Prednisolone is usually in a tablet form and is used to treat allergic and inflammatory conditions such as asthma, allergies and skin conditions, amongst other things. What I’m wondering is why a drug to treat allergies should ever contain one of the thirteen main allergens?
Absolutely loads of drugs contain lactose, including health, vitamin and mineral supplements. It seems the onus is always on the patient or customer to check ingredients for everything; don’t get complacent and ever assume the doctor you’ve visited has studied your medical notes and has checked the drugs he/she is prescribing are suitable. Always, always check.
I was lucky this time. I only had minor effects including flushing and redness of the skin on my face and mild itching. Wondering what was causing this I checked the packet and discovered very quickly why, so why hadn’t I checked? With my asthma seeming to swing out of control lately with little relief from either the preventative or the regular inhaler I thought these steroids would help me get back to normal. After struggling to breathe for months and suffering a serious asthma attack needing a hospital visit to A&E I was desperate, but Prednisalone is not the answer for anyone with a dairy allergy as it contains lactose.
Why do so many drugs contain lactose?
Drug manufacturers use lactose as a filler or coating. It’s brilliant for the purpose because it’s almost tasteless, creates a brilliant coating when sprayed onto pills, prevents caking and ‘hardly anyone reacts to it as an ingredient’. But if ‘hardly anyone’ is you that’s not much consolation.
What do Prednisolone tablets contain?
The active ingredient is prednisolone 1mg or 5mg. The other active ingredients are lactose monohyrate, dextrin, maize starch and stearic acid (E570)
If you have anaphylaxis to dairy then you shouldn’t take the risk. Every drug has a lactose free alternative so ask your doctor to check. They will probably have to dig out their bible of drugs and leaf through and check, but there is always another option. It is probably not the cheapest option but if you have an allergy, are vegan, or have other reasons for opting for drugs without lactose insist that your doctor checks.
I’ll let you know if I find a dairy free alternative but am trying to cope without the steroids. The list of side effects really puts me off. When prescribed, the doctor told me about the side effects but she highlighted that it could cause “feelings of heightened well being” and “increased appetite”. She didn’t mention that on the minus side it can also cause depression, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, I could go on – the list of nasty side side effects is LONG!
Have you used Prednisolone and have a dairy allergy? Did you have an adverse effects? Or have you found a dairy free alternative steroid for asthma? Is anyone else’s asthma bad at the moment? Or is it just me?
Ask for soluble prednisolone. It tastes foul but doesn’t contain lactose. Good luck!
Hey Yvette Thanks! I will do. Not liking the sound of the ‘tastes foul’ bit but I’m sure I can disguise it in something. Failing that will just have to eat something extra nice afterwards. Any excuse!
Amanda Bissell says
I’m not sure how this question will go over but throwing it out there anyways: So here’s a bit of background first off – I was recently diagnosed with a rare illness called Alpha Gal for most people this means staying away from mammal and mammal by products even the smallest amount, for me this also means staying away from poultry, fish, bananas, latex, metals, potatoes, tree nuts, mangos, sunflower and mushrooms of course with the mammal that includes milk and everything!!! So for my question do you know if there is a medication out there for allergies that is 100% vegan and without any tree nuts, sunflower, potato, or fungus?!?!?! I know it’s a lot but I’m currently without any help and my doc seems to be clueless about my illness (I’m seeing a specialist in a week or so 3 states away) even my pharmacist has been clueless to this situation and almost gave me medication that contained glycerin which is derived from cows my BIGGEST allergy!!! So any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!! Thank you!!!
Ruth Holroyd says
Hi there Amanda, I have heard of this condition but not of any cures. Here in the UK we certainly don’t have any reliable treatment for allergies. I’m not sure if immunotherapy would work for you as it sounds very complex but I know they do this in the US so it’s worth asking, even if it could help with only a few foods. Sadly the only solution is to avoid the foods in question. Is your condition caused by a tic or bug that bites you? It sounds very cruel indeed to be allergic to meat and all meat products. I think the only way forward is to learn as much as you can, get really familiar with your condition, which it sounds like you are and just find a way of living with it. Not so helpful I know. Are you a member of any of the support groups? I can see a few on Facebook which might help, just to chat to other people with it. Check out https://tbcunited.org/alphagal-syndrome/ also, as I’m sure there will be other organisations looking into this condition and supporting those who live with it. Good luck
You are so helpful to so many and that is terrific. I am looking for a vegan prednisone which is why I am reading through this question. It struck me that you said “it sounds very cruel indeed to be allergic to meat and all meat products” when the meat industry is so incredibly cruel. Just kind of ironic.
Ruth Holroyd says
Oh yes that is quite ironic. It is cruel. I find myself eating less and less meat these days. Are you vegan? I would actually love to try going totally vegan but my diet is so restricted due to allergies I would struggle I think.
Judy Daugherty says
I posted comments & questions yesterday re: prescription drugs with lactose and/or povidone. Where did it go????????????????? Seems this site is just as bad as big pharma…
Hi Judy. I’ve checked my spam and I can’t see your comment. All comments come to me first for approval unless someone has already commented elsewhere and had a comment approved. If you have time I would love to hear your comment, as I’m sure would my readers. I’m sorry you think I’m just as bad as a big pharma! You couldn’t be further from the truth but this blog is my hobby and I do my best to make sure the website is working properly. WordPress is normally very reliable to apologies that your comment disappeared. If I do find it in my spam I will approve but it blocks hundreds of spam comments all the time.
Judy! I found your comment on a similar blog post at: https://whatallergy.com/2009-09/antihistamines
I’ve replied to you. Thought your name sounded familiar.
it’s crazy but all the otc allergy meds have lactose in them too!
In 2011 I adopted a low carb diets, mostly free of wheat and sugar, and my need for the asthma inhaler went bye bye. Maybe your sensitive to gluten.
I had terrible wheezing when laying down to sleep at night. Just couldn’t figure out why, when I was on top of my asthma meds. I then decided to check labels and there it was, lactose in cetirizine tablets. Switched myself over to liquid cetirizine and the asthma went! Doctor looked at me like I’m nuts when I asked for the repeat script to be in liquid form, but he did what I asked so what the hey.
I have read your post and thought that I should include some maybe helpful info:
There is a lactose free prednisolone. It is sold in soluble tablets: prednisolone sodium phosphate by Phoenix labs and is available on NHS.
I also wanted to add a very peculiar thing that I found that most tablet based antihistamines contain LACTOSE! Liquid ones don’t, but do check.
I have been suffering from a mirriad of symptoms for years now including severe asthma and anaphylaxis, joint pain, severe fatigue, flushing, headaches.. the list is endless and it appears that lactose intolerance or non IgE mediated dairy allergy might be behind many of the symptoms.
Ruth Holroyd says
Gosh that’s really useful. Thank you. I react really badly to Prednisolone so this is really useful. Not that anyone wants to take this but it can really help sometimes. Thanks so much for sharing.
Leigh Hart says
Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for, I am very allergic to lactose, just took prednisone and am suffering, but, heart and breathing problems. Will Call GP in morning to get a lactose-free version, but it always helps if I know what the options are…….
Leigh Hart says
That should read GUT, heart and lung problems, silly spellcheck!
Leigh Hart says
Yes – I get liquid allergy free benadryl capsules whenever I am in the US (Or have a relative flying this way) for this very reason. Can’t understand why it’s so hard to have a lactose free version…..
Ruth Holroyd says
No I don’t understand why most of these pills contain lactose/dairy, it seems very unnecessary.
Linda love says
I worry about cjd are there any bovine products in prednisolone?