Compare prednisone vs. Hydrocortisone

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

prednisone

hydrocortisone

Calms down your immune system. Deltasone (prednisone) is effective for controlling allergic reactions and conditions involving the 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.Treats itchy or irritated skin. Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a good topical steroid to try for treating minor rashes or skin irritation.
Reviews & ratings
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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
Have you used Deltasone (prednisone)?
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Have you used Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone)?
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Side effects
prednisoneHydrocortisone

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

More about prednisone side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Hydrocortisone »
How it works
prednisoneHydrocortisone
Deltasone (prednisone) is a corticosteroid similar to a hormone your body naturally makes in response to stress. It helps reduce swelling and blocks the actions of your immune system that normally would cause pain, discomfort, or harm.Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a topical steroid that works by decreasing skin itching, swelling, and redness.
Type of medication
prednisoneHydrocortisone
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableOver-the-counterLower-cost generic available
Available as
prednisoneHydrocortisone
  • Pill
  • Delayed release pill
  • Liquid
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Topical solution
Used for
prednisoneHydrocortisone
  • Skin Inflammation
Risk factors for serious side effects
prednisoneHydrocortisone
  • Taking high doses of Deltasone (prednisone) for a long period of time
  • Young children
  • Stress such as trauma, injury, or infection
  • Taking other medicines that weaken the immune system
  • Taking Deltasone (prednisone) for a long time
Detailed Deltasone (prednisone) risks & warnings »
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
  • Contact with people who have viral illness
  • History of bacterial or viral conditions
Detailed Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Food
prednisoneHydrocortisone
  • Take Deltasone (prednisone) in the morning with food to lower your chances of getting stomach upset and having trouble sleeping. For an evening dose, it is best to take the medicine at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
prednisoneHydrocortisone
  • Deltasone (prednisone) can cause high blood pressure, unexplained weight gain, and other changes in the way your kidneys work. If you have a history of heart failure, high blood pressure, or kidney problems, talk to your doctor first before using this medicine.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Upsides and benefits
prednisoneHydrocortisone
  • 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.
  • Relieves itchy and irritated skin.
  • Doesn't cause the same types of side effects that oral forms of steroids do.
  • It's available over the counter in the drugstore.
  • Most people have very few side effects.
Downsides and risks
prednisoneHydrocortisone
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
prednisoneHydrocortisone
  • Take Deltasone (prednisone) in the morning with food to lower your chances of getting stomach upset and having trouble sleeping. For an evening dose, it is best to take the medicine at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Deltasone (prednisone) can increase your appetite, make your body retain more water, and cause changes to your mood.
  • Deltasone (prednisone) can increase your blood pressure and blood sugar at 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 Deltasone (prednisone) for longer than 2 weeks, you may need to gradually stop taking this medicine. Take it exactly as your doctor told you and do not stop suddenly.
  • Deltasone (prednisone) can increase your chances of getting an infection. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, cough, pain with passing urine, or a wound that will not heal.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about prednisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Deltasone (prednisone)?
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More about HydrocortisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone)?
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