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Prednisone vs. Prednisolone

Ginger Cat

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed or certified veterinarian or medical professional. Any information taken from this blog post is purely meant for informational purposes for people who love cats. Proper medical care for your feline should be discussed with your veterinarian.

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AHHH! I've always had a hard time trying to remember which drug (prednisone or prednisolone) my cats are on and the thought of even trying to pronounce them. Tip: If you Google it, an English lady will give you the right pronunciation of them.

Apparently, they are almost the same thing. So I did a comparison of the two and this is what I found out:

Prednisone

  • It's a synthetic corticosteroid.
  • It's effective as an immunosuppressant drug.
  • Prednisone is used to treat the following:
    • Certain inflammatory diseases;
    • Some autoimmune diseases; and
    • Some types of cancers (when given at higher doses).
  • There is a list of mild and serious side effects.

Prednisolone

  • It's a synthetic glucocorticoid made from hydrocortisone (cortisol).
  • It's a steroid medication.
  • Prednisolone is used to treat the following:
    • Allergies;
    • Certain inflammatory diseases;
    • Some autoimmune disorders; and
    • Some types of cancers (when given at higher doses).
  • There is a list of mild and serious side effects when using this medication.

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By looking over the two, it appears that they are very similar. So what's the big friggin' difference?

Well, prednisone is ACTIVATED by enzymes in the liver to turn into prednisolone. They have similar uses, but prednisolone is more readily absorbed by the body.

A study conducted several years back compared the effectiveness of prednisone versus prednisolone in cats and dogs. What they found was that oral prednisolone was more effective and preferred when it came to treating cats.*

So, if your veterinarian prescribes prednisolone over the later, you now have a better idea on why it was prescribed!

* Source: Prednisone or Prednisolone in the Feline Patient; http://www.vetcontact.com/dermatology/art.php?a=640;


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