Historically, prednisone and prednisolone have been considered therapeutically equivalent when used in veterinary medicine, however studies prove otherwise. Although found equivalent in humans and canines, feline and equine dosing is considerably different. In a study by Rosser and Graham-Mize, feline were administered a 10mg total dose of either prednisone or prednisolone to determine comparative pharmacokinetics of each drug. Serum prednisolone levels were measured, as prednisone needs to be converted by the liver to the active form prednisolone. Results revealed that when prednisolone was given orally, mean maximum serum concentration (Cmax – ng/ml) was significantly greater for oral prednisolone than oral prednisone and that mean area under the curve (AUC – ng/mL/hr) values were significantly different. “These differences may be due to decreased gastrointestinal absorption of prednisone vs. prednisolone, or to decreased hepatic conversion of prednisone to prednisolone in cats.” 1 This data indicates that the superior choice for felines is prednisolone, which may be given orally or topically.
1. Graham-Mize, Rosser: Bioavailability and activity of prednisone and prednisolone in the feline patient. Veterinary Dermatology 15 (s1) 2004, pg. 10
Feline Acute Dose: 2.5mg to 5mg Daily (Oral or Transdermal)
Feline Maintenance Dose: 2.5mg to 5mg every 2 to 3 days (Oral or Transdermal)
**Oral suspension, can be bitter, but is effective**
**Long-term use of transdermal corticosteroids can result in epidermal atrophy**