengths ranging from 1mg to 25mg, while the liquid form is available in 1mg or 10mg/1ml strengths.
Unless otherwise instructed by the doctor, patients are advised to take prednisolone as a single dose once a day with their morning meal or a glass of milk to prevent stomach irritation.
What is the Cost of Prednisolone in Canada?
The cost of prednisolone in Canada depends on the form and strength of the drug and the manufacturer that produces it. Generic prednisolone is usually a much more affordable solution than its brand-name counterpart.
Thus, Prednisolone Acetate 1% Suspension 5ml purchased in an Your Canadian pharmacy will only cost patients around $19.73, while the branded drug of the same form and strength can be priced at $35.85. A similar price gap can be seen when comparing the cost of generic Prednisolone Phosphate Oral Solution 1 mg/ml/120 ml ($24.12) and branded Pediapred Oral Solution 5 mg/5 ml/120 ml ($38.16).
A pack of 60 prednisolone 10mg tablets from a generic manufacturer will cost patients under $50, while the same quantity of prednisolone pills 10mg by a brand-name drug maker will be available at $78.93 and above.
Interactions with Other Medicines: What Combinations to Avoid?
Prednisolone is highly effective, but one must be aware of potential interactions with other drugs. Patients should avoid combining prednisolone with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), blood thinners, and live vaccines, as such combinations may increase the risk of side effects.
It is crucial to tell the doctor if the patient is simultaneously using medicines like aldesleukin, mifepristone, or antiplatelet drugs because, when taken together with prednisolone, they can sometimes lead to severe bleeding and bruising. Prednisolone may also interact with quinolone antibiotics in an unsafe way, increasing the risk of tendon inflammation or rupture.
Common Side Effects
Prednisolone is a great drug, which is simply irreplaceable in some cases, but it does have several side effects that vary in severity and frequency. The least dangerous and most common side effects of prednisolone include nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, heartburn, sleep difficulties, heavy perspiration, and acne. These aren’t usually dangerous or persistent.
However, contacting the prescribing physician promptly or seeking urgent medical attention is a must if patients start experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- discomfort or spasms in the muscles
- irregular heartbeat
- excessive fatigue
- swelling in the extremities
- quick and unusual weight increase
- sore throat, fever, or other signs of infection
- blurred vision
- GI bleeding symptoms
- noticeable emotional or psychological changes
- slow wound recovery
- thinning skin and easy bruising or bleeding
- skeletal pain
- menstrual cycle changes
- extreme facial puffiness
Prednisolone also may make the person’s diabetes symptoms more pronounced by seriously affecting sugar levels. Increased thirst or frequent urination in diabetic patients taking prednisolone should be a reason to inform the doctor and seek advice on how to manage these side effects safely and effectively.
USAGE GUIDELINES FOR THIS INFORMATION
Please keep in mind that this is not the full description of the product, so some of the minor details could have been left out. Even though we try to provide you with accurate information, we cannot guarantee that this product will be suitable for you. Under no circumstances should this information be used instead of professional medical consultation. Speaking to your doctor is vital for getting an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.