How does Prednisone work for sinus infection?

Prednisone for sinus infection
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Key Takeaways

  • Sinus infection, also called sinusitis, is an infection that comprises nasal congestion, pressure, and excessive mucus production.
  • Prednisone, an oral steroid, may be prescribed for some sinus infections. However, research shows that it may be best left for severe cases. If your sinus infection is mild, prednisone may not make you feel better faster, and its side effects and risks will likely outweigh any possible benefits.
  • Some common side effects of taking prednisone can be weight gain, increased appetite, insomnia, and mood changes. It’s not an OTC medication and can only be prescribed by a healthcare provider. 
  • It’s beneficial to only follow the prescribed dose of prednisone for the specified period to avoid any unwanted side effects. 


Sinus infections, either acute or chronic, can cause extreme irritation, discomfort, inflammation, and shortness of breath. The treatment options for sinus infections start with home remedies and antibiotics that can help relieve sinus infection, inflammation, and irritation by treating the infection. Healthcare providers also prescribe prednisone for effective treatment. Prednisone is a corticosteroid that treats the infection due to its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. 

What is prednisone?

Prednisone belongs to the corticosteroid class of medications. It is an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drug prescribed for acute and chronic sinus infection and other infections, including  Inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, skin conditions( psoriasis, eczema), and autoimmune disorders, e.g., multiple sclerosis. Other respiratory infections, including COPD and bronchitis, can also be treated with Prednisone.

How does prednisone work for sinusitis?

Prednisone is considered a short-term treatment option for sinusitis to relieve inflammatory symptoms. It works best for sinusitis by taking over the body’s inflammatory response. When polyps are formed in the body due to sinusitis, it reduces the size of polyps and improves symptoms. 

Prednisone is often considered for treating sinus infections when other antibiotics take longer to relieve and improve symptoms. It also effectively relieves pressure and congestion. 

It should be kept in mind always to follow the dosing regimen and instructions prescribed by your healthcare provider to avoid any unwanted side effects of the corticosteroids

Suffering from a sinus infection? Get a prescription for prednisone with Your Doctors Online.

How quickly does Prednisone (Deltasone) work for sinusitis?

Your healthcare provider will tailor the dose and dosage regimen of prednisone to your needs and the severity of an infection. The typical duration after which the symptoms will improve is 4-5 days of medication. You will start to notice the improvement in inflammation as well as congestion and pressure after 2-3 days of taking prednisone. 

Complete relief will be observed after 6-7 days of taking Prednisone (Deltasone). Consult your doctor if your symptoms persist for a longer time. 

What are the side effects of Prednisone (Deltasone)? 

Some of the common side effects of Prednisone include 

  • Weight gain
  • Increased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Elevated blood sugar levels
  • Fluid retention
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Thinning of skin
  • Easy bruising
  • Muscle weakness

There are also some rare and intense side effects of prednisone as well. Examples include 

  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Vision changes
  • Eye pain
  • Severe mood swings or psychosis
  • Severe stomach or abdominal pain
  • Irregular heartbeat or chest pain
  • Severe headaches
  • Persistent fever
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Severe joint pain
  • Signs of serious infection, such as high fever or persistent sore throat

These side effects are rare. If observed, it needs immediate medical attention by a healthcare provider. 

Does Prednisone reduce mucus?

Yes, Prednisone can help reduce inflammation in the airways and eventually reduce the excessive mucus production due to respiratory conditions or sinusitis. 

However, it also depends on the severity of the medical condition, which varies from person to person. Prednisone is often prescribed to manage conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), where reducing airway inflammation can indirectly decrease excessive mucus production.

Delays can worsen your sinus infection. Timely treatment and consultation can help you get rid of it.

Consult a Doctor

You will need a prescription for Prednisone and cannot be dispensed without a prescription. It’s good to get the consultation and personalized medicine for your sinus infection for the required time. You can now get an online consultation and medication with our healthcare providers through our easy-to-use app. 

FAQs about Prednisone for sinus infection

Will 5mg prednisone help inflammation?

Yes. It can only be if your healthcare provider prescribes it as per the severity of your health condition. The correct dose and dosage regimen can only be decided and prescribed by your healthcare provider if prescribed to you.

Do I need steroids or antibiotics for a sinus infection?

Antibiotics are the first choice of medication for sinus infection, but healthcare providers also prescribe corticosteroids to decrease inflammation and congestion. It also reduces mucus production indirectly.

Does prednisone help with upper respiratory infections?

Yes. Prednisone is prescribed and effective for upper respiratory tract infections, including sinusitis. It also drains the mucus in case of congestion and should only be taken when prescribed by healthcare providers.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Hayward, Gail, et al. “Intranasal corticosteroids in management of acute sinusitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” The Annals of Family Medicine 10.3 (2012): 241-249.
  • Pundir, Vishal, et al. “Role of corticosteroids in functional endoscopic sinus surgery-a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Rhinology 54.1 (2016): 3-19.
  • Snidvongs, Kornkiat, et al. “Sinus surgery and delivery method influence the effectiveness of topical corticosteroids for chronic rhinosinusitis: systematic review and meta-analysis.” American journal of rhinology & allergy 27.3 (2013): 221-233.
  • Mahalingam, Sridhayan, et al. “The role of adjuvant systemic steroids in the management of periorbital cellulitis secondary to sinusitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology 278 (2021): 2193-2201.
  • Gustafson, L. Mark, et al. “Oral prednisone therapy in experimental rhinovirus infections.” Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 97.4 (1996): 1009-1014.

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