Prednisone vs Prednisolone - What's the difference?
Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Aug 26, 2019.
- In people with severe liver disease, prednisolone is usually preferred.
- Prednisone is known as a prodrug which is defined as a biologically inactive compound that is metabolized in the body to produce a drug. In this case, prednisone is metabolized by 11-β-HSD liver enzymes to prednisolone.
- Price-wise, prednisone is usually cheaper than prednisolone.
- Brand names for prednisone include Rayos, and for prednisolone, Millipred.
Both prednisone and prednisolone are man-made glucocorticoids. They are used to treat similar conditions and are generally considered equally effective. Other similarities include:
- Similar indications. For example, both prednisone and prednisolone may be used to treat allergies, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, lung conditions, or skin problems
- The same side effects, including acne, stomach irritation, weight gain, insomnia, fluid retention, facial hair growth, mood changes, high blood pressure, and, if taken for long periods of time, bone loss, osteoporosis, skin thinning, and a withdrawal syndrome on discontinuation if not tapered slowly enough. Both prednisone and prednisolone may suppress growth and development in children
- Dosing schedules for prednisone and prednisolone are usually similar and range from 5mg to 60mg per day
- The same interactions. Common interactions include NSAIDs, anti-infectives (such as ciprofloxacin, some HIV medicines), immune suppressants, diuretics ("water” pills), and anticoagulants (blood thinners), and others
- If you are taking either prednisone or prednisolone long-term it is a good idea to wear a medical alert tag or carry a Steroid Card.
Related Medical Questions
- Prednisone - if my prescription says take 6 pills on the first day do I take all 6 at once?
- How long does prednisone stay in your system?
- Methylprednisolone vs Prednisone - What's the difference between them?
- How long does it take prednisone to get out of your system?
- I just took 800 mg ibuprofen and 30 mg of prednisone. Is that going to be ok?
- What are the side effects of steroids?
- Is it safe to take ibuprofen right after taking prednisone?
- Why is prednisone prescribed with Zytiga?
- Is sunburn a side effect of prednisone? Should I avoid being in the sun while taking prednisone?
- Can you take Symbicort and prednisone together?
- Can you take Xanax if you are on prednisone?
- Are there any drug interactions between prednisone and Viagra?
- Is prednisone a steroid drug?
Related Support Groups
- Prednisone (286 questions, 987 members)
- Prednisolone (17 questions, 96 members)
- Fibromyalgia (262 questions, 2733 members)
- Allergic Reactions (161 questions, 427 members)
- Skin Rash (111 questions, 430 members)
- Asthma (88 questions, 439 members)
- Multiple Sclerosis (64 questions, 519 members)
- Inflammatory Conditions (57 questions, 121 members)
- Eczema (35 questions, 120 members)
- Dermatitis (23 questions, 56 members)
- Allergic Rhinitis (28 questions, 85 members)
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica (23 questions, 219 members)
- Immunosuppression (10 questions, 43 members)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (9 questions, 52 members)
- Asthma - Acute (5 questions, 38 members)
- Crohn's Disease - Acute (2 questions, 60 members)