Compare prednisolone acetate vs. Cortef

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

Calms down redness and swelling in the eye.

Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) is a steroid used in the eye that is effective for treatment and symptom relief, but with long-term use, it can have some side effects.

Cortef (Hydrocortisone) lowers inflammation, suppresses the immune system, and replaces low cortisol.

Cortef (Hydrocortisone) is identical to an essential hormone that humans produce and has been proven to work safely.

  • Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) works only within the eye, so it will relieve symptoms without having the side effects of oral steroids.
  • Kicks in relatively quickly to relieve symptoms.
  • Available in generic form.
  • Normal doses of hydrocortisone have been safely and successfully used for over 60 years. It's especially good for people using it as a long-term cortisol supplement.
  • Cortef (Hydrocortisone) converts into cortisol, a natural hormone, which will not interfere with other medications you may be taking.
  • Taking a dose of Cortef (Hydrocortisone) in the evening doesn't affect your ability to sleep.
  • At safe doses, Cortef (Hydrocortisone) can actually increase your body's ability to fight infection.
  • Depending on the condition, you might have to use Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) up to 4 times a day, particularly in the beginning.
  • If using Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) long-term, may require some monitoring by your doctor.
  • Contains sulfite, so depending on the severity of your allergy, may not be suitable for those with allergies to sulfite.
  • Long-term use can lead to increased risk of more serious side effects.
  • In the first few weeks, your doctor might adjust the dose of Cortef (Hydrocortisone) multiple times.
  • You may be at an increased risk of infection if you take high doses of Cortef (Hydrocortisone), or if you take it in combination with other immunosuppressive medications.
  • Your body could stop making its own cortisol once it gets used to Cortef (Hydrocortisone). If so, you'll likely have to keep taking Cortef (Hydrocortisone) for a really long time.
  • Depending on why your doctor prescribed Cortef (Hydrocortisone) to you, corticosteroids can have different effects on your body.
Used for
  • Inflammation of the Eye
  • Eye Injury
  • Allergies
Dosage forms
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
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Side effects
The Omnipred (prednisolone acetate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Cortef (Hydrocortisone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Glaucoma and cataracts
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Thinning of eye layer
  • Severe allergic reactions
    • Asthma
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Adrenal suppression (HPA axis suppression)
    • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
    • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Increased risk for infections
    • Long-term treatment
    • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
    • Contact with people who have viral illness
    • History of bacterial or viral conditions
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
    • Duration of treatment
  • Psychiatric changes
    • History of psychiatric conditions
  • Bone effects
    • Dose of Cortef (Hydrocortisone)
    • Duration of treatment
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Stomach and intestinal problems
    • History of stomach bleeding
    • Active or history of stomach or duodenal ulcers
    • Ulcerative colitis
    • Taking Cortef (Hydrocortisone) with other medicine that can cause stomach problems
See more detailed risks and warnings