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Pharmacy and Medications

What is the Best Way to Taper Off Prednisone?



My doctor may want me to get off Prednidone. I am taking 10 mg a day for my hearing. If he wants me to get off the prednisone, what is the best way to taper off?


Daily prednisone use can reduce the body's own hormone production. Tapering prednisone gradually allows the body's hormone production to start up again.

Many methods of tapering the prednisone are used by doctors. Generally, the dose is reduced by 2.5mg every 1 to 2 weeks until 5mg per day is reached. Hydrocortisone 20mg per day may be substituted for prednisone 5mg. Hydrocortisone is a steroid of shorter duration and will continue the gradual tapering. The hydrocortisone may also be tapered at 2.5mg every 1 to 2 weeks until 10mg per day is reached.

Work with your doctor on the best schedule for you based on your medical problems as well as the length of time you have taken prednisone.

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Response by:

Carmen M Hadley, RPh, CSPI
Former Clinical Instructor
College of Pharmacy
The Ohio State University