How to take your cortisone medication?

It is considered best to take corticosteroids in the morning as this is when the body usually produces the most cortisol.

However, for certain diseases or severe cases, your doctor may prescribe you treatment in two separate doses (e.g. morning/afternoon or morning/evening).

It is usually recommended that you take corticosteroids with a meal.

The initial dosage prescribed varies widely depending on the disease. Some conditions (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) may only require 5 to 10 mg of prednisone. Others such as Crohn’s disease and systemic lupus may require doses of up to 50 mg daily. Some disease require the initial treatment with an intravenous administration of a high dose (up to 1000 mg daily of methylprednisolone). This is termed “bolus” or “pulse” administration of steroids.

When the desired outcome of the treatment is achieved, the dose of corticosteroids is decreased. This is in order to maximize the benefits of the treatment and minimize any potential side effects.

Good to know
  • You should never take corticosteroids without a medical prescription. By doing so, you may worsen the disease that you have misdiagnosed (e.g. an infectious disease that you have mistaken for an outbreak of your usual condition).
  • You should never abrubtly stop treatment with sterioids without consulting your doctor. Failing to do so could cause a relapse of your disease. In addition, you could risk adrenal insufficiency or suffer withdrawal symptoms after you stop.