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Prednisolone chemical structure

IUPAC name
CAS number
ATC code

A07EA01 ., ., ., ., ., ., ., ., .

Chemical formula {{{chemical_formula}}}
Molecular weight 360.444 g/mol
Elimination half-life 2-3 hours
Excretion Prednisolone is excreted via urine
Pregnancy category
Legal status
Routes of administration

Prednisolone is the active metabolite of prednisone.


It is a corticosteroid drug with predominantly glucocorticoid and low mineralocorticoid activity, making it useful for the treatment of a wide range of inflammatory and auto-immune conditions such as asthma, uveitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, Bells Palsy, multiple sclerosis, cluster headaches and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. It can also be used as an immunosuppressive drug for organ transplants and in cases of adrenal insufficiency (Addison's). Prednisolone acetate ophthalmic suspension is an adrenocortical steroid product prepared as a sterile ophthalmic suspension, used to reduce swelling, redness, itching, and allergic reactions affecting the eye. Corticosteroids inhibit the inflammatory response to a variety of inciting agents and probably delay or slow healing. They inhibit the edema, fibrin deposition, capillary dilation, leukocyte migration, capillary proliferation, fibroblast proliferation, deposition of collagen, and scar formation associated with inflammation. There is no generally-accepted explanation for the mechanism of action of ocular corticosteroids. However, corticosteroids are thought to act by the induction of phospholipase A2 inhibitory proteins, collectively called lipocortins. It is postulated that these proteins control the biosynthesis of potent mediators of inflammation such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes by inhibiting the release of their common precursor arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is released from membrane phospholipids by phospholipase A2. Corticosteriods are capable of producing a rise in intraocular pressure.

Adverse effects

Possible side effects include fluid retention of the face (moon face, Cushing's syndrome), acne, constipation, and mood swings. A lengthy course of prednisolone can cause bloody or black tarry stools; filling or rounding out of the face; muscle cramps or pain; muscle weakness; nausea; pain in back, hips, ribs, arms, shoulders, or legs; reddish-purple lines on arms, face, legs, trunk or groin; thin and shiny skin; unusual bruising; urinating at night; rapid weight gain; and wounds that will not heal. Swelling of the pancreas has also been reported. Other effects include decreased or blurred vision, increased eye pressure, increased thirst, confusion, rare cases of dementia in otherwise healthy elderly patients and nervousness. It also is reported to cause insomnia when large doses are taken.

Banned Status in Athletics

As a glucocorticosteroid, prednisolone is banned under World Anti-Doping Agency anti-doping rules.

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