Prednisone over the counterPrednisone is a prescription-only hormonal drug used as a suppressant for the immune system and an anti-inflammatory medication. Thus, you cannot buy prednisone over the counter. However, if you are positive that your condition requires prednisone treatment, or you are already taking it and need a refill, telemedicine can help. You can contact a board-certified doctor online, share your medical history and describe your symptoms, and get an electronic prednisone prescription sent to a local pharmacy.

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Where to Buy Prednisone?

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What is Prednisone

Prednisone is a glucocorticoid from the class of corticosteroids, which are steroid hormones. Its main effects are suppression of the organism’s immune response and reduction the inflammation. Therefore, it is typically used to treat autoimmune conditions and health issues that are accompanied by severe pain, swelling, itching, or skin redness. Prednisone is manufactured in the form of a pill or a solution for taking by mouth.

What Is Prednisone Used For

Prednisone can be prescribed to treat various diseases and conditions:

  • Allergic conditions with severe or incapacitating symptoms, including atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and hypersensitivity reactions to medication.
  • Dermatologic issues, such as contact dermatitis, exfoliative erythroderma, severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), and mycosis fungoides.
  • Endocrine disorders, such as hypercalcemia of malignancy, nonsuppurative thyroiditis, adrenocortical insufficiency, or adrenal hyperplasia.
  • Gastrointestinal: for relieving the flare-up of Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • Hematologic diseases, like some types of anemia, thrombocytopenia, or pure red cell aplasia.
  • Neoplastic conditions, such as aggressive lymphomas or acute leukemia.
  • CNS health issues, including exacerbations of multiple sclerosis or cerebral edema that are linked to brain tumors, some surgeries, or head injuries.
  • Ophtalmic conditions, such as uveitis and ocular inflammations unresponding to topical steroids.
  • Acute or chronic solid organ rejection after transplantation.
  • Pulmonary diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, tuberculosis, pneumonia.
  • Urinary system issues, such as nephrotic syndrome.
  • Rheumatologic conditions: arthritis, spondylitis, relapsing polychondritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis.
  • Specific cases of severe infections: trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement or tuberculous meningitis (in the complex therapy).

This is not a full list of cases when a patient would require a prednisone prescription. Please do not suggest that you may need hormonal medication based on it. Please consult your doctor if you have any questions about your treatment options.

How Does Prednisone Work

When taken orally and absorbed into your system, prednisone metabolizes in the liver converting into its active form — prednisolone. Then it binds to the glucocorticoid receptors, suppressing the agents of the immune response and inflammations and promoting anti-inflammatory signals. This reduces auto-immune reactions and inflammation symptoms, such as pain, redness, swelling, etc.

Side Effects

Prednisone can cause adverse reactions similar to other corticosteroids:

  • Fluid retention;
  • Alteration in glucose tolerance which can affect your blood sugar levels;
  • Elevation in blood pressure;
  • Mood swings and behavioral changes;
  • Increased appetite and related weight gain;
  • Upset stomach.

Prednisone Dosage

The dosage is one tablet can vary greatly—there is a wide specter from prednisone 1 mg to prednisone 20 mg or even 50 mg. This is done so the doctor can prescribe the dosage that is most suitable for your individual parameters. The daily amount of the medication can be anything from 5 to 60 mg per day. Your healthcare provider may also adjust your treatment scheme depending on your response, side effects, and treatment stage itself.

It is recommended to take prednisone in the morning with a meal, so it will not affect your sleep or irritate your digestive tract.

Prednisone Interactions

Prednisone interacts with some other medical substances, altering the metabolism of both medications and the results of your therapy. If you take any drugs, tell your doctor about them when discussing prednisone—there may be a necessity to adjust the dose or choose another option. Drug interactions were reported with anticoagulants, estrogen including oral contraceptives, NSAIDS (most OTC pain-relievers), diuretics, antidiabetic drugs, etc.

Also, you cannot receive a live vaccine while taking prednisone treatment, because it reduces the strength of your immune response, and your body cannot properly deal with the pathogen.

Prednisone Overdose

Overlapping your pills intake or exceeding your prescripted dosage may cause these symptoms:

  • Altered mental status;
  • Pain in the abdomen;
  • Changes in menstrual cycle;
  • Changes in heart rhythm and elevation of blood pressure;
  • Muscle or general weakness;
  • Nausea and vomiting.

If you experience any of these signs or any other disturbing symptoms, do not hesitate to contact your doctor and ask for help.


If taking prednisone is unwanted for any reason, your doctor may suggest some steroid or non-steroid alternative depending on your health issue and its severity. In some cases, like skin conditions, you may need an oral corticosteroid, and a topical form can be sufficient. You can hardly find prednisone cream over the counter, but an OTC 1% hydrocortisone cream may be an alternative, for example, if you have a severe allergic rash. In any case, avoid self-treatment and consult your doctor before taking a trip to the pharmacy.


As a glucocorticoid hormone, prednisone is effective in treating various autoimmune conditions and inflammations resulting in pain, hyperemia, itching, and swelling. If you are wondering “Where can I get prednisone over the counter?”, you should know that you need a prescription anyway, either paper or electronic.


Can you buy prednisone over the counter?

No, you’ll need a prescription from a board-certified doctor.

How will Prednisone work in my body?

It will suppress unwanted immune reactions and reduce inflammation.

Can you drink on prednisone?

You should avoid alcoholic beverages while on medication to avoid overtaxing your liver and getting digestive disorders.

What are the worst side effects of prednisone?

Prednisone can change your metabolism and mental health, especially as a result of prolonged treatment or an overdose.

What is considered a high dose of prednisone?

Every dosage is individual as is the patient’s sensitivity. The daily dose of prednisone can vary from 5 to 60 mg. While a 60 mg dose is indeed higher than 5 mg, if it’s necessary and well-tolerated, it is not too high for you.