Steroid Conversion Calculator

By Małgorzata Koperska, MD
Last updated: Feb 12, 2019

The steroid conversion calculator is a tool used to estimate correct corticosteroid dosage. The calculation is based on steroid equivalency - the fact that steroids can be substituted by one another, taking into account their potency and their duration of action.

This is a calculator for medical professionals. If you're a patient, don't try to modify your therapy without consulting a physician!
Please remember that the estimated doses apply only to intravenous or oral administration of steroids.

Check out our general dosage, ibuprofen dosage, and paracetamol dosage calculators, and scroll down to read more about corticosteroid conversion!

What is steroid equivalency?

Corticosteroids are both hormones produced in the human body and synthetic drugs, designed to act in the same ways as the natural ones. They have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and immunosuppressive properties, and are used in a wide range of conditions. There are general recommendations when to use specific drugs, but they all act similarly and sometimes can be used interchangeably. Consider increasing dosing frequency when converting to a drug with a shorter half-life, and decreasing the frequency when converting to a longer acting steroid.

Other drugs that act in the same ways, but have different potencies, are opioids. Check out our opioid conversion calculator!

Corticosteroid conversion of doses

The provided calculation is based on the anti-inflammatory potency values by National Adrenal Diseases Foundation:

Drug Equivalent dose Anti-inflammatory potency Duration of action
Hydrocortisone 20 mg 1 8-12 hours
Cortisone 25 mg 0.8 8-12 hours
Prednisone 5 mg 4 12-36 hours
Prednisolone 5 mg 4 12-36 hours
Triamcinolone 4 mg 5 12-36 hours
Methylprednisolone 4 mg 5 12-36 hours
Dexamethasone 0.75 mg 30 36-54 hours
Betamethasone 0.6 mg 30 36-54 hours

An example - prednisone conversion

Let's say you'd like to convert the dosage of 20 mg of prednisone to methylprednisolone (trade name Solumedrol). To do it manually, you have to:

  1. Find the anti-inflammatory potency of prednisone in the table - it's 4.
  2. Find the anti-inflammatory potency of methylprednisolone in the table - it's 5.
  3. Multiply your prednisolone dose by its potency, and divide it by methylprednisolone's potency:
    20 mg * 4 / 5 = 16 mg
  4. ...Or use our calculator for prednisone conversion :) The calculated dose of methylprednisolone is 16 mg.
Małgorzata Koperska, MD
Short-acting (8-12 hours)
Intermediate acting (12-36 hours)
Long-acting (36-54 hours)
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