Why do my eyedrops taste so bad?

I’ve been prescribed some eyedrops (prednisolone acetate 1%) and boy do they taste bad. I was surprised to learn that I could taste them in the first place, but in researching that I learned of the lacrimal punctum. But the question remains: why do they taste so bad? Which receptors are they activating? Is it something deliberately added to prevent steroid abuse?

Note: I’m under medical care and am NOT looking for medical advice, just an answer to the taste issue.

It’s probably something in the solution that tastes bad. Also, prednisolone isn’t a muscle building steroid, it’s more along the lines of cortisone, it knocks down swelling. You could probably drink the whole bottle and not have it do much more than get rid of a headache. There’s no abuse potential here.

Lots of medicines - heck, probably most medicines - taste bad. This is usually because they activate the taste buds sensitive to bitter flavors, which are there in the mouth mainly to stop us eating poisons, such as plant alkaloids. Many, perhaps most, medicines are poisons (indeed, not a few are alkaloids), and would poison you if you took enough of them, even though they may be beneficial in small quantities, and in particular disease states. Even ones that are fairly harmless are generally not substances that ever were a normal part of the human diet, and thus are unlikely to stimulate the taste buds for pleasant flavors, such as sweet, salt, or umami, which have evolved so that we are encouraged to eat things that are actually foods, with nutritional value for us. The evolution of human taste receptors has not kept up with modern medical science.

Steroids taste bad, that’s all there is to it. My patients on prednisone or prednisolone pills learn to swallow them quickly, and not suck on them.

The reason for coated pills IIRC.

Thank you. Occam’s Razor strikes again.

I understand they sometimes deliberately add bad tastesto medicine so that children will not accidentally swallow them.

Its basically an ester… These are the flavours such as banana, orange, strawberry, and so on … Since it is ester-like, there is a higher chance of being able to be tasted at very low concentration.