How Long Does it Take for Prednisone to Work

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: November 13, 2018
How Long Does it Take for Prednisone to Work

Prednisone is a steroid generally indicated for the treatment of different types of arthritis, including rheumatic, osteoarthritis, psoriatic, vasculitis and others. Other than this, this drug is also used for managing an allergic reaction, ankylosing spondylitism, aspiration pneumonia, bursitis, dermatitis herpetiformis, loeffler's syndrome, psoriasis, uveitis and corneal ulcers. It is very much similar to a corticosteroid hormone, cortisone, that is naturally produced by a human body’s adrenal glands. Prednisone works by reducing inflammation in the affected areas, and suppressing your body’s immune system. If you have been prescribed Prednisone for your condition, then you must be wondering: how long does it take for prednisone to work? Read this oneHOWTO article to find more information about this drug and its effectiveness.

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Recommended dosage of Prednisone

While many steroids and corticosteroids like Prednisone can be given to the patient through an injection, Prednisone itself is taken orally in the form of tablets only. It is available in 1mg, 5mg and 50mg strengths, and the recommended dosage can vary from 1 to 100mg per day.

The dosage recommended depends on the age, weight and gender of the patient, along with the medical condition to be treated and its severity. Your physician may suggest increasing or decreasing your dosage as per your individual response to the medication. Usually, a patient is recommended to take Prednisone only once in a day, preferably in the morning along with breakfast. Doing this will mimic the body’s natural corticosteroid hormone production process, and it will easily incorporate in your normal living. However, your physician may recommend you to take a dose of Prednisone every other day, or even 2-3 times a day, depending on the severity of your condition and your individual response to the treatment. Do not attempt to take more Prednisone so the effects are noticeable faster. Instead you can combine it with these natural alternatives.

After how much time you will see the results

Prednisone is an effective pill which starts working within a few hours of taking the first pill. You will start feeling better after the very first dose of the medicine.

However, some patients with a very severe condition can start feeling the effects after 2-3 days of beginning the treatment. If you are using delayed release tablets of Prednisone, the drug will be released at least 4-6 hours after taking the pill. So, you will see the effects only after 6-8 hours of taking the medicine. If you happen to miss the medicine on the scheduled time, take it quickly as soon as you remember it. However, if it is time to the take the next dose, it is advised to skip the dose that you missed, and start taking the medicine as per the regular dosing recommendation. You are never prescribed to take double dose.

Side effects of Prednisone

You may start seeing side effects if you take Prednisone more and longer than required. Some of the side effects that you might experience include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression and irritability
  • Increased appetite
  • Facial swelling
  • Upset stomach, indigestion, nausea
  • Blurry vision
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Increased blood sugar and blood pressure levels
  • Glaucoma or cataracts
How Long Does it Take for Prednisone to Work - Side effects of Prednisone

Steps to maximize efficacy of Prednisone

While you are taking Prednisone, you should take it with food in order to reduce side effects like nausea. Follow an effective diet plan to keep your weight maintained, as Prednisone can sometimes increase your hunger, due to which you end up eating more. As Prednisone can lead to loss of vitamin D and calcium, you may be prescribed some supplements to go along too. Regular blood tests may be taken to evaluate the effectiveness of the medicine, and to decrease or increase your dosage as needed. When you are treated completely, Prednisone is not stopped abruptly, and needs a gradual reduction in dosage. Sudden stopping of the medicine can lead to serious side effects in the long run. So, whatever you do, always talk to your doctor beforehand. Remember to read about the symptoms of Withdrawal from Prednisone, as it is common for people to develop dependency when taking this drug.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How Long Does it Take for Prednisone to Work, we recommend you visit our Drugs & supplements category.

Write a comment about How Long Does it Take for Prednisone to Work

What did you think of this article?
Maci Jolley
I have never taken this drug before. I am prescribed 10 mg 4 a day for three days then 3 a day for three days then down to 2 till they are gone. I have severe pain from issues with my neck and back that will be requiring surgery in my future. My surgeon recently put me on this and I took my first dose today. I just took my second dose but have not really noticed much. Does this drug need to build up with higher levels of it in your body to start working for pain? I am currently prescribed Oxycodone but my family dr has greatly reduced what I was on for 5 years and the amount I had been taking was working great but now at such a very small dosage I am being given I can barely tolerate the pain from day to day. It is very often unbearable. I am very much looking forward to positive results from this medication. I was also wondering how long of a time period I may take this? I currently only have a 12 day supply so I am curious. Also, how long does the medication work for the pain once I have taken the last dosage or does it no longer have any affects?
this is my fourth day on 40 mg pretizone and i see no changes
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Catherine,

Our articles are for information purposes only, if you are worried about effectiveness of a medication, only a qualified physician will be able to help you with this problem.

There are many factors which affect the effectiveness of the drug including the patient's size, the amount of dosage and any related conditions. Also, it is difficult for patient's to be subjective. Speak to your doctor to diagnose any issues.

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