Asthma UK community forum

Changes to Prednisolone

I'm sure there was a thread about this but I can't find it.

When I saw my GP yesterday I asked for a prescription for Pred. When she put this in her computer it came up with a message about changing from little red smarties to horrid tasting slightly dissolving in your mouth non-coated white tablets. She said it was because of cost and that there wasn't evidence that the red ones were better.

I explained how I felt about this and that I didn't need another horrible medication on top of everything else and she agreed to keep me on the red ones. I'm sure she'll do this as long as she is allowed, but I'm wondering if at some point everyone will have to switch. Has anyone else encountered issues with changes to Pred?

15 Replies

I really don't like the sound of this. I thought the red coated tabs were better for the stomach. We were given the red ones as usual recently and I will complain if they try to give me anything else, as son and I both have tummy problems.


Hi Ratty, sorry to hear you've had issues with getting the right pred for you prescribed. I personally find the enteric (red) coated ones easier to take as I sometimes struggle to co-ordinate water and tablets quickly enough that I begin to get the the awful bitter taste of the non coated pred.

I don't know if there is much of a difference in the cost, I know when I'm in hospital they give me the non-coated pred more often than not. there is a website you can look up the NHS price of various drugs, it was mentioned a while ago on the boards somewhere but that was a thread relating to salbutamol but i'm sure pred will be on there also.

sorry i wasn't much help.

simi x


Hey all I'm new here!

Yeah I went to the doctors as my asthma has went on a downhill spiral yet again. And the doctor gave me they new white ones. When I asked my doctor about getting the red ones he said to me ""These are getting phased out and we are no longer prescribing them"".

So it looks like we are going to be stuck with the minging white ones. :(


as said before i take soluble ones although you can just swallow those


Hi ratty,

been given dissolving ones at a&e the other week but the ""drink"" looked deep purple! It was horrible bitter drink. Then they gave me those White ones to take home and they made me sick!

For my next prescription from gp this time a week later, I asked for the red ones and got them without no problem.

I personally think they're much better to swallow and don't make me sick.

I think if they stopped the red ones I'd refuse taking them as I hate being sick(and I even make sure I take them after breakfast with plenty of water).



I was perscribed the little red coated Prednisolone by the A&E dept at my local hospital they were fine and did the job. Then months later i was perscribed the uncoated white tablets by my GP they were so bad i lasted 2 days taking them before i had to get my GP to change them. The main problems were i couldnt sleep while taking them 2 days with no sleep when you have a chest infection is not good, i also didnt eat for 2 days all that along with constant heartburn i couldnt cope i had no energy and i would cry for no reason and that was after 2 days i hate to think what a week would do to me.


Bumped up for jillywilly.


HI Ratty,

I only ever get the red ones from the hospital and my gp always gives me the white ones

that you take with water.

Once the walk in centre gave me dissolvable ones but I asked the chemist if could have the

others you swallow and changed them for me xxx


i have had the red tablets and the white uncoated ones but ive always just downed them with water- should i not have lol?



I notice red tablets given by hospital and white by gp. The white tablets taste so bad I vomit them despite trying to disguise them in drink. I told my consultant and he ensures I get the red ones. I



You're alright Jay, you are supposed to swallow them both with water, Glynis was talking about a third type which are soluble. The only difference between the red and the white is the coating, but that does make a big difference to some people. My GP's still giving me the red smarties, got a load more today, she doesn't say anything anymore, I don't know if the guidance has changed again or if she's given up arguing with me!! :D

Is anyone here ever given larger (I think they're 25mg?) tablets out of hospital? - It's a pain having to take eight 5mg tablets every day when I know bigger ones are available.


My GP prescribed me more prednisolone last week. She typed it into the computer and said ""Good heavens they are SO expensive. you're taking Omeprazole so you can have the none-enteric coated ones...(the white ones). Anyway they're saying now that the coated ones might not be as effective."" I looked it up and sure enough it says that the enteric coated (red) ones are 8 times more expensive than the white ones.


I didn't realise you could ask for the red coated ones. My dr and asthma nurse have been giving me the white one s

They taste vile I hate them. From reading everyone s replies I now know why I can't sleep,i too have a chest infection but didn't put down the not sleeping

to the predniselone. I thought it was the cocktail of

all the chemicals I was taking. I will be asking for the red coated the next time.


Sorry, need a little scream - aaarrrggghh!

Went to the GP today, my regular GP doesn't work on Friday's but she wanted me to see someone else before the weekend just to check how things are going as my asthma's not behaving.

This GP gave me a lecture about how the white Pred was better, wouldn't give me red ones, and I left with a prescription for 200 horrible white tablets.

Went to the pharmacy I always use who know me and my complicated medical history well, got two pharmacists come out to talk to me saying I shouldn't be having the white ones because of problems I've had before and that the omeprozole isn't enough cover, have said I must have the red ones and if the GP is worried about absorption I should have a higher dose of the red ones. They wouldn't give me the prescription because of their concern (which I agree with) - they gave me enough to see me through the weekend but then I've got to go back and see my regular GP on Monday to get a proper prescription for the red tablets. Aaarrgggh, how can it be so difficult??!!


They stopped my red ones about three months ago. I am now having to wait for a gastro appointment because of the problems with my stomach including bleeding and bloating my consultant seems to think is caused by the change. Although they are more expensive, it does seem mad. I am now on ANOTHER consultants list and will have to cost more time and equiptment. I can't see that this is a cost effective exercise for long term pred users.

Luckily my consultant is writing to my gp to get me back onto the red ones. So that is good!


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