Taking an Oral Corticosteroid

Corticosteroids (cor-ti-co-STER-oids) help reduce swelling, redness, itching, and inflammation. They also help relieve symptoms of some allergic reactions.

Tell your health care provider or pharmacist

Contact your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any of the following:

  • You are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, supplements, or herbs.

  • You have other health problems (such as diabetes), or you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • You have had an allergic reaction to any medication or food.


Tips for taking your medication

  • Take your medication exactly as directed. If you have any questions, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.

  • Take your medication along with food. This helps prevent stomach problems.

  • Do not stop taking this medication unless your health care provider says you can. You may need to take a little less each day for your body to safely adjust.

  • If you miss a dose: Call your health care provider or pharmacist for advice as soon as you remember. Do not take a double dose.

For your safety

  • Avoid alcohol. It can increase your chance of having stomach problems.

  • Check with your health care provider before having any shots or immunizations.

  • Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist before taking any other medications.

  • Call your health care provider at the first sign of an infection.

  • Whenever you get medical or dental care, be sure to mention that you are taking an oral corticosteroid.

  • Do not share your medication with anyone.

  • Eat plenty of protein-rich foods, such as meats or beans and rice.

Call your health care provider

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the side effects listed below, or if you have any other unusual symptoms:

  • Vision changes

  • Black stools or blood in your stool

  • Swelling or changes in your skin

  • Confusion or hallucinations

  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

  • Skin rash, itching, or trouble breathing


Possible side effects

  • Weight gain or changes in appetite

  • Nervousness or restlessness

  • Indigestion

  • Trouble sleeping

Also, depending on your dose and how long you take it, this medication can lead to osteoporosis, glaucoma, or cataracts. Your health care provider can tell you more about this.

NOTE: This sheet does not include all actions, precautions, adverse reactions, side effects, or interactions. In addition, your health care provider may have prescribed this medication for a use not mentioned above.