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Prednisone Equivalents

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Prednisone Equivalents
10/25/2012

The information in this post is not intended to offer any guidance as to when or how to take medicine. It is intended to show that there are differences between different preparations of glucocorticoids and that taking them can be tricky if you are taking another medicine. Bottom line: if you are alert to these issues you can raise the question with your doctor and make sure that as the medicines are prescribed the issues are addressed.

Most people who have lupus will eventually be prescribed a medicine from the family of drugs known as glucocorticoids. Some of these are listed below, with their approximate dose equivalents (in mgs.)

Name of glucocorticoid and approximate equivalent doses in mgs.
Cortisone (25)  =  hydrocortisone (5) =   Prednisone (5) = Prednisolone (4) =  Methylprednisolone (4) =  Dexamethone (.75)

Because so many people in the world take a glucocorticoid in some form or another, it is very likely that many of these people will be taking this medication in conjunction with another. Below is a list of some commonly prescribed drugs and the possible effect that will ensue from combining these drugs with a glucocorticoid. I derived this list from an article entitled: Glucocorticoid Therapy and Adrenal Suppression. This was written in 2011 by George P. Chrousos of the University of Athens Medical School. A more thorough list can be found in Dr. Chrousos’ article.

Diuretics                                   potential to have low
(potassium depleters)                      potassium

Growth hormone                      neutralizes effect of hormone

Live vaccine                             potential systemic infection

Aspirin                                      decreased effect

Cyclophosphamide                  increased effect

Insulin                                      decreased effect

Isoniazid                                   decreased effect
(TB treatment)

Cyclosporine                             increased effect

Erythromycin                              increased effect

Oral contraceptive                     increased effect

Phenobarbital                            increased effect

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