Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Autoimmune

Decadron Alternatives

(dexamethasone)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Autoimmune
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Compare Decadron (dexamethasone) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Decadron (dexamethasone) or used for similar purposes.

Decadron
(dexamethasone)

Anusol Hc
(hydrocortisone)

Pred Forte
(prednisolone)

Deltasone
(prednisone)

Medrol
(methylprednisolone)

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.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.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.Calms down your immune system. Medrol (methylprednisolone) is very effective for controlling allergic reactions and many types of inflammatory conditions, but it is associated with serious and potentially life-threatening side effects if you have to take it for a long time.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Anusol Hc (hydrocortisone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Pred Forte (prednisolone)?
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Reviews for prednisone
59%
+31% better vs. dexamethasone
45%
+45% better vs. dexamethasone
20%
+20% better vs. dexamethasone
540 reviews
Have you used Deltasone (prednisone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Medrol
59%
+31% better vs. dexamethasone
53%
+37% better vs. dexamethasone
23%
+23% better vs. dexamethasone
Have you used Medrol (methylprednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol

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

More about dexamethasone side effects »

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 »

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

More about prednisone side effects »

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

More about Medrol side effects »
How it works
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
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.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.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.Medrol (methylprednisolone) is a corticosteroid that is 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.
Type of medication
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
Prescription onlyOver-the-counterPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Topical solution
  • Eye drops
  • Pill
  • Delayed release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
  • Allergies
  • Skin Inflammation
Risk factors for serious side effects
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Long-term use
  • History of glaucoma
Detailed Pred Forte (prednisolone) risks & warnings »
  • 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 »
  • Taking high doses of Medrol (methylprednisolone) for a long period of time
  • Young children
  • Stress such as trauma, injury, or infection
  • Taking other medicines that weaken the immune system
  • Taking Medrol (methylprednisolone) for a long time
Detailed Medrol (methylprednisolone) 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.

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.

Price
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
No price related info.No price related info.No price related info.No price related info.
Food
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
  • 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.
No food related info.No food related info.
  • 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.
  • Take Medrol (methylprednisolone) 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.
Kidneys and liver
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
  • 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.
No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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.
  • Medrol (methylprednisolone) 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.
Pain
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
  • 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.
No pain related info.
  • Let your doctor know if you have eye pain, pressure, infections, or changes in eye sight.
No pain related info.No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Decreases swelling and redness in your eyes.
  • Doesn't cause the same types of side effects that oral forms of steroids do.
  • 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.
  • Medrol (methylprednisolone) is effective for treating 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.
  • Medrol (methylprednisolone) is available in a generic form.
  • Available as blister packs that organize tablets into specific days and times for easier administration.
Downsides and risks
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Medrol (methylprednisolone) 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 Medrol (methylprednisolone) is used for more than 2 weeks, you will need to work with a doctor to get off of the medicine by gradually decreasing the dose.
  • Medrol (methylprednisolone) can cause harm to an unborn baby, so it might not be a good option for pregnant women.
  • Might cause abnormal growth and development when used in children.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneprednisoneMedrol
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Take Medrol (methylprednisolone) 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.
  • Medrol (methylprednisolone) can increase your appetite, make your body retain more water, and cause changes to your mood.
  • Medrol (methylprednisolone) 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 Medrol (methylprednisolone) 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.
  • While you are on this medicine, don't get any live vaccines, unless approved by your doctor.
  • Medrol (methylprednisolone) 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.
Learn more
More about dexamethasoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about HydrocortisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Anusol Hc (hydrocortisone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PrednisoloneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Pred Forte (prednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about prednisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Deltasone (prednisone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MedrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Medrol (methylprednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it