Depression-min

Prednisone (and similar corticosteroids) can be a life saving drug. It saved my sanity when I developed sudden hearing loss in one ear. That was a really scary experience for someone who depends on hearing to be able to do live radio.

The ear, nose and throat specialist diagnosed my deafness as “idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.” In other words, he didn’t have a clue what caused it. He did prescribe high doses of prednisone and within a few days my hearing returned.

Similar corticosteroids like Prednisone include

  • Cortisone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Prednisolone

There are many conditions for which such drugs can be extremely valuable, even life saving. Here are just a few:

When Prednisone is Helpful

  • Very serious allergic reactions (bad poison ivy for example)
  • Anaphylactic shock (life-threatening allergic reaction)
  • Brain tumors
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease)
  • Severe asthma (usually to help control acute flare-ups)
  • Severe nausea of chemotherapy
  • High altitude sickness (when there is brain swelling)
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Addison’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Giant cell arteritis

As useful as corticosteroids can be for a wide range of conditions, the drugs can also cause an extraordinary number of serious side effects. Some people have likened this to a deal with the devil. Even short-term use can cause problems.

My personal experience with Prednisone

The week or two that I took prednisone for my hearing loss I couldn’t sleep, became incredibly irritable and hard to live with, and felt as if I had turned into someone I didn’t know or like. A study in the American Journal of Psychiatry analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of European patients over an 18 year period.

They discovered that people taking corticosteroids were more likely to experience neuropsychiatric symptoms including depression, suicidal thoughts (and actions), delirium, disorientation, confusion, panic and manic episodes.

The authors conclude that: “Glucocorticoids [another term for corticosteroids] increase the risk of suicidal behavior and neuropsychiatric disorders. Educating patients and their families about these adverse events and increasing primary care physicians’ awareness about their occurrence should facilitate early monitoring.”

I can relate. I certainly felt disoriented and out of control on the relatively high dose I was taking. The trouble is that patients and their families are not always warned about such side effects.

Scary Prednisone side effects that have been reported to us

“Years ago I was given prednisone in the emergency room for a severe anaphylactic reaction that affected my ability to breathe and caused massive hives. Although the treatment may have been necessary, I too had a severe psychotic reaction and when I finally went to my own doctor and had blood tests, my blood chemistry was all over the map. I had to continue the tapered dose till I was done but I wish someone had warned me of possible side effects so at least I wouldn’t think I was totally crazy.

“I questioned my ability to drive, slept constantly, and was quite volatile. I had to take a day off from work. Knowledge is power! People should be warned about possible side effects so they have the information should side effects occur.”

-AC

“I was on 20mg twice a day of prednisone for a sinus infection. Had I known anything about this horrible drug I would have never taken the meds and let my sinus infection clear up on its own. That would have been better than these side effects.
“I was not told to taper the dose, so I took as prescribed 20mg twice daily for 7 days. The day after stopping my whole body hurt to the touch, as if I was black and blue all over. I was swollen, red and had a lump on my neck, not to mention being very disoriented. I went back to the doctor and he insisted this had nothing to do with the drug.
“I checked myself into the ER where they put an IV drip with benadryl and the like. I was discharged that day. No change. Next day, didn’t hurt to the touch anymore. New side effect – rash from head to toe and severe indigestion. Following day, rash subsiding, indigestion getting better. Still feeling a bit loopy, but I am told by next week I should be back to myself again.
“I am warning everyone i know not to ever take a steroid unless your life is in danger. It is a very scary feeling – all for a sinus infection.”
-AMS

“I’m having Prednisone side effects. My doctor prescribed this drug last Thursday. She prescribed 20mg twice daily for five days. I was sleepless for three days in row. On day 4 after a short nap I awake feeling so nervous. I am crying, my hands are shaking, and my heart is beating so hard. These are awful feelings.
“My doctor told me I will feel that way for about nine days. She didn’t show any care about me. She also said I can go back to work (and drive a long way) the next day. But the way I was and am feeling I’m not daring to drive even one block.
“I do not understand why she prescribed that medicine, without any warning, for a small allergy I had. I mean the medicine was worse than my illness.”
-ELY

“My wife had sleepless nights when on prednisone and the doctor said that she might do some odd things that she normally wouldn’t do. He was right. One night she got up and tore down the wall paper in our bathroom :-) We still get a laugh over this one.”
-Bob K.

