Red v White (Pred of course!)

…..I am shocked to find this out today…..

A friend has just alerted to me that red Pred is no longer being prescribed in the UK and we are all to be given white, ie, non enteric coated pred tablets.

On the one occasion I have been forced to take white rather than red Pred- ((when I had a prescription mix up in hospital)), I suffered such excruciating stomach cramps on it that even a quadruple dose of Nexium did nothing. I am so shocked to read that as part of the NHS’s cost cutting we are all going to be switched to the horrid white monster pills instead of the red coated ones.

I quote: “Red Enteric Coated Prednisolone tablets currently cost £8.69 for 28 tablets of the 5mg strength, but the uncoated tablets currently cost £1.03 for 28 tablets of the 5mg strength. The current financial climate means we have to look at every area to ensure value for money without compromising the care and treatment we provide to patients.”

Well if my Dr now abides by these rules and goes ahead and makes me take red not white Pred, then my care and treatment will be compromised, not to mention how much more Nexium I am going to be needing!

They are also saying that the red enteric coating prevents complete absorption of the drug. What? So why had this only been discovered? Many, many tablets come with enteric coatings, not just Pred.

I quote: “There is evidence that has shown that prednisolone enteric-coated tablets (like the ones you are taking) do not absorb as well into the bloodstream as ‘normal’ uncoated prednisolone tablets. In certain medical conditions it is really important to have sufficient levels of drug in the bloodstream to allow that medical condition to be controlled consistently. In the past it was suggested that the E/C tablets protected the gut from indigestion, peptic ulcers and perforation. However, to date there is a lack of evidence to suggest they provide any more protection than the uncoated tablets.”

I can forsee myself having a battle next week when I re-order my monthly script. I am currently having stomach issues on 50mg of enteric coated Pred, try giving me the plain white ones and my poor tummy will be screaming blue murder.

…..Ho hum: And Oh how I dislike change, of any sort…..


4 Responses to Red v White (Pred of course!)

  1. hopalongkp says:

    im having that battle atm in hossie they no longer supply e/c pred so got to get hubby to bring it in and currently on 70mg with horrendous heartburn-heaven knows how we will cope with the white nasty things.

    • Oh dear-mind you, surely if you’re on 70mg you should be on IV steroids instead. There’s no way I would take that much. I’m struggling with 50mg red ones-can’t bear to think about white ones. Going to have that battle this morning when I phone for my repeat.

  2. I had to get my gastro consultant to write a letter to GP and copy it in to my asthma consultant say I needed enteric coated pred and this is what I was to be provided with. I had to take my own in when I went in last time though b/c the hospital pharmacy didnt have them. I just ask how much its going to cost them to treat all the stomach problems they cause. Its not like nexium at such high doses is cheap.

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