Over the counter substitute for prednisone

Prednisone is a type of glucocorticoid medicine for the immune system and lowers inflammation conditions like rheumatologic, asthma, and COPD diseases. Also, it treats migraine, severe tuberculosis, allergic disorders, hives, thyroiditis, lupus, nephrotic syndrome, sarcoidosis, and ulcerative colitis. The medication treats high calcium in the blood that is caused by steroids and cancer. However, prednisone has long term side effects like bone loss, cataracts, thrush, and easy muscle breakage. Other effects are swelling, gain of weight, psychosis, risk of infection, and high blood sugar. Therefore, consumption should be stopped immediately after frequent use. Pregnancy mothers are safe to take but should lower doses when breastfeeding. Here are common over the counter replacements for prednisone.

1. Arava

The medicine is an anti-rheumatic drug that treats moderate and severe arthritis. The most common effects are diarrhea, nausea, hair loss, abdominal pain, weight loss, dry skin, chest pain, vomiting, allergic reaction, cough, and loss of appetite. Others are pneumonia, rash, indigestion, dizziness, back pain, urinary tract infection, itchiness, headache, and weakness. Take one dose daily by mouth. The dosage depends on your condition and response. Consume regularly to see benefits.


This medicine is approved by drug administration and can be used as a replacement for prednisone. It helps to treat inflammation but weakens the immune system like any other medicine.

2. Medrol

Medrol is an example of a steroid that stops the production of substances that result in inflammation. It treats several inflammatory conditions like lupus, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, gland disorders, allergic disorders, and psoriasis. Medrol treats other conditions that affect eyes, skin, lungs, nervous system, blood cells, and stomach. This medicine is taken daily but make sure you follow prescription directions.


It is recommended to use Medrol if you suffer from fungal infection. See the doctor if you have a thyroid disorder, liver disease, depression, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, herpes, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and muscle disorder.

3. Dexamethasone

This is a corticosteroid medication used to treat skin diseases, rheumatic problems, asthma, allergies, swelling, chronic lung disease, ocular, croup, brain swelling, and tuberculosis. Long-term use causes side effects like bone loss, muscle weakness, thrush, easy bruising, and cataracts. It is suitable for pregnant mothers but not for breastfeeding, it brings immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory effects. Its single dose can speed up sore throat improvement.


Dexamethasone is often used along with fludrocortisone that has greater mineralocorticoids. Its effects will be noticed in one day and will be seen for three days.

4. Cortef

Cortef is a type of medicine used for treating health conditions like arthritis, cancer, breathing problems, cancer, blood disorders, eye conditions, allergies, skin problems, hormone, and immune system disorders. You will experience side effects like weight loss, weakness, dizziness, headache, muscle pain, tiredness, and nausea. To avoid such effects, stop the dosage slowly and not rapidly. Take the medicine through the mouth alongside milk or food to prevent stomach upset. Take with a full glass of water.


Cortef reduces the immune system that responds to symptoms like swelling, pain, and allergic reactions. Treatment will depend on how your medical condition will respond to medication. Mark your calendar to remind you of daily dosage.


What can be used in place of prednisone?

There are various prescription alternatives, like other corticosteroids, DMARDs, or biologic agents, depending on the specific condition.

Is there an over-the-counter prednisone?

No, prednisone is a prescription medication and is not available over-the-counter.

What is the natural alternative to prednisone?

Explore natural remedies like dietary changes, herbal supplements (e.g., turmeric, ginger), acupuncture, and stress management. However, these should be discussed with a healthcare provider first.


If you are considering using an over-the-counter substitute for prednisone, it is important to talk to your doctor first. They can help you determine if an over-the-counter medication is right for you and advise you on the best dosage and frequency to take it.

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