A comparison of oral prednisone given as a single or multiple daily doses for active proctocolitis


Powell-Tuck J, Brown RL, Lennard-Jones JE




Scand J Gastroenterol


Forty mg has been shown to be the optimal daily dosage of prednisone for outpatients requiring oral steroids for active proctocolitis. Although daily doses of oral steroids are commonly divided, a single dose each morning causes less adrenal suppression and is more convenient to take. A randomized controlled trial has been performed on patients with proctocolitis, in which 23 received 40 mg prednisolone each morning as one dose, and 22 received 10 mg four times a day, over two weeks. Physicians unaware of the dosage schedule scored the disease activity and assessed the steroid side-effects when the patient entered the trial, at day 7 and at day 14. Of those taking the divided dose the disease improved in 17 and failed to improve in five. No side-effects were observed in ten patients. Of those receiving a once daily regimen, 17 improved and six did not. Nine patients had no side-effects. Further assessment showed no difference between the two groups either in response rate or side-effects produced. When oral steroids are indicated for active proctocolitis, 40 mg prednisolone, as a single dose each morning can be recommended.