Compare Hydrocortisone vs. Prednisolone

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Anusol Hc
(Hydrocortisone)

Pred Forte
(Prednisolone)

Treats itchy or irritated skin. Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a good topical steroid to try for treating minor rashes or skin irritation.Treats eye redness and swelling. Pred Forte (Prednisolone) is strong medicine for eye redness and swelling without exposing the rest of your body to the steroid medicine.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
HydrocortisonePrednisolone

We haven’t found good data for Hydrocortisone side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Hydrocortisone »

The Prednisolone FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Prednisolone side effects »
How it works
HydrocortisonePrednisolone
Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a topical steroid that works by decreasing skin itching, swelling, and redness.Pred Forte (Prednisolone) is a steroid that lowers your immune response to allergens and reduces eye redness and swelling.
Type of medication
HydrocortisonePrednisolone
CorticosteroidOver-the-counter
CorticosteroidPrescription only
Available as
HydrocortisonePrednisolone
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Topical solution
  • Eye drops
Used for (click to learn more)
HydrocortisonePrednisolone
  • Skin inflammation
Risk factors for serious side effects
HydrocortisonePrednisolone
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
  • Contact with people who have viral illness
  • History of bacterial or viral conditions
  • Long-term treatment
  • Dose of Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone)
  • Duration of treatment
Detailed Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) risks & warnings »
  • Long-term use
  • Long-term use
  • Long-term use
  • History of glaucoma
  • Long-term use
Detailed Pred Forte (Prednisolone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
HydrocortisonePrednisolone
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
HydrocortisonePrednisolone
  • Relieves itchy and irritated skin.
  • It's available over the counter in the drugstore.
  • Most people have very few side effects.
  • Doesn't cause the same types of side effects that oral forms of steroids do.
  • Decreases swelling and redness in your eyes.
  • Doesn't cause the same types of side effects that oral forms of steroids do.
Downsides and risks
HydrocortisonePrednisolone
  • It's not a strong steroid, so it doesn't work for everyone.
  • When used longer than a week, it can cause skin-thinning and make it harder for broken skin to heal.
  • Available only as a prescription medication.
  • You need good hand-eye coordination to get the eye drops into your eyes.
  • Can cause or worsen certain eye conditions.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
HydrocortisonePrednisolone
  • Rub a thin layer of Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) into the area of skin that is affected.
  • Don't rub it into broken areas of skin and leave the area uncovered.
  • Wash your hands after applying it each time.
  • Don't use Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) more often than your doctor or the package label recommends.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes between applying moisturizing lotions and this medication.
  • Talk to your doctor if your skin gets worse or hasn't improved in seven days.
  • Shake the eye drops well before using.
  • Press your finger gently on the inner corner of your eye after the drops are in to keep them there.
  • Wait 1 minute between each drop if you're giving yourself more than 1 drop.
  • If you have other eye drops, wait 5 minutes in between different sets of eye drops.
  • If your symptoms don't get better after 2 days, you may need to try a different medicine.
  • Let your doctor know if you have eye pain, pressure, infections, or changes in eye sight.
Learn more
More about HydrocortisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about PrednisoloneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert