Compare Prednisolone vs. dexamethasone

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

Pred Forte
(Prednisolone)

Decadron
(Dexamethasone)

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.Lowers inflammation and suppresses your immune system. Decadron (Dexamethasone) is identical to an essential hormone that humans produce and has been proven to work safely.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
Prednisolonedexamethasone

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

More about Prednisolone side effects »

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

More about dexamethasone side effects »
How it works
Prednisolonedexamethasone
Pred Forte (Prednisolone) is a steroid that lowers your immune response to allergens and reduces eye redness and swelling.Decadron (Dexamethasone) is a short-acting corticosteroid. It lowers inflammation by preventing your capillaries (small blood vessels) from leaking out excess fluid and chemicals that cause swelling.
Type of medication
Prednisolonedexamethasone
CorticosteroidPrescription only
Glucocorticoid
Synthetic
Prescription only
Available as
Prednisolonedexamethasone
  • Eye drops
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
Prednisolonedexamethasone
Risk factors for serious side effects
Prednisolonedexamethasone
  • Long-term use
  • Long-term use
  • Long-term use
  • History of glaucoma
  • Long-term use
Detailed Pred Forte (Prednisolone) risks & warnings »
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
  • Contact with people who have viral illness
  • History of bacterial or viral conditions
  • Duration of treatment
  • History of psychiatric conditions
  • Dose of Decadron (Dexamethasone)
  • Duration of treatment
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Decadron (Dexamethasone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
Prednisolonedexamethasone
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.
  • Like most corticosteroid medicines, Decadron (Dexamethasone) may cause changes in your mood or behavior. Tell your doctor right away if you become depressed, have mood swings, trouble sleeping, irritability or anxiety, hyperactivity, delusions or hallucinations while taking this medicine. If you need to make any changes or slowly taper your dose, talk to your doctor first.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.
  • Some people gain weight while taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) or can experience other side effects like mood changes.
Upsides and benefits
Prednisolonedexamethasone
  • Decreases swelling and redness in your eyes.
  • Doesn't cause the same types of side effects that oral forms of steroids do.
  • Treats a large variety of inflammatory disorders including asthma, dermatitis, drug reactions, rashes, and endocrine disorders.
  • Can help prevent nausea, especially when it's caused by chemotherapy.
  • You can get it orally or as an injection.
Downsides and risks
Prednisolonedexamethasone
  • 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.
  • Can't be used on its own to treat low cortisol levels.
  • Since it suppresses your immune system, you're more likely to get infections.
  • You can't take Decadron (Dexamethasone) if you have a systemic fungal infection.
  • Shouldn't be used if you have a stomach ulcer.
  • Can decrease bone formation and lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Prednisolonedexamethasone
  • 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.
  • The lowest possible dose of corticosteroids should be used to control your symptoms.
  • When reducing or stopping the dose, do it very slowly and follow your doctor's instructions exactly to prevent major health emergencies.
  • If you used Decadron (Dexamethasone) for a long time, you could get withdrawal symptoms like muscle pain, joint pain, and malaise.
  • Some people gain weight while taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) or can experience other side effects like mood changes.
  • Don't get live or live/attenuated vaccines while on this. Killed or inactivated vaccines are fine.
Learn more
More about PrednisoloneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about dexamethasoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert