How to take Prednisolone tablets - Asthma Community ...

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How to take Prednisolone tablets

Merryroundabout profile image

Hi, I’ve just picked up a prescription for 5mg prednisolone tablets, it says take 6 tablets a day but there’s no info whether that’s all 6 in one daily dose or one tablet every 2 hours and the chemist is closed tomorrow 🤔. I’m hoping someone here will know. It’s an emergency prescription in case my symptoms get worse over the weekend, my regular Fostair seemed to cope okay through my first 2 weeks after testing positive with covid but for the last few days my asthma has been getting worse so I sought over the phone.

24 Replies

You need to take all 6 tablets in one go. Usually first thing in the morning with some breakfast. They are very good at improving symptoms but have some common side effects. They often stop people sleeping and when I take them want to eat everything in sight!!But if you need to take them DO and don’t worry about side effects when taking a short course. They will elevate breathing issues which is most important thing.

All in one go lovely first thing in morn. X

Thank you - that’s what I thought the least likely option so I’m so pleased I asked!

6 all in one... pint of water I normally take the first dose the day i get them no matter what time.... however they do cause insomnia/stupid hunger

But taking them of a morning normally means you don't get the insomnia issues

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to Chip_y2kuk

I get insomnia whenever I take them, but feel that is a necessary evil for the improvement in breathing.

Chip_y2kuk profile image
Chip_y2kuk in reply to Bevvy

Yes another group I'm in has them aptly named the devils tic tacs....damned if you do and damned if you don't

Speaking of which hello predsomnia 😂🤣 yep devil pills I refer to them as but good for lungs just not the rest of me haha. I agree I take first first day I get them to start working then as soon as I'm up next morn to try an reduce some side affects... if your on a short course it's fine you know its temp and worth it. Good luck. Sorry was meant for merryroundabout

Thank you. A friend of mine was on them with chemo and dreaded the insomnia. I had a course about 16 years ago (I’m sure it was just one tablet a day back then) and the side effects are etched in my memory - great energy all day and night, enormous appetite (I managed to resist) and I was incredibly impatient with everyone around me (probably “hangry” 😂). I felt like the Duracell bunny

I think that’s brilliant 😂, made my day

Thank you, that’s very helpful to know

Hi … you take all 6 at once , early as possible in the morning preferably with food

In the morning, plenty of water all together and quickly as they taste disgusting if dissolved. You can go into pharmacy and get them to print out the info sheet.

Screen of BNF for usage

Thank you so much - I looked all over Google but only found articles saying 30-50mg per day. I’d spoken to an specialist nurse who advised me to ask my GP for them in case I needed them over the weekend (I had covid 18 days ago and the current variant seems to be aggravating asthma). The GP receptionist and her manager were helpful but the nurse who phoned was very reluctant to prescribe and I picked them up just as the pharmacy was closing, they’re closed today and so was the helpline. I’ve photo’d my leaflet here which isn’t helpful in my situation. I’m so grateful for the friendly and helpful people on this forum


For asthma the recommended short burst is 40-50mg for 5 days .... extended if required by another 5 days (for up to 3 weeks, so 3 5 day courses)

Now alot of doctors give you 30mg because it's a lower dose and *most* people will get on fine with a lower dose (and the potential long term side effects are less likely on lower doses) ... plus the fact its easier to swallow six instead of 8 or 10 in one go

However some do need the higher doses but what I've learned over the last 6 years is you need to be your own advocate I know when 30mg isn't going to be enough and I know when I don't need steroids just antibiotics and I say so .... and most of the time the doctors appreciate your input (sometimes they don't but there aren't too many I've come across like that)

When it comes to Prednisolone it works like magic for me. Every year I get a chest infection and am prescribed Prednisolone which by the third day kicks in and at the end of the course everything is fine. I developed a cough in March and after a phone conversation was given a prescription for Pred at 6 tablets a day but this time they did not work so it was something worse than a chest infection. So for 3 months I had a constant cough and many times should have phoned 999 but being a man did not. Then one morning I was so fed up I took 8 tablets of Pred which I had been given as a standby. I then took 8 tablets the next 2 days. On the third day I tried to get to town to do some shopping but had to turn back because every other step I was coughing. Then at 7pm on that third day I suddenly realised that I had not coughed for the last 45 minutes so they had kicked in. I then took the last 6 tablets and since then the cough has gone. Because of the coughing for 3 months and being sick I lost 1 stone and became lethargic but slowly I am getting better and feel a lot better. So when it comes to Prednisolone I wish I could have then as a standby all the time.

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to gordy292

Speak to your gp and ask for a rescue pack. This normally comprises of antibiotics and steroids to keep at home. The idea is that if you can’t get to gp for example at a weekend then you can start taking them. Some GPs will provide but others won’t. Personally I believe that people who are clearly long term asthmatics and demonstrate a good understand of their condition should be able to have them at home.

Also if it happens again that steroids don’t help you shouldn’t go back to gp. I have a tendency to get severe chest infections and often require more than one course of steroids and antibiotics.

gordy292 profile image
gordy292 in reply to Bevvy

Many thanks Bevvy for your post. My doctors were reluctant to give me a prescription for Prednisolone but after a great deal of talk eventually gave me a prescription but the recommendation was to take 6 tablets daily. After the second time of coughing all day and every day for over 3 months I decided to take them. But I knew that as 6 a day did not work the first time I decided to take 8 and after 3 days the constant cough stopped. So really speaking I should have a prescription for 40 tablets and not 30. But trying to convince my doctors about that would be difficult. But a least I have a standby for the coming winter if and when I get the usual chest infection. With regards my not dialing 999 on reflection I am thinking that if I had done and ended up in hospital then maybe tested would have been done to find out the cause. Now I have to wait for a referral to the COPD clinic which may take months.

I am sorry to hear how poorly you’ve been. I think we all try to avoid taking any more of these tablets than we have to but thank goodness you took the 8. I’m hoping I won’t need to take them, I’m feeling better now I’ve upped my Fostair from 2 per day to 8, but my peak flow hasn’t budged and it’s helpful to know the tablets won’t work instant magic if I need them - thank you for that. I hope you get back to your normal health soon.

Yes as everyone has said all in one go in the morning. But just to say I'm one of the lucky ones, no interference with sleep or diet! Hope you feel much better soon xxx

Thank you

Depending which way you look at it I have taken a maintenance dose of 20mg a day for over 30 years so always have pred in and can up them as needed. Yes I have put weight on, have sleep problems, osteoporosis, muscle wastage, diabetes, reflux to name a few but I am still alive. Hope you all feel better soon

You’ve got your priorities absolutely right. I think initially there must almost be a grieving process - why me, and what effect is it going to have on how I live my life but the key thing is these magic steroids do enable you to live your life. I know someone in their 60s not expected to live beyond childhood who was given them as a new wonder drug - they’ve obviously worked very well but have left their mark

Take all 6 the same time after breakfast

Thank you

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