What does it do?

Prednisone is a steroid medicine used to treat and prevent some conditions that cause inflammation. It is also used to replace your body's own steroids if you cannot make enough.

Before you start

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, osteoporosis (weak bones), a mood disorder, or if you have ever had a seizure.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

How should you take it?

Take prednisone regularly as directed, usually in the morning. Take with food and a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with prednisone including:

  • anti-inflammatories, such as diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren®), ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen®), or aspirin (e.g. Disprin®, in doses used for pain relief). These can also be found in some cold and flu medicines (e.g. Nurofen Cold and Flu®).

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Changes in vision

Peeing more often, feeling thirsty

Muscle or bone aches and pains

Tell your doctor

Mood changes, restlessness, trouble sleeping

Weight gain, swollen feet or legs


Tell your doctor if troublesome

Stomach upset

Take with food and tell your doctor if symptoms continue

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • If you take prednisone in large doses or for a long time, it is dangerous to stop taking it suddenly. Your doctor may reduce the dose gradually when it is time to stop.
  • Long-term use of prednisone may cause side effects such as: round face, change in body shape, change in hair growth, thin skin, weak bones, increased blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Long-term use of prednisone can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. Tell your doctor if you become unwell or come into contact with someone who has a contagious infection such as chicken pox or measles.
  • Ask your doctor what vaccines you might need before you start and while you are taking prednisone. You should not have a live vaccine while taking prednisone.
  • It is important to tell anyone who gives you medical or dental treatment that you are taking prednisone.