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How To Take Prednisone Dose Pack?

How To Take Prednisone Dose Pack?

This “Prednisone Dose Pack” contains 21 tablets and has a blister pack to punch out the tablets.

It’s funny that when it comes to prednisone, some of the information out there is just plain wrong, such as the instructions printed on the packet of prednisone tapers. Find out the surprising best way to take a Prednisone Dose Pack by watching the video below or continue and read the article.

Watch now!

How To Take the Prednisone Dose Pack?

Typically prednisone is prescribed in a bottle like this one and the pharmacist dumps it out and puts it in a pill bottle.

But in your case, you have a dose pack and you probably are punching it out into little holes called a blister pack. If you have a dose pack, this is what it likely has: 20 mg, 10 mg, or 5 mg prednisone tablets.

The Prednisone Dose Pack either has prednisone 20 milligram tablets in it.

Prednisone 20mg dose

Or the Prednisone Dose Pack has prednisone 10 milligram tablets in it.

Prednisone 10mg dose

Or the Prednisone Dose Pack could have prednisone 5 milligram tablets in it.

Prednisone 5mg dose


Prednisone Dose Pack Instructions

  • Day 1 – Take all 6 tablets in one swallow with a glass of water and food, first thing in the morning, (unless you just barely picked it up from the pharmacy, then take it right away).
  • Day 2 – You’re going to punch out all five tablets and you’re going to swallow them in one swallow, first thing in the morning.
  • Day 3 – Take all 4 tablets at once first thing in the morning
  • Day 4 – Take all 3 tablets at once first thing in the morning
  • Day 5 – Take all 2 tablets at once first thing in the morning
  • Day 6 – Take the last tablet first thing in morning
  • Day 7 – Take zero tablets! You’re done!

Prednisone Dose Pack Instructions in Depth

If you received a Prednisone Dose Pack from the pharmacy, what you’re going to do is for each line of little bubbles in the blister pack, you’re going to punch out the tablets for each line. Each line represents a day. So you punch out every single tablet on that day and you take it all at once, first thing in the morning. 

So on day one you punch out all six tablets on the first day and you put all six of them in your hand, you swallow all 6 tablets with a tall glass of water, hopefully some food as well. And that’s what you do on the first day. Don’t spread them out throughout the day as it can cause more side effects like insomnia if you take it closer to bedtime. You want to take the prednisone first thing in the morning if possible. 

But if you just picked it up from the pharmacy, say at noon, then take that first dose at noon. 

Then the next day for day two, punch out all five tablets, swallow them all at once first thing in the morning.

On day three, you’re going to have four tablets. So punch out all four tablets, take them all at once first thing in the morning. 

Day four, you’re going to have 3 tablets on day four. And you’re gonna punch all of them out, swallow them. 

Day five, you’re going to have two tablets. Punch out both of them. Swallow them first thing in the morning. 

On the last day, day six, you’ll have one tablet, punch that one out, swallow it first thing in the morning. 

Should I take the Prednisone Dose Pack with Food?

You can take it with or without food. Generally it’s recommended to be taken with food to possibly prevent stomach ulcers. 

Medrol Dosepak vs Prednisone: Is it a Medrol Dosepak or Prednisone Pack?

If your packet says “Medrol” or “methylprednisolone” instead of prednisone, then you’ve got a Medrol Dosepak. The instructions are the same. If you’d like to learn more about the Medrol Dosepak, check out my article with Medrol Dosepak Instructions.

How Many Days is a Prednisone Dose Pack?

The Prednisone Dose Pack contains 6 days of tablets, a total of 21 prednisone tablets. You take 6 tablets the first day and then one fewer each day for a total of 6 days.

How Much Prednisone Am I Taking in a Prednisone Dose Pack?

If your doctor prescribed the Prednisone 10 mg Dose Pack, then this is how much prednisone you are taking per day: 

  • Day 1 – On day one, with six tablets, if you are getting the 10 milligram prednisone dose pack, then you have 60 milligrams on day one. (60 mg)
  • Day 2 – 50 milligrams of prednisone (50 mg)
  • Day 3 – 40 milligrams of prednisone (40 mg)
  • Day 4 – 30 milligrams of prednisone (30 mg)
  • Day 5 – 20 milligrams of prednisone (20 mg)
  • Day 6 – 10 milligrams of prednisone (10 mg)
  • Day 7 – 0 milligrams. You’re done!

Each day you’re just dropping down by one less pill. That’s called a taper. That’s the best way to stop taking prednisone because your body needs time to recover, so go slowly off.

Reason to Taper Off Prednisone – Avoid Adrenal Crisis

The reason you taper is so you don’t go into what’s called an adrenal crisis. That is terrible. It can actually be fatal if you go straight from one dose to zero without slowly tapering off. And if you’ve taken just one day, it may be okay to go off completely. But you definitely have to check with your doctor. Going beyond five days of prednisone and definitely beyond 10 to 14 days, you must taper. 

There are no exceptions. Going “cold turkey” off prednisone can literally be fatal. 

So if you’re just taking the prednisone dose pack, the six days worth, you can just follow that taper plan and it should be just right for you.

How fast does a Prednisone Dose Pack work?

Prednisone can work quickly to douse inflammation and provide pain relief. It depends on what you’re taking it for, but generally prednisone can start working after 2-3 hours. Read more about How long does it take prednisone to work?

What is a Prednisone Dose Pack Used For?

Doctors may prescribe a Prednisone Dose Pack for any type of inflammation or short-term autoimmune disease flare. Read my article for all the reasons that prednisone is used for.

Is a Prednisone Dose Pack a Steroid?

Yes, prednisone is a steroid. It’s an anti-inflammatory type of steroid, which is different than the kind of steroids that bodybuilders use and abuse.

What are the Side Effects of a Prednisone Dose Pack?

There are up to 150 side effects possible from a Prednisone Dose Pack. The most common you might experience include insomnia, extra energy (euphoria), jitteriness, anxiety, hot flashes, or hunger. Check out my searchable list of prednisone side effects to see if what you’re experiencing is a prednisone side effect or something else.

What if I don’t feel well at the end of the Prednisone Dose Pack?

But what if the taper didn’t leave you feeling recovered? What if you stop taking it and you feel awful, you feel exhausted, have a hard time getting off the couch, you’re miserable? Then tell your doctor, be in touch with your doctor’s office, because you might be going through withdrawals. Most people are fine doing just that six day taper and don’t go into withdrawal. But a small percentage of people need a more prolonged taper to help your adrenal system to recover. Discuss this with your doctor.

Conclusion: Get the Prednisone Checklist

If you are looking to counteract the side effects of this short six day prednisone dose pack taper, then check out my Prednisone Checklist.

You can download it by clicking the link below. In the free Prednisone Checklist, I have my tips for how to counteract the top side effects that happen while you’re taking prednisone. And that way you can feel your very best, even though you’re taking this drug that causes side effects.

Free Prednisone Checklist

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Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP, is an award-winning clinical pharmacist board certified in the types of conditions people take prednisone for. Dr. Megan had to take prednisone herself for an autoimmune condition so understands what it feels like to suffer prednisone side effects and made it her mission to counteract them as the Prednisone Pharmacist.

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