“I am experiencing high blood pressure, agoraphobia, panic attacks, light headedness, confusion, weakness, intolerance to heat, IBS, shaking, etc. These side effects all started the day I stopped the drug. It has been 7 days with not much improvement. I was hospitalized for 3 days. I pray I do not EVER have to take prednisone again… EVER.
“I am hoping I get past this. My quality of life stinks. I took 30mg 1 day 20mg 2 days and 1 mg 2 days. Absolutely HATE this.”
-SKF

These are just some of the messages that have been posted to our website. Feel free to add your story or comment below. We find it astonishing that some prescribers do not warn patients about the possibility of psychological side effects brought on by prednisone and friends. Even a short-course of high-dose steroid can precipitate symptoms. And not warning about gradual tapering borders on bad medicine. To protect yourself and your loved ones from such medical mistakes we suggest our latest book, Top Screw-ups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them.

We want to emphasize that corticosteroids can be very valuable. Some people must take them for the rest of their lives because of a very serious or life-threatening condition. And NO ONE should ever stop taking a drug like prednisone suddenly. It must be phased off gradually under medical supervision.

Other side effects associated with corticosteroids like Prednisone

  • Fluid retention, edema
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability, nervousness, mood swings, mania, depression, psychosis
  • Disorientation, confusion
  • Hypertension
  • Loss of potassium
  • Headache
  • Dizziness, vertigo
  • Muscle weakness
  • Blood sugar elevation (diabetes)
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Swollen face
  • Hair growth (including on the face)
  • Itching, rash, hives
  • Increased susceptibility to infection
  • Weakened bones (osteopenia, osteoporosis)
  • Tendon rupture
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Ulcers

The higher the dose and the longer someone takes a drug like prednisone the more likely there will be side effects. Make sure your physician is monitoring things like potassium, blood sugar, bone density and psychological well being. And never stop a corticosteroid suddenly!

Join Over 115,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Toni
    new york
    Reply

    Im a 33 y.o. female I suffered a back injury back in 2011. I was out of work up until 2 days ago. I love the job I started but upon returning, I set off pain in my back again, went to the ER and was prescribed prednisone. I took it Saturday afternoon with another med prescribed to stop the spasms. I was drowsy and jittery. I woke up today (Sunday) and was ready to hack off the head of my mom with a pair of sheers or burn her alive. I even cursed her out before that. I found the thought so hilarious at first then I felt incredibly sad! Needless to say, I won’t be taking this sugar honey as of this point! This is just from having it in my system 24 hours! The Dr NEVER told me the side effects she just told me to take the 20 mg for five days with the other med and if it doesn’t work to come back for an MRI. Well, it didn’t work much for me truth be told. I slept but any little sound would make me jump out my sleep with the jitters.

  2. Jim
    Portland, OR
    Reply

    I have been on Prednisone for about 1 year at 10mg per day for severe arthritis. Has been a total life saver, with minimal side effects. My doctor has refused to continue on with this treatment and has tapered me off. The pain is so bad I can’t see any reason to continue living. Does anyone know of a doctor in the Portland Oregon area that is not afraid to prescribe prednisone for long term use. I am 70 years old, it’s not like I am going to live forever.

  3. Anthony
    USA
    Reply

    Early in the month of Janaury 2014 I was put on large doses of prednisone 20mg for more then 2 weeks and tapered down to 5mg then off and on between 10, 5 and,2mg. My skin would bruise with just a touch and bleed, when they healed it left my skin white (no pigment) where all the bruises were before.

    Then towards the end of the year all my teeth turned black, solid black and they all eventually broke off leaving me with just the root of the tooth sticking up, not a very good picture. ALL OF THIS TO CONTROL MY CROHNS and it worked.

    Then I also had mood swings, always tired and crying at stupid things. I don’t usually cry I was 64 and a Veteran of Vietnam. I would cry if somebody got fired at work or in a accident it was crazy. However I still have to take it to control my problem only on 2mg for now every day of the year.

  4. Nancy
    TX - Texas
    Reply

    I am taking 20 mg prednisone daily and am reluctant to try withdrawal. I am 85 yrs old and have diabetes and many other autoimmune conditions. I did withdrawal years ago and it was a fragile and unpleasant experience. I think it likely best to just remain on the current dosage and wonder what other opinions might be. Pain is already in issue with diabetic neuropathy and also venus reflux and I’m not anxious to take on more pain.

