How long does Prednisone stay in your system – Blood, Urine, Saliva, Hair

flush prednisone out system

What is Prednisone? What is Prednisone used for?

Prednisone is a Generic name for corticosteroid drug. This drug prevents the release of body substances that cause inflammation and signs and symptoms such as swelling and redness. Prednisone also suppresses the immune system. Prednisone acts as a replacement therapy for patients with low cortisol levels. Prednisone is prescribed alone or in combination with other drugs in order to different conditions including:

  • Certain forms of arthritis
  • Some forms of cancer
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • Lung diseases
  • Skin conditions
  • Eye problems
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Stomach and intestinal problems

Patients with HIV who develop pneumonia may also take prednisone along with antibiotics. A study from 2012 found that in patients with early-stage rheumatoid arthritis who use low doses of prednisone together with methotrexate, increased the effectiveness of methotrexate. Currently available prednisone’s Brand names include:  Preentsdnisone Intensol, Sterapred and Sterapred DS. Older brand names that are no longer available on the market include Deltasone, Cortan and Orasone. Prednisone is available in following dosage forms and strengths: tablets of 1.5 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg and 50 mg and solution 5 mg/ml.

How long does Prednisone stay in your system?

how long does prednisone stay in your system for drug test

The elimination half-life time for all forms of Prednisone including immediate-release and delayed-release tablets ranges from 2 to 3 hours after biochemical conversion to “prednisolone.”  This means that in about 3 hours, 50% of taken dose will be cleared from systemic circulation. Considering this elimination half-life time Prednisone should fully be eliminated from your system between 11 and 16.5 hours post-ingestion. Some data indicate that the half-life of pharmacologically active form of prednisone – “prednisolone” may be somewhat longer than 2 to 3 hours of prednisone. One finding suggests that prednisolone’s half-life could be 2 to 4 hours with an average of ~3.6 hours.  According to this data, approximately 20 hours will be needed to fully eliminate prednisone from the system. However, just because you have no longer prednisone circulating in your bloodstream, this doesn’t mean that effects of prednisone will suddenly stop.  Prednisolone has effects on numerous physiological alterations throughout your body that could remain for a long-term period after following discontinuation.  The anti-inflammatory effect of this drug can stay for a little longer from person to person, anywhere between 12 to 36 hours. A lot of patients who use prednisone complain of sweats however it may not cause by prednisone and could be the reason of the underlying illness such as in PMR and GCA autoimmune disorder that can cause heavy sweating.

Factors that may influence on how long prednisone stay in your system

Age:  There are differences in elimination times of prednisone and it active metabolite prednisolone among young adults compared to elderly.  Elderly have lower albumin levels, reduced hepatic blood flow, poorer overall physiologic function, and they are more likely to be taking medicines that may interfere with Prednisone’s elimination. This is why the elimination time of Prednisone could be prolonged in elderly. Some data also suggest that young children may exhibit differences in prednisolone clearance compared to adults.  The elimination half-life of prednisolone is thought to be an average of 3.6 hours in children, which is longer than most adults.

Body mass: The greater body mass is and relative to the taken prednisone dose, the quicker is elimination.  More massive individuals can usually handle a slightly greater amount of an exogenous substance compared to less weight people.

Genetics: Since Prednisone is converted to prednisolone, it has been thought that genes do not have an influence on prednisone metabolism. But, prednisolone is metabolized by CYP3A4 enzymes within the liver and these enzymes are influenced by different genes, resulting in rapid or poor metabolism and degradation of the drug.

Food intake: Though it has been suggested that Prednisone should be taken with food in order to avoid gastrointestinal irritation, there is evidence that prednisolone absorption may be affected.  One study found that taking prednisolone tablets together with food could delay absorption of prednisone by nearly 12 hours, thus resulting in prolonged drug retention in the body following ingestion.  But other findings suggest that prednisone doesn’t alter absorption and it should be considered that food could have a slight effect on drug elimination.

Liver and Kidney function: There are some findings that suggest that among patients with hepatic dysfunction, the half-life of Prednisone is extended.  The elimination half-life of Prednisolone is found to be approximately 10.3 hours among patients with hepatic abnormalities.  This means that complete clearance in such patients could take 2.36 days.  Additionally, renal impairment is known to excrete prednisone at a slower rate than those with normative kidney function.

Urinary pH:  Prednisone is excreted in the urine as free or in the form of conjugated metabolites.  Patients with alkaline urine are likely to excrete substances like Prednisone with less efficacy compared to those with acidic urine. Acidification of urine prevents reabsorption prior to excretion, while alkaline urine allows it.

Taking oral contraceptives:  Oral contraceptives may interfere with both prednisone’s and prednisolone’s enzymatic metabolism in the liver. These medicines contain an estrogenic component, which affects hepatic enzyme activation and plasma proteins.  Co-administration of an oral contraceptive along with Prednisone will increase peak serum concentrations and its elimination half-life. Oral contraceptives use may result in poorer non-renal clearance of prednisolone and reduced binding affinity of prednisolone to carrier proteins albumin and transcortin.  As a result prednisolone clearance may be reduced by 30%.  If contraceptives are taken along with prednisone, prednisone could stay in your body for up to 22 hours after taking your final dose.

How term of administration affects prednisone retention in the body?

The longer the duration of taking Prednisone is, the more likely patients will accumulate peak levels of prednisolone in their system.  Frequent and successive administration of Prednisone will likely lead to a “steady state” concentration of prednisone.  On the other hand, patients who have been taking Prednisone for a just one day will not reach a steady state, peak concentration of the drug.  For this reason, it is thought that clearance time in an extremely short-term user will be considerably less than that of a long-term Prednisone user.

Does prednisone show up in drug test?

No, because Prednisone is a corticosteroid drug, not an anabolic steroid, derivatives of testosterone and other synthetic variations of anabolic hormones ( For example: Deca-durabolin, Anabol, Winstrol, etc.) which are tested.

How does a drug work in the body?


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