Compare Prednisone vs. dexamethasone

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

Deltasone
(prednisone)

Decadron
(dexamethasone)

Calms down your immune system. Deltasone (Prednisone) is a common oral corticosteroid that's great for controlling the unwanted symptoms from your immune responses and will make you feel better. There are lots of side effects but most of are tolerable or can be managed.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.
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Coupons for Prednisone
Best available price for 10 (20mg) tablets of prednisone
Coupons for dexamethasone
Best available price for 30 (50mg) capsules of cyclophosphamide
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.8Prednisone
Reviews for Prednisone
59%
of people (All ages) say Prednisone is worth it
45%
say it works well
20%
say it's a big hassle
540 reviews
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Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
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Side effects
Prednisonedexamethasone

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

More about Prednisone 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
Prednisonedexamethasone
Deltasone (Prednisone) is a corticosteroid that's similar to what your body naturally makes. It reduces swelling and other immune responses that can cause you pain, discomfort, or harm.Decadron (dexamethasone) is a corticosteroid that is similar to what your body naturally makes. It reduces swelling and other immune responses that can cause you pain, discomfort, or harm.
Type of medication
Prednisonedexamethasone
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Prednisonedexamethasone
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
Prednisonedexamethasone
  • Allergies
Risk factors for serious side effects
Prednisonedexamethasone
  • 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
Detailed Deltasone (prednisone) risks & warnings »
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Taking other immunosuppressants
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
Detailed Decadron (dexamethasone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Price
Prednisonedexamethasone
  • Short-term use in controlling immune responses that are causing you discomfort, and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, gout attacks.
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
Food
Prednisonedexamethasone
  • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
  • Take Decadron (dexamethasone) in the morning with food to minimize stomach upset. If taking an evening dose, take 2-3 hours before bedtime to help you sleep better at night.
Kidneys and liver
Prednisonedexamethasone
  • Adrenal suppression leading to adrenal crisis can occur if you lower your dose or stop taking Deltasone (Prednisone) too quickly. Symptoms include joint or muscle pain, extreme low energy and depression. Changes in your Deltasone (Prednisone) dose need to be done slowly over time. Talk to your doctor before you make any changes or stop the medication.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can cause high blood pressure, increased salt retention and increased processing of electrolytes by your kidneys. If you have heart failure, high blood pressure, or kidney damage, talk to your doctor.
Pain
Prednisonedexamethasone
No pain related info.
  • Taking Decadron (dexamethasone) increases the risk of injury to the lining of your stomach and intestine including irritation and tears. You should avoid alcohol/alcoholic beverages because it can worsen stomach irritation. Tell your doctor and get medical care right away if you have stomach pain or bloody/dark stools when you go to the bathroom.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase your chance of infection. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like signs, cough, pain with passing urine, or a wound that will not heal.
Upsides and benefits
Prednisonedexamethasone
  • Steroid magic, can help you feel better, have more energy and get more appetite.
  • Useful for many conditions.
  • Short-term use in controlling immune responses that are causing you discomfort, and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, gout attacks.
  • Long-term use in suppressing the immune system from causing your body harm, like many autoimmune related conditions.
  • 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 and risks
Prednisonedexamethasone
  • Lots of side effects, especially with long term use.
  • Short-term use can cause mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and possible water retention.
  • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
  • People with certain conditions will have to pay extra attention to their symptoms or may have to adjust the dose of other medicines when taking Prednisone.
  • When using corticosteroids for more than 1 week, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
  • Only available as an oral medicine so the rest of your body will be exposed to the medicine.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Prednisonedexamethasone
  • The dose and duration on how long you need the medicine depends on your condition and response.
  • Take it exactly as your doctor prescribed.
  • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping. Take in the morning or 2-3 hours before bed if more than one dose is needed.
  • Can cause changes in mood, blood pressure, blood sugar, and water retention.
  • You should check your blood pressure and blood sugar when taking this medicine if you already have high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • A taper is is often needed to stop the medicine, especially if you've been on it for more than 1 week.
  • The dose and how long you need to take the medicine for depends on your specific condition and response.
  • Take Decadron (dexamethasone) in the morning with food to minimize stomach upset. If taking an evening dose, take 2-3 hours before bedtime to help you sleep better at night.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can cause an increase in appetite and water retention, as well as changes in mood.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase blood pressure and blood sugar with higher doses. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, it is important that you check your blood pressure and blood sugar regularly while taking this medicine.
  • If you need to take Decadron (dexamethasone) for longer than 2 weeks, you may need to gradually stop taking this medication. Take it exactly as your doctor prescribed and do not stop suddenly.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase your chance of infection. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like signs, cough, pain with passing urine, or a wound that will not heal.
Learn more
More about PrednisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Deltasone (prednisone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about dexamethasoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it