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PREDNISOLONE (DELTACORTRILģ , PREDNESOLģ)

How does it work?
How do I take it?
What side effects can be expected?
Other medicines or substances which might interfere with your treatment
Advice for illness
What illnesses require extra replacement steroid?
What if a dose is missed by mistake?
Storing your medicine

Available as tablets containing Prednisolone 1 mg and 5 mg. Also supplied as Enteric Coated Tablets 2.5 mg and 5 mg under the trade name Deltacortril and as Soluble Tablets 5 mg under the trade name Prednesol .

How does it work?

Prednisolone is chemically related to Hydrocortisone, one of the steroid hormones produced by the adrenal gland (adrenal cortex) which plays a complex role in regulating body functions and without which survival would not be possible. Prednisolone Tablets are taken as a replacement for Hydrocortisone where this is deficient either because there is a primary failure (or insufficiency) of Hydrocortisone production by the adrenal cortex gland (Addison’s Disease) or adrenal failure (or insufficiency) results from a pituitary deficiency of ACTH (the hormone that stimulates production of Hydrocortisone by the adrenal gland). Replacement therapy is also required for people who have a congenital adrenal hyperplasia (a birth defect) or in cases where surgical removal of the gland (adrenalectomy) has been performed.

How do I take it?

In primary adrenal failure (or insufficiency) the aim is to mimic the normal secretion of Hydrocortisone by the adrenal cortex. This is usually achieved with Prednisolone in a dose of 5 mg taken once daily in the morning with breakfast or as 2.5mg twice per day in association with fludrocortisone. The same applies in secondary adrenal failure (e.g. pituitary failure) but fludrocortisone is not required.

What side effects can be expected?

Other medicines or substances which might interfere with your treatment

Ideally, steroids used for replacement therapy mimic the natural release of Hydrocortisone from the adrenal gland and should not have any effect on other treatments. In practice, however, steroid medicines can interfere with treatments for high blood pressure and diabetes so requiring more careful control of these conditions.

When steroids are taken with anti-inflammatory pain killers such as Brufen , Naproxen, Diclofenac/Voltarol , etc. there is an increased likelihood of stomach problems such as indigestion and even peptic ulceration. If in doubt – seek advice from your Doctor.

Some medicines used in the treatment of epilepsy can increase the metabolism of steroids so reducing their effect in the body. The concurrent use of the oral contraceptive, on the other hand, can increase the action of steroids. Any problems are easily overcome, however, by careful dosage adjustment.

The amount of potassium in the blood can be reduced by combinations of steroid and other medicines which lower potassium levels (e.g. diuretics or water tablets). The level of potassium in the blood requires to me maintained within an accepted range so that corrective measures may be necessary.

Advice for illness

If you become ill then the body naturally would increase the output of steroid from the adrenals. Therefore if you are on replacement steroid it is essential to mimic the natural response by doubling your dose of steroid until the illness is over.

What illnesses require extra replacement steroid?

8. Flu
9. Severe head cold
10. Infection
11. Fevers
12. Surgery
13. Dental surgery
14. Severe accidents

If you have diarrhoea or vomiting then you might not absorb your steroid even if you have doubled the dose so best to seek advice urgently from your GP or call at A+E. Remember you MUST see a doctor that day when you have diarrhoea or vomiting.

What if a dose is missed by mistake?

One dose missed is unlikely to cause a problem but missing two dosages could land you in hospital. Try to remember.

Storing your medicine

Prednisolone tablets should be stored at room temperature. Avoid exposure to excessive heat or moisture.

 

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NHS Tayside; 2006; version 1.0

Disclaimer; no liability whatsoever is accepted for information given and all such information, especially with regard to drug usage (UK version provided), must be checked with a person’s health provider.