Your healthcare provider will recommend a dose of prednisone based on several factors, including your age and weight, the condition being treated, and the severity of your condition. To avoid long-term side effects, healthcare providers usually prescribe lower dosages or recommend taking the drug for less than two weeks. Prednisone should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
The dose of prednisone your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- The medical condition being treated
- The severity of your condition
- Your age and weight
- Other medications you may be taking
- Other medical conditions you may have.
As always, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
In general, most people take the drug for a short time in order to avoid long-term prednisone side effects. These side effects can usually be avoided by taking the medication for less than two weeks or by taking lower prednisone dosages (less than 20 mg per day). Taking the drug every other day or just in the morning may also help.
Because you should not stop taking prednisone suddenly (unless you have been taking it for just a few days), your healthcare provider will recommend a plan to slowly stop taking it.
Considerations for people taking prednisone include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth. It can be taken just once a day or several times a day, depending on the condition being treated. If you are taking it just once a day, it is usually best to take it in the morning. Some people take prednisone every other day.
- Taking your dose of prednisone too late in the evening may cause difficulty sleeping. If you notice this problem, ask your healthcare provider about taking it earlier in the day.
- Prednisone is also available in liquid forms for people who have difficulty swallowing tablets.
- The medication should always be taken with food, as it can be irritating to the stomach.
- Prednisone should be taken at the same time(s) each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not take your dosage for longer than prescribed, and do not stop taking it suddenly (see Prednisone Withdrawal).
- If you are unsure about anything related to your prednisone dosage, talk with your healthcare provider, nurse, or pharmacist.