Asthma Medicine: Oral Corticosteroids
The name of your oral corticosteroid is ___________________________.
What are oral corticosteroids?
This is a medicine that you swallow and use-
when asthma flares-up or worsen. Most
often they are taken only for a short period
of time (5-10 days). They are part of the
“Red Zone” plan for care on many written
Asthma Action Plans.
How do they help?
They decrease airway swelling. This opens
the airways and makes it easier to breathe.
What are some examples?
ξ Prednisone tablets
o Orapred®: 15mg/5ml
o Pediapred®: 5mg/5ml
o Prelone®: comes in both
strengths as listed above
o Orapred®ODT (dissolvable
tablets): 10mg, 15mg, &
ξ Methylprednisolone (Medrol®)
Are there side effects I should know
Side effects may include any or all of the
symptoms listed below. Side effects
improve when you are done taking the
ξ Increased appetite
ξ Changes in mood
ξ Trouble sleeping
ξ Stomach ache
More side effects may occur when taking
this medicine for a long time. These added
side effects are listed below.
ξ Weight gain
ξ Your bones may become weak
ξ Decrease in linear growth (height)
for a child
ξ Higher risk for infection
ξ Eye changes (cataracts)
ξ Increase in blood pressure
ξ Increase in blood sugar (diabetes)
ξ Bruising and skin changes
Please talk with your health care team if
taking oral corticosteroids for a long time.
Is there special advice for taking
ξ Take each dose with food.
ξ If taking it twice a day, it is best to
take it with breakfast and again in
the mid-afternoon with a snack.
ξ If taking once a day, it should be
taken in the morning.
ξ If you are taking an oral
corticosteroid for longer than 10
days, do not stop taking it without
first talking with your health care
team. They may suggest a “taper”.
This is a decreased daily dose over
time until you are schedule to stop
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is 6731.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©3/2017 . University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6661.