  5. Kathy
    California
    Reply

    I just ended a step-down prescription of prednisone two days ago. I have a herniated disc in my neck, which is why I was prescribed the medication. I can’t recall the dose, but I had to take three pills for 5 days, step down to two pills for 5 days, and then down to one pill for 5 days. About 7 days in, I realized that I was feeling very sad and moody and on the verge of crying all the time.

    I do not take medications for anything else, so it was fairly easy for me to pin point the issue. I told my doctor about the mood swings, but that I wasn’t concerned enough at the time to stop taking the medication because I wanted to ensure that the inflammation in my neck was reduced.

    Knowing what I was dealing with helped me to deal with the mood swings, but I have to admit that if I had to be on the medication longer than 15 days, I would have told my doctor we needed to do something different. I’ve read that it can take several weeks for the medication to leave your system, but I am already feeling much better now that I am not taking the medication. This is the first time that I have ever experienced this sort of issue with a medication, so I would definitely encourage anyone taking the medication to really be aware of the side effects.

  6. LeRon
    NY
    Reply

    I am a 56 yr old healthy male who suffered from extreme elbow pain due to tennis elbow / tendonitis. My Dr Rx the 5 day pack of prednisone to reduce the inflammation on 7/27/2016.

    I began taking the pills on the 28th each pill is 4 mg. I was fine at first… I noticed the pain and swelling was down a bit. However on the morning of the 31st I was is such pain. My stomach hurt so bad that it was hard to breathe. I could not sleep, I was shaking, nauseated, could not function or concentrate.

    I know you are supposed to taper from this medication, but I did feel this was becoming a serious matter so I stopped completely. Today is now the 6th of Aug and the symptoms have become less severe but they are still there. I feel bloated and full and have a nasty pain in the right upper abdomen. And a really annoying side effect is after getting a full night of sleep and after being up only an hour or so I feel like I have never been to sleep and I must lay down for about 4 -6 more hours.

    Not yelling at anyone here but I would advise you NEVER TO TAKE THIS MEDICATION unless your life depends on it. If I had to sum up how I feel just imagine coming down with a really severe case of influenza with all of the bells and whistles “fever, body aches, nausea, headache, diarrhea,loss of appetite and becoming sore to the touch”. Which also means EVERYTHING you do or touch makes you feel awful…yup even sex became non existent, you feel sun burned everywhere.

    Next week I go to see the Dr who Rx this for me, I know each person is different, but he will get an ear full from me.
    I just hope all of these symptoms go away soon, it definitely ruins your quality of life in ways you cannot imagine.
    NEVER AGAIN !

  7. Sue
    Usa
    Reply

    I was put on a 5 day pack of prednisone for a reaction to a bee sting that was swelling out of control. The pills came after a shot in the doctors office of some other type of steroid. Insomnia, nervousness, heart palpitations, uncontrollable crying, and I freaked out on my long distance boyfriend about how we never get to see each other, even though we just got home from vacation. I don’t like who I am right now. This is terrible. 2 days left. It’s basically like I have a perpetual panic attack. I just want to pace around the house and cry. I’d rather still have the swelling and pain from the bee sting. Don’t take it unless it is required to keep you alive.

  8. Debbie
    USA
    Reply

    Folks, sorry to hear these horror stories.

    After almost three long years, I was finally diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia (“the suicide disease”) after extensive surgery on my face for invasive basal cell carcinoma. Having been on Gabapentin for 1.5-years, the neurologist (a new one) changed my medication to Tegretol 200mg/2 time per day and a short (14-days) dose of prednisone, 10mg/3 times per day.

    I don’t know if it is a combination of both medications or just one or the other. I do know,
    I feel better than I have in years.

    I am one of the lucky ones, I guess, I have had no side effects.

    Good luck to all!

  9. Susan
    NS
    Reply

    I am very surprised at all the negative comments. I have calcium crystals in my joints and I am unable to take anti- inflammatory drugs. I have had cortisone shots in my knee with no side effects. When my wrists became so inflamed I could not use them I was given Prednisone and took 15mg a day for 2-3 days. Was told to only take this drug during severe attacks. In the past couple of months I have had three severe attacks, and have had no side effects. Belive me when you have no use of your hands you will try almost anything that might help.

