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Prednisolone oral solution side effects: A detailed guide

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Prednisolone oral solution is prescribed for several conditions that involve inflammation (swelling). It’s a corticosteroid drug that may cause mild or serious side effects, including increased appetite and insomnia (trouble sleeping).
Medically reviewed by Victor Nguyen, PharmD, MBA
Updated on June 28, 2023

Specifically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved prednisolone oral solution to treat the following conditions and others in adults and some children:

This article describes possible side effects of prednisolone oral solution. You’ll also find information on cost savings and coupon options for prednisolone. You can explore this overview article to learn more about prednisolone oral solution, including the drug’s uses and dosage, ways to save on cost, and more.

Prednisolone oral solution is a generic version of the brand-name drugs Pediapred and Prelone. Prednisolone also comes as eye drops and tablets you swallow, but these forms aren’t described in this article. To learn more about these forms, talk with your doctor.

More common side effects of prednisolone

Prednisolone oral solution may cause mild or serious side effects. Below are some of the more common side effects of this medication.

Commonly reported side effects of prednisolone oral solution include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of prednisolone in detail” section below.

Mild side effects of prednisolone

Prednisolone may cause certain mild side effects. Usually, mild side effects are temporary and can be easily managed. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have side effects that don’t go away or become bothersome.

Mild side effects of prednisolone oral solution that occurred in studies include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of prednisolone in detail” section below.
† An allergic reaction is possible with prednisolone oral solution. But it wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies.

Prednisolone oral solution may cause more mild side effects than those listed above. For details, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Serious side effects of prednisolone

Prednisolone may cause certain serious side effects. If you have any serious side effects from prednisolone oral solution, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency or your side effects feel life threatening, take immediate action. Call 911, or a local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. Visit MedWatch’s website if you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with prednisolone oral solution.

Serious side effects of prednisolone oral solution that occurred in studies include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of prednisolone in detail” section below.
† An allergic reaction is possible with prednisolone oral solution. But it wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies.

Side effects of prednisolone in children

For children of all ages, doctors prescribe prednisolone oral solution to treat many conditions. A few examples include:

In studies, most side effects in children were the same as those in adults. But it’s possible that long-term treatment with corticosteroids may slow growth in children. (Prednisolone oral solution is a corticosteroid).

Due to this risk, doctors usually prescribe prednisolone oral solution for the shortest amount of time needed to treat conditions in children.

If your child’s doctor prescribes prednisolone oral solution for long-term treatment, they’ll likely check your child’s height and weight during treatment. If they find signs of slowed growth, the doctor may switch your child to a treatment other than prednisolone oral solution.

If you’d like to know more about side effects in children taking prednisolone oral solution, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Common questions about side effects of prednisolone

Here are answers to some common questions about side effects of prednisolone oral solution. If you have other questions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Can prednisolone be used in dogs? If so, what side effects do dogs experience from the drug?

Yes, it’s possible. A veterinarian may prescribe prednisolone for use in dogs. But it’s important that you do not give a dog any medication that hasn’t specifically been prescribed for them. Only give prednisolone to a dog if it’s been prescribed by a veterinarian.

If a veterinarian prescribes prednisolone for your dog, they can tell you about side effects your dog may experience. To learn more, talk with your pet’s veterinarian.

How do side effects of prednisolone in women compare with those in men?

Most side effects of prednisolone oral solution are expected to be the same for females* and males* taking the drug. For lists of possible side effects, see the “Mild side effects of prednisolone” and “Serious side effects of prednisolone” sections above.

But prednisolone can cause irregular periods in females. This may include periods that last longer than usual or having more bleeding than usual.

To learn more about the side effects of prednisolone, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. In this article, we use the terms “female” and “male” to refer to a person’s sex assigned at birth.

What are the short-term side effects of prednisolone?

Short-term side effects may occur with prednisolone oral solution. These are side effects that can happen after taking the drug for a short time, or they may last for a short time after you start or stop the drug.

Examples of short-term side effects of prednisolone include:

  • increased appetite
  • headache
  • nausea
  • insomnia (trouble sleeping)*

For lists of possible side effects, see the “Mild side effects of prednisolone” and “Serious side effects of prednisolone” sections above.

To learn about possible long-term side effects of prednisolone, see “Does prednisolone cause long-term side effects?” below.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of prednisolone in detail” section below.

When do side effects of prednisolone usually start?

It depends. Many of prednisolone’s side effects start within hours or days of your first dose. These are called short-term side effects. To learn more, see “What are the short-term side effects of prednisolone?” above.

Other side effects of prednisolone may start after you’ve taken the drug for a long time. These are called long-term side effects. To learn more about these, see “Does prednisolone cause long-term side effects?” below.

If you have questions about what to expect with prednisolone treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Are prednisolone oral solution side effects similar to prednisolone 5-mg oral tablet side effects?

Most likely. Both forms of prednisolone contain the same active drug (the ingredient that makes the drug work). For this reason, the side effects of prednisolone oral solution are expected to be similar to those of prednisolone oral tablet.

