Pred questions

Hi guys,

I've just been given pred for travelling to a very cold place... I've been told to take 30mg/day. The tablets are in 5mg doses, and all it says on the label is take six tablets each day. Do I have to spread all six doses out evenly? It says on the leaflet not to take two doses at once, but I'm not entirely sure what would count as a 'dose'. Can I take 10mg (or even 15mg) at a time?

Also, I should only be taking it for 10 days, (although I've got a 20 day supply), so is it OK to suddenly stop taking it if I've only been taking it for 10 (or 20) days? I dont need to decrease the dose over a few days or anything?

Thanks a lot guys, xx

10 Replies

  • Hi C,

    I can answer your question quite easily - you're supposed to take all 6 together in one go - but it concerns me slightly that you have so many questions regarding this. Most people who are prescribed pred as standby like this have an action plan indicating when they should start pred, how much to take and when, and when/how to stop. 10 days isn't a usual standard course - usual short course for an exacerbation of asthma is five days, after which you can just stop without the need for dose tapering.

    I would pay a return visit to the health professional who prescribed your pred and ask for a plan for taking the medication, and for stopping it.


  • Hi C, its best if you take the pred in the morning all at once, as it takes a while to work and means that it will work while your awake and doing stuff, i dont split my doses i am sure you can but its best not to!

    You should be alright to just stop .. i think!?

    hope this is a lil helpful

    katie x

  • Hi C,

    Pred is usually taken all at once first thing in the morning - so 30mg (six tablets) every morning. I think by 'dose' they mean 30mg. Obviously if you suddenly develop symptoms in the afternoon, for example, you could take the first dose then and then go on to take the rest in the morning.

    As far as I am aware, there is not any particular evidence as to how many days you can safely take it without having to step down slowly. I think most doctors would agree that if taking it for 10 days, should be fine to stop it suddenly, unless you have particularly unstable asthma. If you take it for longer than that, say for two weeks, there can be some effect on the body's natural steroid production, and stepping it down more slowly (eg by 5mg every day) might be more wise.

    Hope this helps

    Em H

  • Oooops, multiple cross-posting - sorry!

    I should really have added that too - do go back and clarify with your doctor. Presumably where you're going will not have particularly ready access to medical attention, so it's as well to make absolutely sure that you're clear in your head about what to do before you go.


  • Ah, that's good, far less effort than taking it 6 times a day! So, is it quite fast acting - should I start taking it a couple of days before getting to Alaska, or can I wait until I'm having issues? In that, dont preventor inhalers take a while to work? When I asked Doc, he kind of said I shouldnt because it's not a very nice drug, but then did accept that I'd almost certainly need it in Alaska, so maybe I should. And if I only take 10 days worth it will leave 4 days in Alaska with no pred - will it still have an effect for a few days? My doc knew that I'd be in Alaska for 2 weeks, but went on about it being not particularly nice to take. So complicated...

  • C,

    It's really difficult for any of us on here to advise you definitively - we don't know you, your medical history or you asthma history - all of which can be pertinent to how and when you use pred. What kind of medications do you take for your asthma at the moment? I get the impression you haven't used pred in the past, hence my concern that you seem to be heading off to somewhere which sounds quite remote, without much knowledge about the medications you are taking with you.

    Prednisolone is a potent anti-inflammatory and, also, immunosuppressive drug. It is faster in onset than the action of preventer inhalers - it starts to work in about 4-6 hours - but it is many, many times stronger. Your doctors is right in that it is not a particularly nice drug to take - side effects, though uncommon in short term use, can be significant.

    I really would advise you to return to your doctor to ask your questions and get a definitive, written action plan on how and when to start using the medication you've been given.


  • Cool, thanks guys, I'll go back.

  • Let us know how you get on, C!

  • Sorted in a phone call. I'm not going to start taking it until I'm having problems and I'm clear about how to stop it. Thanks everyone.

    For someone who is fiercly independant and tries to avoid admitting I need to see a doctor, I'm failing miserably! Finally after 3 trips to hospital and FOURTEEN x-rays I got the all clear yesterday on a wrist/hand injury. And I've been to my GP so many times recently, and pointed this out, to which he joked 'people come in here all the time thinking they've got AIDS...!' I never said that!! Thought a phone call to GP would suffice today!

    Fingers crossed nothing else goes wrong. Hope everyone else is OK, x

  • Thanks for letting us know, C - glad you got clarification from your own doc. Hope the trip all goes well!

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