  10. Tee
    USA
    Reply

    I have taken methylprednisolone (6?) day packs before with no problems for pain. This past week my dr put me on prednisone 20mg twice a day for 5 days for an itchy skin problem and I started having mood changes. I thought I was about go to insane between the itching and the abnormal mental problems. By the fourth day, yesterday, I was feeling almost totally out of control and throwing stuff, which is not me whatsoever. Something made me look up the side effects and sure enough “mood changes” and mental disturbances” listed as “severe”. There were only 2 doses left but I went ahead and stopped taking them. It’s been almost 36hrs since my last dose and I’m feeling so much calmer and saner. Is there any reason why I would have this reaction to the prednisone but not with the methylprednisolone?

  11. e
    dallas
    Reply

    I was given prednisone because I had been diagnosed with dermatomyositis , an autoimmune disease. I can not remember what the dosage was but it was enough to give me the moon face and a lump on the back of my neck. Other than those two s I didn’t show any other signs of side effects. However, after taking the Prednisone for a while, maybe a few weeks, I woke up out of a dead sleep in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. My right knee felt like someone had broken it with a baseball bat. The pain was unbearable. To make a long story short, after two weeks of taking advil for the pain and my knees swelling up like tree trunks my doctor finally did an xray of my right knee and found that I had developed avascular necrosis! Avascular necrosis is typically not even listed as a possible side effect. Avascular necrosis cuts off the blood supply to joints and/or organs and can obviously cause severe damage to your body. Many people get the avascular necrosis in their hip and have to have it replaced! I was very lucky that I did not have to have my knees replaced as I was only 41 years old when this happened. I know that my knees are both damaged from this and I don’t know what the future holds with respect to ever having to get them replaced.

  12. Lisa
    Florida
    Reply

    I have taken Prednisone on and off for over 20yrs… I suffer from chronic hives & delayed pressure hives with no known reason… I have the moon face, But that is it… This is the only drug that works for me & definitely my drug of choice when I have a flareup… I’m not sure how I will feel 20yrs from now seeing it does have so many side effects… I know that it’s a horrible drug to take, but I do try to out weigh the good with the bad if I can’t walk because I have a flare up I take it… It sucks that I could be potentially hurting myself, but without it I wouldn’t have a meaningful life…

  13. Jan
    Missouri
    Reply

    I am currently weaning off–in fact just completing the weaning process yesterday of Prednisone that I took for sudden hearing loss. I have Meniere’s. After 2 days of 30 mg. 2 x’s a day, my b/p spiked in spite of two b/p meds I take. And my head felt like it would burst! Also, had constipation for 4 days but the horrible head pressure and extreme dizziness are the worst part. I also felt very ‘anxious’ and shaky! Today and no pills anymore–my b/p has dropped to very low–and though I felt better this morning, the awful dizziness and pressure is back and I feel really horrible. Hoping a few days off will help. But–I felt this way prior to taking the meds and had the hearing loss going on, so even though I had similar symptoms years ago when first diagnosed with Menieres’, I knew it was used to help prevent hearing loss. I hear things–almost too loud now but conversation, my own voice sounds weird and loud and TV and normal conversations are very hard to understand>Had MRI last week–waiting results.

    • Yvette
      Reply

      I had the same thing for almost 2 years and it was my gallbladder I had gall stones

  14. Babs
    Missouri
    Reply

    I am trying to find out why I have the exact OPPOSITE reaction. I have been on anxiety and depression meds for 20 years. Lately, nothing has helped and am in constant depression. I have total hearing loss in my right ear and found, too late, an Otologist, that does injections thru the eardrum to get medicine near the cochlear, this usually needs to be done in a timely manner to the symptoms (which feel just like fluid behind the ear drum) and I had gone thru the doctor, then ENT, before I got to him.

    This time (4 days ago)my left ear had symptoms and needless to say I was scared to death. He got me in immediately and I have been on Prednisone 60mg for 4 days now. I have not felt better in years!!! I feel like my old self. My hearing returned and the pressure subsided in two days. I return in 3 days to have it checked, if there is not enough progress he will do the injection. He has me on 6 days of 60mg per day, then tapering. He did warn of the side effect possibilities. I had once before taken a smaller regimen for sciatica, and even on that short time period felt so amazingly better. It lifts the depression, gives me back my energy, makes me feel like taking care of myself. I don’t think I will need to stay on it (I hope not), but it will be there when needed for my hearing.