That said, different forms of prednisolone come in different strengths. Tablets come in a 5-milligram (mg) strength. The solution comes in many strengths.

For lists of possible side effects with prednisolone oral solution, see the “Mild side effects of prednisolone” and “Serious side effects of prednisolone” sections above.

To learn more about the side effects of prednisolone oral tablet, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

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Does prednisolone cause long-term side effects?

Yes, in some cases, prednisolone may cause long-term side effects. These can occur if you take the drug for a long time, or they may last for a while after you’ve stopped taking the drug.

Examples of long-term side effects include:

Talk with your doctor to learn more about these side effects and how to manage them. You can also ask your doctor for more information about how long these side effects of prednisolone may last.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of prednisolone in children” section above.

Coupon for prednisolone

Visit this page to access Optum Perks coupons and get price estimates for prednisolone when you use the coupons. These coupons can provide significant savings on your prescription costs. 

Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.

Side effects of prednisolone in detail

Below you’ll find details on some of the side effects of prednisolone oral solution.

Insomnia

It’s unclear how often insomnia (trouble sleeping) occurred in people taking prednisolone oral solution in studies.

With insomnia, you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Symptoms may include:

  • waking up often during the night
  • not feeling rested after sleeping
  • feeling tired throughout the day

Certain factors can increase the risk of insomnia with prednisolone oral solution. These include taking higher doses of the drug or taking doses too close to bedtime.

Ways to manage

If you have insomnia while taking prednisolone oral solution, tell your doctor. They can recommend ways to manage it. For example, they may suggest taking the drug soon after you wake up, such as with your first meal of the day. Your doctor can also recommend whether short-term use of sleep aids may be helpful.

Nausea

It’s unclear how often nausea occurred in people taking prednisolone oral solution in studies.

With nausea, you may have symptoms such as abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and upset stomach.

Taking prednisolone oral solution on an empty stomach can increase the risk of nausea.

Ways to manage

If you have nausea with prednisolone oral solution, tell your doctor. They’ll likely recommend taking the drug with food, such as with your first meal of the day. Your doctor can also recommend treatments, such as Pepto-Bismol, to ease your symptoms.

High blood sugar level

It’s unclear how often high blood sugar levels occurred in people taking prednisolone oral solution in studies.

With high blood sugar, you may have symptoms such as increased thirst, blurry vision, or urinating more often than usual.

Ways to manage

If you experience symptoms of high blood sugar while taking prednisolone oral solution, talk with your doctor. They can check your blood sugar level and suggest ways to manage it.

If you have diabetes, tell your doctor before taking prednisolone oral solution. They may have you check your blood sugar level more often than usual while you take the drug.

If you take any diabetes medications, your doctor may temporarily adjust the dosage of these drugs while you’re taking prednisolone oral solution. They’ll do this to help manage any increases in blood sugar that could happen as a side effect of this drug.

Allergic reaction

For some people, prednisolone oral solution can cause an allergic reaction. But this side effect wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies.

Symptoms can be mild or serious, and they may include:

  • itchiness
  • skin rash
  • swelling under the skin, usually affecting eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

Ways to manage

For mild allergic reaction symptoms, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may recommend treatments to help manage your symptoms. They’ll also let you know if you should keep taking the medication.

For severe allergic reaction symptoms, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms require immediate medical care because they can become life threatening. If you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to prednisolone oral solution, your doctor may recommend taking a different medication instead.

Warnings for prednisolone

Below are some factors you may want to discuss with your doctor before taking prednisolone oral solution.

Warnings

It may not be safe for you to take prednisolone oral solution if you have specific health conditions. These are sometimes called drug-condition interactions. Other things may also affect whether prednisolone oral solution is a safe treatment option for you.

Before taking prednisolone oral solution, tell your doctor about your health and medications you take. Things to consider include:

Prednisolone and pregnancy

It’s not known whether prednisolone oral solution should be taken during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking this medication.

Prednisolone and breastfeeding

It’s not known whether prednisolone oral solution should be taken while breastfeeding. If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before taking this medication.

Prednisolone and alcohol

Prednisolone oral solution is not known to interact with alcohol.

But drinking alcohol while taking prednisolone oral solution could worsen certain side effects of the drug. These may include nausea and vertigo (feeling dizzy or lightheaded). For lists of possible side effects, see the “Mild side effects of prednisolone” and “Serious side effects of prednisolone” sections above.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about whether it’s safe to consume it during your treatment with prednisolone oral solution.

What to ask your doctor

This article describes common and serious side effects of prednisolone oral solution. If your doctor prescribes this medication, they can discuss possible side effects with you. Let your doctor know if you have concerns or questions about treatment with this medication.

Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • How do the side effects of prednisolone oral solution compare with those of other corticosteroids?
  • If I have side effects with prednisolone oral solution, can I switch to a different corticosteroid?
  • Will I have side effects if I stop taking prednisolone oral solution?

Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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