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Prednisolone and viral infection

Hi everyone,

I am going to ring the surgery for advice in the morning anyway but was just wondering if anyone can give me any information.

I have been on pred for the last 3 months, last 9 weeks 5mg a day. Since Monday, I have had a viral infection and suddenly thought tonight to read the pred instruction about illness. It says to discuss with the GP straight away (whoops). I am concerned I am developing a chest infection but does anyone know how much this low dose would affect my immune system?

Thanks Jac xx

11 Replies

Dear JF

Interesting question, I was always told that prednisolone does not suppress the immune system on doses lower than 20mg so answers to this will be interesting.

I hope you feel better soon.


hi jf,When I was in same boat I was told when asthma is bad and on pred it makes imune system low and prone to infections and if get infection first can make asthma bad.I usualy get pred and antibs together now xxx


Thanks picalilly, I hope that is the case. It would be interesting to know as I come off them in just over a week's time and am hoping to stay off them but if my other asthma meds don't control my asthma I could be back on them long term.

Jac xx


Thanks glynis, I will definitely ask for advice tomorrow. My asthma has been getting worse since Sunday and as the consultant is still tweeking my meds I have no action plan.

Jac xx


Well, I am on antibiotics now and the GP said even on a low dose it will reduce my immune system a little, so worth knowing for the future.


This is interesting. (Maybe too much information but I have developed a urinary tract infection every time I've been on pred and I can't believe it's coincidence as I've never had them before or at any other time)

Hope you feel better soon x


Thank you EmC xx


Thank you

Dear JF

Thank you for asking your GP the question and letting us know the answer, it is very good to know.

Hope you feel better soon, have a good weekend. x


Immune suppressed

Will await with interest as to what your GP says.

My daughter has been on pred most of this year with doses varying

from 50mg to 5mg as her Asthma is brittle.

Last week went for a bone density scan and also a wrist and forearm xray

due to long term use to give us a starting point for oesto. (She's 12 yrs old)

The Endocrine Dept have given us the very scary letter telling us she's potentially Adrenal insufficient

and now have to carry around a vial of and syringe in case of a ""serious""

accident. Which should be administered soon after the accident by parent..... yikes!!

(Try figuring that one out when you work 15 mins away but have peak hour traffic to contend with!!)

Her body would not make hydrocortisone to cope with the stress of say broken bones or


I guess better safe than sorry and they have to do the right thing but

not kind of what you expect but there you have it....nasty Pred...

the hospital did say that of all the kits they have issued very few parent use it, thankfully.

Ill post some more info in a few weeks regarding the scans once we get a result..



My 8 year old son has adrenal insufficiency now - apparently caused by years of asthma steriods - he has the emergency kit too, and takes hydrocortisone daily aswell - am and pm. He's very well when on the hydro and quilty of life is much better, but still a worry to be taking hydrocortisone and potential side effects of that - he is already one year behind in growth.

We've never had to use the kit - and we do a lot of outdoor sports - but he does take extra hydro when ill or heavy excercise/stress. The school would not contemplate administering it so if an accident were to happen there, they ahve to call 999 and tell them he is adrenal sufficient - this would still give time.

I work hard to keep his blood sugar levels stable through diet to reduce effects on immune system ie blood sugar dropping.


My daughter has severe adrenal insufficiency too. Her cortisol levels are practically non existent. She's been on asthma steroids since she was 8months. She's 3 next month. She has been on daily pred for the last 12 weeks.

She too has an emergency kit in case of stress/accident etc. She can't cope with simple illnesses and gets tired v v easily.

I hope you get some answers soon x


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