Calc Function

    • Calcs that help predict probability of a diseaseDiagnosis
    • Subcategory of 'Diagnosis' designed to be very sensitiveRule Out
    • Disease is diagnosed: prognosticate to guide treatmentPrognosis
    • Numerical inputs and outputsFormula
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    Patent Pending

    Steroid Conversion Calculator

    Converts steroid dosages using dosing equivalencies.
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    INSTRUCTIONS

    These dose relationships only apply to oral or IV administration. Glucocorticoid potencies may differ greatly following intramuscular or intra-articular administration.

    When to Use
    Pearls/Pitfalls
    Why Use
    • Patients on chronic steroids may need to have their doses converted to another form for drug shortages or availability or formulation (pill, liquid, IV vs oral), for example.
    • Patients receiving a short “burst” dose of steroids may also need conversion based on formulation as well.
    • These dose relationships only apply to oral or IV administration.
    • Glucocorticoid potencies may differ greatly following IM or intra-articular administration.
    • Fludrocortisone is not used for glucocorticoid effects (only for its mineralocorticoid properties).

    Different glucocorticoids possess different duration of effect and potency; it is important to consider both factors when converting a steroid.

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    Next Steps
    Evidence
    Creator Insights

    Advice

    Remember to consider not just potency but also duration of effect. Dexamethasone typically requires much less frequent dosing due to its very long half-life and duration of action.

    Formula

    Corticosteroid Conversions:

    Compound Equivalent Dose (mg) Duration of Action
    Betamethasone 0.75 Long (36-72 Hours)
    Cortisone 25 Short (8-12 Hours)
    Dexamethasone (Decadron) 0.75 Long (36-72 Hours)
    Hydrocortisone 20 Short (8-12 Hours)
    Methylprednisolone (12-36 Hours) 4 Medium (8-12 Hours)
    Prednisolone 5 Medium (12-36 Hours)
    Prednisone 5 Medium (12-36 Hours)
    Triamcinolone 4 Medium (12-36 Hours)

    Fludrocortisone is not used for its glucocorticoid effects.

    Bryan D. Hayes, PharmD

    About the Creator

    Bryan D. Hayes, PharmD, FAACT, FASHP, is an assistant professor of emergency medicine and clinical pharmacist at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also an associate editor and the creator of the CAPSULES series of Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM). His research interests include toxicology, medication safety and emergency preparedness.

    Nadia Awad, PharmD

    About the Creator

    Nadia Awad, PharmD, BCPS is a pediatric pharmacist at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey. She is also a contributor/editor of blogs including Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) and Emergency Medicine PharmD.

    Content Contributors
    • Bryan D. Hayes, PharmD