Difficult to control asthma

12) Oral steroids and side effects

Prednisolone tablets

Prednisolone tablets

If you are prescribed oral steroid tablets these will be a higher dose than the inhaled form. For this reason they are prescribed in short courses rather than continually. If you are prescribed a course of oral steroids you should complete the course or seek advice from your doctor or asthma nurse if you have any side effects.

If you have any of these conditions and you notice a change after taking oral steroids, tell your doctor.

  • Stomach ulcers – tell your doctor if you have stomach pains.
  • Weight gain.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Blood clots.
  • Cushing’s disease.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Skin thinning or bruising.
  • A serious infection you have not had treated.
  • Herpes infection of the eye.
  • Intolerance of some sugars (e.g. galactose or lactose).
  • If you develop an infection or come into contact with someone who has chicken pox, shingles or measles speak to your doctor. Steroids may reduce your body’s ability to defend against these infections.


It is important that your healthcare team review your medication on a regular basis to ensure you are on the correct treatment to minimise the risk of long term effects.

Information on other side-effects can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet in the pack of your medication or through the following website: Medicines.org – eMC.