A prednisone tapering schedule can be employed by taking a smaller dose of prednisone over a period of time until you finish the medication. It is important to talk to your medical provider before employing the tapering method.
- Consult your medical provider
According to Mayo Clinic, abruptly discontinuing prednisone can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including severe fatigue, weakness or joint pain. Work with your medical provider to create a schedule that will lessen or eliminate these effects.
- Determine how long you have taken prednisone
The length of time you will need to taper off prednisone depends on how long you have been taking it. If you only took this medication for a short period of time, tapering may not be necessary. The tapering schedule is most effective for those who have taken prednisone for a long period of time.
- Follow your taper schedule
Once your medical provider determines the best taper schedule for you, be sure to follow it closely. According to About.com, a typical taper schedule begins with decreasing the normal dose in 5 milligram increments if the original dose is under 40 milligrams. Once you taper down to 20 milligrams, begin decreasing your dose by 2.5 milligrams at a time. Once you reach 10 milligrams, decrease your dose in steps of 1 milligram until you finish all of your medication.