If you’re looking at treatment options for asthma or another inflammatory condition, you may want to learn more about prednisone.
Prednisone is a generic prescription drug that’s used in adults and children to treat a range of conditions that involve inflammation (swelling and damage). Examples of these conditions include asthma, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Prednisone belongs to a group of drugs called corticosteroids (also known as steroids). Specifically, prednisone is a glucocorticoid.
Prednisone comes in three forms, all of which you take by mouth:
- immediate-release tablet*
- liquid solution
- concentrated liquid solution (called Prednisone Intensol)
Keep reading to for details on prednisone and cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.
Note: For more details on prednisone, including other conditions it treats, see this in-depth article.
*An immediate-release drug is released into your body right away.
The price you pay for prednisone can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.
To find out how much you’ll pay for prednisone, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about prednisone and cost.
Does prednisone come as a shot or as eyedrops? If so, what’s the cost?
No, prednisone doesn’t come as a shot (injection) or as eyedrops. Prednisone is a drug that’s taken by mouth. It comes in three forms: an immediate-release tablet, a liquid solution, and a concentrated liquid solution.
Although prednisone doesn’t come as a shot, another type of steroid called cortisone can be given as an injection (but it doesn’t contain prednisone).
Prednisone also doesn’t come as an eyedrop, but a drug with a similar name, prednisolone (Pred Forte), is available as an eye drop. Prednisolone is a steroid drug that’s similar to prednisone.
For cost information about prednisone, cortisone, or prednisolone, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance plan.
What does prednisone cost without insurance?
The price you pay for prednisone without insurance can vary. Your cost may depend on factors such as the form of the drug you use, your dosage, and which pharmacy you use.
You may be able to use a pharmacy discount card that can be used without insurance to lower your cost of prednisone. For more resources, see the “Can I get help paying for prednisone?” section below.
To find out how much you’ll pay for prednisone without insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Does the cost of prednisone tablets depend on the strength (1 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 50 mg)?
Yes, the cost of prednisone tablets can vary with the strength prescribed. For example, 50-mg prednisone tablets may be slightly more expensive than 10-mg prednisone tablets. But overall, prednisone is fairly inexpensive, and there isn’t much of a cost difference between strengths.
The cost of prednisone can also vary depending on the form you use. The cost of prednisone liquid solution or the concentrated liquid solution may be higher than the cost of prednisone tablets.
The prednisone immediate-release tablet,* the liquid solution, and the concentrated liquid solution only come as generic drugs. There’s also a prednisone delayed-release tablet,† but it only comes as a brand-name drug called Rayos. (This form isn’t available as a generic drug.)
A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be just as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics also tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
To find out how the costs of Rayos and prednisone compare, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
If your doctor has prescribed prednisone and you’re interested in using Rayos instead, talk with your doctor. They may prefer one version over the other. In addition, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider. This is because it may only cover one drug or the other.
* An immediate-release drug is released into your body right away.
† A delayed-release drug is released slowly over time into your body.
Prednisone may be taken short term or long term, depending on your condition. If you take prednisone long term, you may be able to lower your costs in the following ways:
- Look into getting a 90-day supply of your medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply of prednisone if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of prednisone. If you’re interested in getting a 90-day supply of this drug, talk with your doctor or insurance provider.
- Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost for prednisone. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug through mail order. If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.
If you need help covering the cost of prednisone or understanding your insurance, check out these websites:
On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.
If you have questions about how you can pay for prednisone, you may also want to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you still have questions about the cost of prednisone, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for prednisone.
Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:
- Will my dosage of prednisone affect the cost?
- How long will I need to take prednisone?
- Are there any similar medications that could treat my condition for a lower cost?
Check out Healthline’s online newsletters for multiple sclerosis and allergies and asthma if you take prednisone for one of these conditions.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.