Prednisolone eye drops may be used to treat eye inflammation, especially before or after eye surgeries. They’re typically only used for a short period of time.

Prednisolone is a potent, synthetic glucocorticoid. It’s used to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation. It comes in all sorts of formulas, including eye drops.

There are several reasons a healthcare professional may prescribe prednisolone eye drops to you. This article will explore the most common ones.

Prednisolone eye drops, or prednisolone acetate ophthalmic suspension, are a topical medication used in the eyes to treat inflammation and similar conditions.

Although there are generic forms of prednisolone eye drops, some brand names for this medication include:

  • AK-Pred
  • Pred Forte
  • Pred Mild

There are also some combination formulas that blend prednisolone with other medications, like sulfacetamide and gentamicin. Some brand names for these medications include:

  • Blephamide
  • Poly-Pred
  • Pred-G
  • Vasocidin

There are several reasons you may need to control inflammation or irritation in your eye. The most common reasons a healthcare professional will prescribe prednisolone eye drops include:

  • postsurgical swelling or inflammation
  • noninfectious uveitis
  • graft rejection
  • allergic disorders, like atopic or vernal keratoconjunctivitis
  • bacterial corneal ulcers
  • ocular injuries from physical trauma, burns, or chemical exposure

These drops can be used to treat more than one part of the eye, including the:

There are pros and cons of using steroids before eye surgery.

Today, most eye surgeons prescribe topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) before surgery to prevent possible inflammation during the procedure.

After surgery, both steroids and NSAID eye drops have a role in clinical care.

Talk with your healthcare professional about your individual needs and the risk of side effects when considering prednisolone eye drops before cataract surgery.

As with any medications that fall into the steroid category, there are side effects that can develop from long-term and short-term use.

Some of the most common side effects reported with the use of prednisolone eye drops are:

Use prednisolone eye drops with caution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Avoid using them altogether if you have:

If you need to use this medication for more than 10 days, your healthcare team will need to arrange to have the pressure inside your eye measured regularly.

If a doctor prescribes prednisolone eye drops, they will give you specific instructions on when to use the drops and for how long. Only use the eye drops as prescribed.

Insurance coverage of eye drops can vary, but your plan may cover eye medications like prednisolone that are deemed medically necessary.

Without insurance, the cost of prednisolone acetate eye drops ranges from about $49 to $52 a bottle across the United States. Bottles of prednisolone eye drops usually contain about 10 to 15 milliliters of medication.

Long-term use of steroids can produce side effects and possibly delay healing, so most of the time a doctor will only prescribe these drops for a few days or up to a week.

Talk with your healthcare professional about any problems you have had taking steroid medications in the past, and if you develop any new problems while using the eye drops.