Compare prednisone vs. dexamethasone

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

Deltasone (prednisone)

Prescription only

Decadron (dexamethasone)

Prescription only
Calms down your immune system.

Deltasone (prednisone) is effective for controlling allergic reactions and conditions involving an overactive immune system. It can quickly make you feel better, but Deltasone (prednisone) can cause serious complications and side effects if taken for a long time.

4.8/ 7 average rating with 540 reviewsforprednisone
Calms down your immune system.

Decadron (dexamethasone) is a long-acting oral corticosteroid that is very effective in treating allergic reactions and immune conditions, however, if you're taking Decadron (dexamethasone) for a long time, there can be serious side effects.

Upsides
  • Deltasone (prednisone) effectively treats a variety of conditions involving the immune system.
  • Can help improve energy and stimulate your appetite.
  • Works quickly to provide relief for swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
  • Good long-term treatment option for autoimmune disorders.
  • Deltasone (prednisone) is available in a generic form.
  • Effective in treating many conditions.
  • Can improve energy and appetite.
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
  • Has long-term benefit in calming down the immune system and keeping it from causing your body harm, such as in autoimmune conditions.
  • Available in generic form.
Downsides
  • Deltasone (prednisone) can cause unwanted side effects such as mood changes, trouble sleeping, and increase in blood pressure as well as blood sugar at higher doses.
  • Long-term use can cause problems to your skin, bones, eyes, and place you at a higher risk for infections.
  • If Deltasone (prednisone) is used for more than 2 weeks, you will need to work with a doctor to taper off the medicine by gradually decreasing the dose.
  • Deltasone (prednisone) can harm an unborn baby, so it's not a good option for pregnant women.
  • Many side effects, particularly with long term use.
  • Side effects include mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure and blood sugar at higher doses.
  • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
  • If you've been using corticosteroids for more than 2 weeks, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
  • Limited studies conducted with use of steroids during pregnancy or breastfeeding - potential harm to unborn baby.
Used for
  • Allergies
  • Skin Conditions
  • Endocrine Conditions
  • Eye Conditions
  • Stomach Conditions
  • Respiratory disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis flare
  • Hematologic Conditions
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune and Rheumatic Conditions
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Delayed release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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$3.28
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$9.85
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Reviews
540 
59%
think this treatment is worth it
45%
think this treatment works well
20%
think this treatment is a hassle

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Side effects
The Deltasone (prednisone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Decadron (dexamethasone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Physicial Dependence

    Taking high doses of Deltasone (prednisone) for a long period of time

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Increased risk for infections

    Taking other medicines that weaken the immune system

    ...and 4 more risk factors

  • Eye problems

    Those with cataracts and/or glaucoma

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Changes in heart and kidney function

    Those who had a recent heart attack

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Effects on bone

    Taking Deltasone (prednisone) at high doses and/or for a long period of time

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Stomach problems

    History of stomach bleeding

    ...and 3 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Lowered adrenal function

    Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Increased risk for infections

    Taking other immunosuppressants

    ...and 4 more risk factors

  • Changes in heart and kidney function

    Recent heart attack

  • Stomach and intestinal problems

    History of stomach bleeding

    ...and 3 more risk factors

  • Bone effects

    Dose of Decadron (dexamethasone)

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings