Prednisone Side Effects And Warnings

Learn Facts and Information About Prednisone, Both Side Effects and Benefits

Prednisone Dosage Information

Prednisone Dosage Information

In order to maximize the therapeutic effects of any drug, it is highly recommended to know the maximum effective dosage. Intake of a lower dosage will decrease the overall benefits. Similarly, a higher dosage will increase the risk of adverse effects, systemic damage to different organs, drug toxicity, or even death.

Prednisone is a prescription drug advised for a number of indications like infections, inflammation, organ transplantation, autoimmune diseases, allergic reactions and various shock or trauma situations. Prednisone mimics the actions of the endogenously produced adrenal hormone cortisol. Intake of moderate to high doses can suppress the production of cortisol and produce withdrawal symptoms if prednisone consumption is quickly stopped. Following a proper dosage and intake frequency will ensure maximum benefit, while significantly helping to prevent prednisone dependence.

Dosage for Adults

The actual dosage is usually decided by the healthcare provider, considering the symptoms, comorbid medical conditions, intensity of the illness and existing therapies. The doses in this article are purely for reference and general guidelines and may not reflect the recommended dosage in your specific case.

Nephrotic Syndrome or Renal Impairment:

Nephrotic syndrome is marked by the appearance of protein, sugar and cellular casts in the urine due to moderate renal damage (that may be isolated in case of certain drug toxicities affecting renal tissue only or may be an associated symptom of systemic infectious or inflammatory disorder).

For management of nephrotic syndrome and many similar renal disorders, prednisone dosage information is as follows:

  • Calculate the recommended dosage as per 2mg/kg body weight
  • Divide the total dosage into 3 to 4 doses (with maximum consumption of no more than 80 mg/ day).
  • Consult your healthcare provider regarding cautions, interactions, side effects, and danger signs to watch for. Attend a follow-up visit after beginning prednisone therapy.
  • Ideally, prednisone is consumed until protein-free urine is obtained for 3 consecutive days. After the resolution of symptoms, taper the dose gradually as per the advice of your healthcare provider from a 1.5 mg/kg/ dose to 0. 5 mg/ kg over 4 weeks.

Dosage for maintaining frequent relapse is 0.5 to 1 mg/kg at a time for 3 to 6 months.

Adult Dosage of Prednisone for Treating Inflammation:

  • Inflammatory disorders for which prednisone is usually prescribed require a dosage ranging from 5 mg to 60 mg (per day) in 3-4 divided doses.

Usual Dosage for Management of Asthma Exacerbation:

  • Adult dosage can be as high as 80 mg/ day with maintenance dosage of 40 mg on alternate days.

Pediatric Dosage of Prednisone

Treating inflammation and immunosuppression:

  • Dosage is 0.05 mg to 2 mg per day, equally divided and consumed 1 to 4 times per day.

For asthma management:

  • In individuals who are less than one year old, a dosage of 20 mg (in 2 divided doses). Maintenance dosage ranges from 5-10 mg on alternate days.
  • In individuals under 5 years old, a dosage of 40 mg/ day (in 2 divided doses, 12 hours apart) with a maintenance therapy of 20 mg on alternate days.
  • In children between 5 and 12 years old, a dosage of 60 mg/ day (in 2 divided doses, 12 hours apart) with maintenance dosage of 30 mg on alternate days.

Contraindications of Prednisone

Before initiating prednisone therapy, it is strongly recommended to consider these contraindications and cautions. Healthcare providers are required to modify the dosage regimen in certain situations and allow administration only if potential benefits outweigh any risks.

Pregnant and Nursing Women

Prednisone, if consumed during pregnancy, may interfere with maternal and fetal wellbeing. Mothers who consume prednisone during pregnancy tend to give birth to babies of lower weight and the risk of congenital disease is also significantly increased. It is therefore generally recommended by healthcare providers to avoid prednisone, especially during the early trimesters of pregnancy. It is important to discuss with your doctor the potential risks and benefits of consuming prednisone during your individual pregnancy.

A nursing mother should also generally avoid prednisone, unless indicated by their healthcare provider. This is because prednisone is secreted in the breast milk and may produce negative side effects or dependency in the baby.

Caution for Children Consuming Prednisone

Keep in mind that consuming steroids for long periods of time can affect the growth rate of children. Discuss with your healthcare provider if you observe moderate or significant interference in the normal growth pattern of your child while consuming this medication.

Live Vaccinations

Prednisone intake interferes with the normal immunological responses of the human body. This is why live vaccinations are contraindicated when a person is taking prednisone, because the live accentuated microorganism may become active and infectious in the immunocompromised human body, leading to a full-blown infection. The following vaccinations are contraindicated in prednisone users: mumps, measles, MMR (rubella), typhoid, chicken pox (varicella), yellow fever, rotavirus, shingles (zoster) and influenza (nasal flu).


  1. Lewis, G., Jusko, W., Burke, C., & Graves, L. (1971). Prednisone side-effects and serum-protein levels: a collaborative study. The Lancet, 298(7728), 778-781.
  2. Markowitz, J., Grancher, K., Kohn, N., Lesser, M., & Daum, F. (2000). A multicenter trial of 6-mercaptopurine and prednisone in children with newly diagnosed Crohn's disease. Gastroenterology, 119(4), 895-902.
  3. LaRochelle Jr, G. E., LaRochelle, A. G., Ratner, R. E., & Borenstein, D. G. (1993). Recovery of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in patients with rheumatic diseases receiving low-dose prednisone. The American journal of medicine, 95(3), 258-264.

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