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Corticosteroids Properties and Potencies

The following is a list of approximate relative antiinflammatory potency, equivalent dose, relative sodium-retaining potency, and relative duration of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression of commonly used glucocorticoid steroids [1][2][3][4]. Dosage ranges are approximate and representative only as presented by manufacturer data; please consult more detailed dosing recommendations for specific steroid-responsive conditions:

Drug
Relative Anti-inflammatory Potency
Dose Equivalency (mg)
Sodium Retention Capacity
Duration of Action or Biological Effects (hours)
Cortisone
0.8
25
0.8
8 to 12
Hydrocortisone
1
20
1
8 to 12
Prednisone
4
5
0.8
12 to 36
PrednisoLONE
4
5
0.8
12 to 36
MethylPREDNISolone
5
4
0.5
12 to 36
Triamcinolone
5
4
0
12 to 36
Betamethasone
25
0.8
0
36 to 72
Dexamethasone
30
0.8
0
36 to 72

Reference
1. Gums JG & Wilt VM: Disorders of the Adrenal Gland In: DiPiro JT, Talbert RL, Yee GC, et al (Eds): Pharmacotherapy - A Pathophysiologic Approach, 3rd. Appleton & Lange, Stamford, Connecticut, 1997.
2. Schimmer BP & Parker KL: Adrenocorticotropic hormone - adrenocortical steroids and their synthetic analogs: inhibitors of the synthesis and actions of adrenocortical hormones In: Hardman JG, Limbird LE, Molinoff PB, et al: Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 9th. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, New York, NY, 1996.
3. Dujovne CA & Azarnoff DL: Clinical complications of corticosteroid therapy. A selected review. Med Clin North Am 1973; 57:1331-1342.
4. Melby JC: Drug spotlight program: systemic corticosteroid therapy: pharmacology and endocrinologic considerations. Ann Intern Med 1974; 81:505-512.
Last Modified: May 11, 2016, Micromedex