    My question is — has anyone with major depression/generalized and social anxiety had similar experience? If so, was the way you reacted to the corticosteriod of any help to your Psychiatrist in deciding how to treat the depression/anxiety????

    And to those with sudden sensorineural hearing loss who react badly to the corticosteriod – look into the possible injection — I found Otologists to the most likely to know/use this — but it must be done ASAP — before the damage becomes permanent (less than 2 weeks). It was not that bad!!! Hardest part was not swallowing for 30 minutes so medicine not lost down the eustation tube;-) I lost the hearing in my right ear over about 4 ‘instances’ of what doctors thought was just fluid in middle ear and that is JUST what the symptoms feel like. Only when I realized my hearing was TOTALLY gone did I seek out further specialists. I think this bout in my only hearing ear was brought on by extreme stress from caregiving for 98 and 94 year old parents for 10+ years (along with other mental health issues). Lowered my systems ability to block the virus from damaging the inner ear.

    • Bek
      Reply

      I had the same thing, positive reactions to predisone. I was on the 6 day taper pack. I have ADHD and as soon as I started taking the meds, I had increased energy, better focus, directed motivation, loss of appetite, increased happiness and decreased sleep.

      It was a lot like Ritalin, minus the deer-in-the-headlights feel. You’ll find a bunch of information on this in the ADD and Depression websites. Most of the talk leads to the Adrenal Gland. Some people did talk about negative side effects after finishing prednisone. The recommendation was to see an endocrine specialist.

    • Rob
      Nyc
      Reply

      Babs lost hearing as well JUNE 26 in Boston before a 6 mile race as awoke deaf. Put in oral 2 weeks 60 mg and three injections as well saw treatment asap 55 yo perfect health ran Boston marathon this year. 5 weeks tinnitus is worst part. I’m worried as no real major improvement. Losing hope as your in same timeline this moth. How are you doing and what’s the prognosis?

  15. Helen
    Texas
    Reply

    I’ve been taking 5mg. of prednisone for almost a year. I took an initial large dose to get rid of the inflammation and swelling of my joints. It has been a miracle. No side effects like mentioned in other reviews.

  16. Tara
    FLORIDA
    Reply

    I have been on 50 mg for 3 days (prescribed for 5 days). I woke up in agonizing pain today. From the base of my skull down is in excruciating pain to the touch. I am not going to take anymore. I saw a physician because I had some symptoms of a blood clot. It turned out to be a blood vessel that had burst (thankfully). They gave me prednisone and pain meds and I really thought it would help. It did NOT! :-(

  17. Ann
    London
    Reply

    Hi I have asthma and I get severe chest infections/wheeze a few times each year and I simply wouldn’t breathe without steroids. In the past I have ended up in hospital due to NOT getting a steroid prescription for my infection.

    I find that the trick is to only take the steroids when you really need them ect for your condition, short courses throughout the year can work well. Also I always always come off them slowly once feeling better,never just STOP them ,even a short course as this will course you a shock to your body until your own steroids kick back in ect. Taper them over a few days slowly and it’s much easier, I know this as I’m age50 and have had asthma for 25 years.

    Side effects are difficult at times and effect everyone differently be I find the sleeplessness difficult, I drink camamile tea or milky drinks before bed and it helps too.I als e.g milk yogurt ect daily and take supplements of calcium to protect my bones.I find a positive attitude helps e.g.im grateful I can now breathe ect as Prednisone is a great drug for many things, I don’t dwell on the side effects as again not everyone gets them and I have dextra bone scan every 2 years, to check my bones, very important.

    So I advice try and weigh up the pros and cons before taking this meds, yes there are side effects yes they are can be vile but for myself for example I prob wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for this drug.I won’t live my life fearing what might be, gratefully for my day ect best regards to you all

  18. Ann
    Staffordshire
    Reply

    Hi I have asthma and I get severe chest infections/wheeze a few times each year and I simply wouldn’t breathe without steroids. In the past I have ended up in hospital due to NOT getting a steroid prescription for my infection. I find that the trick is to only take the steroids when you really need them ect for your condition, short courses throughout the year can work well. Also I always always come off them slowly once feeling better, never just STOP them, even a short course as this will course you a shock to your body until your own steroids kick back in ect. Taper them over a few days slowly and it’s much easier, I know this as I’m age 50 and have had asthma for 25 years……….

