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Should I take out of date Prednisolone?

I have got a flare up at the moment - after a long remission my stocks of Deltacortril Enteric prednisolone tabs are well out of date (2008!) - I cant even get to talk to a doctor before Christmas so do I suffer over Christmas or take the tabs? NB. I have been on these tabs (as a last resort treatment) for many years and I will contact my doctor after Christmas to update my supplies.

8 Replies

I would either contact your local chemist or ring NHS direct and speak to an advisor before taking these medicines. They will be able to advise you a lot better.


yes, best to ask as we're not trained doctors or Pharamacists - NHS direct's number is 0845 4647 (although personally I've used old stuff as long as was stored in fairly stable environment)


NO DONT take 4 years out of date tablets.. I would take upto 2 months out of date


There is out of hours provision even over xmas for gp and scripts


Hi do not take out of date tabs, the ingredients will be out of date & cause you harm. There must be an emergency service you can access, to get a new supply of steroids, however, I think you will need a go prescription!

Good luck & merry Xmas



When my RA came back after 5 years and I could not get an appointment with the doctor for a while, i DID take some of the Predisione in order to not hurt. It did not hurt me, but when I got to the doctor I got some fresh one. Sometimes if it hurts enough you just do what you have to do. Good luck


Thanks for your reply's - in the end, I admit I did take a couple of 5mg tabs - on Christmas eave. A few hours later I felt quite ill - coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing, eyes streaming etc. - It came on very fast, and for a while I was quite concerned I might even end up in A&E! I took some Piriton, some cold & flue meds and some "first defense" for good measure. I began to feel a bit better after an hour or so and come Christmas day not only had the allergic type reaction gone without trace, but the RA was MUCH improved. All the heat had gone from my joints and I was pain free - so the Pred had worked! The effect is just starting to ware off today (Boxing day mid-day).

Still not sure what caused the coughing etc. possibilities are :-

1. OH had a cold/flue thing recently that started similarly - not sure I believe the First defense was that effective at stopping it in its tracks though!?

2. Could have been an allergic reaction to something in the meds - maybe not the Pred itself but something else in the tabs could have gone off ??

3. Could have been an allergic reaction to something unconnected with the meds - I had just spent a couple of hours peeling chestnuts - a couple were bad/moldy - could it have been connected with that??

On balance I don't think the meds were responsible but as I couldn't rule them out - I have chucked all my out of date supplies - I will give the Doctor a ring tomorrow. At least had a pain free Christmas!!


I'm glad you have chucked the out of date pred. Not just for the fact that it was out of date, but also because after 4 years of not having used it, I think you really need to talk to your doctor again about whether you hold any in reserve and if so, exactly what you use it for and when. Your doctor really does need to know and agree to a plan for using emergency meds like that and I would guess that the reasons have changed a lot from when you were prescribed it more than four years ago. The order for it definitely needs to be updated in your medical notes, as well as the reasons for it.

FWIW I hold a steroid inhaler for similar kinds of reasons - don't need it often, but when I do, its much easier to have one on hand. Mine goes out of date before its empty, so I make a point of checking back with my doctor when its about to go out of date. The doctor then makes a note that I still want to have it on hand, notes the reasons, and prescribes it happily.


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