    Side effects are difficult at times and effect everyone differently be I find the sleeplessness difficult, I drink campanile tea or milky drinks before bed and it helps too with the mood swings that steroids also course. I also up my calcium intake e.g. milk yogurt ect. daily and take supplements of calcium to protect my bones. I find a positive attitude helps e.g. I’m grateful I can now breathe ect as Prednisone is a great drug for many things, I don’t dwell on the side effects as again not everyone gets them and I have dextra bone scan every 2 years, to check my bones, very important.

    So I advice try and whey up the pros and cons before taking this meds, yes there are side effects yes they are can be vile but for myself for example I prob wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for this drug. I won’t live my life fearing what might be, gratefully for my day ect. I do however feel that G.ps aren’t always informative enough to people who have never taken it because the more dangerous side effects happen only after many years of use, we have a right to be informed what the negatives of the drug are. Best regards to you all.

  19. Trish
    British Columbia
    Reply

    I was (finally!) diagnosed with central neurosarcoidosis. It took nearly 4 years to get to this point, as well as out and out arguments with my neurologist, and the support from my veterinary community. I am lined up for Rituxan Tx, amclearing the hurdles, and two specialists decided that Methylpred pulses were indicated. I received the usual blah blah, sleeplessness, energized, weight gain and increased appetite, etc. I was even Rx’d 1mg Atavan 90 tabs SL! So I received the first pulse, 1000mg IV. When I got home, things seemed bright, like I’d had my pupils dilated for an eye exam. Then I literally passed out asleep. A friend came by late at night with ice cream (I’m not a big fan of the stuff at the best of times), and I could not stomach even the thought of eating. I fell back asleep.

    I was supposed to have three pulses, one a day for three days in a row. I had to skip every second day due to my work schedule. I was exhausted the next day, couldn’t eat, felt odd. Next day had pulse #2. Got home. Things were really bright. Then I passed out asleep again. Could barely move, could not even dream of eating. No appetite at all. Began feeling like I had something inside me that I had to get out. Cancelled third pulse on the Friday.

    I was nearly psychotic and convinced I would be better off dead. I went to work on the Friday, the day I should have had third pulse. Someone blocked me in at work in the parking lot, and I couldn’t leave. My coworker came to move his car, and I was seriously considering running him over. I would have felt no remorse at all. I just needed to leave. I was desperate! I got myself home, fell into bed, and didn’t even move for over 20 hours. All I could do was sleep. It’s good, or I would likely have committed suicide. When I started to feel the effects wear off, I was so relieved.

    I have now ordered a medicalert bracelet stipulating no steroids. I would rather be dead in a ditch than go through that again. I lost the 10 pounds that everyone else supposedly gains. I feel worse than when I first had the methylpred, and it’s been 5 weeks. I found out that some people receive no benefits from it, and in some cases some of them actually get worse.

  20. Patty
    Maine
    Reply

    I started taking them for sudden hearing loss in my right ear. 60 mg for 14 days then taper down for 5 days. I have experienced tremors in my hands, nervousness, confusion, sleeplessness, irritability, weakness in my legs and hands, feet are hot, headaches, at times blurred vision, and there is no way I could drive. Every corner I felt I was going to crash, talk about a panic attack.

    And now I have been started on another 3 weeks. When this is done, I will not do it again.
    My ENT does not believe you should be out of work for the side effects. I will probably lose my job and my hearing.

  21. Lori
    Knoxville
    Reply

    I was taking it from Saturday to Wednesday morning and I’m so sick I stop taking it it is now Thursday evening I’m all over the place I’m scared I just read your articles so I took a half of one because I don’t want to suddenly stop taking it I feel like I’m dying period I’m so irritable my joints hurt my fingers hurt I suddenly within 5 minutes broke out with acne all over my face which I never have this is the worst thing I’ve ever put up with it’s horrible

    • Jan
      Aiken, SC
      Reply

      Lori, I feel for you. Are you sure you broke out in acne, or was it hives? When I was weened off of it, I got hives and had to be put back on and weened off slower. You may want to talk to your Dr. if they continue. I had all the symptoms that you are describing and more, but eventually it does get better.

  22. Jim
    Reply

    Hi, I had a severe hand issue (swelling, joint pain that ran all the way up to my shoulder blade) that was impossible to sleep due to the pain. I thought I had Lyme disease and went several times to clinic, and had blood tests. Turns out it was carpal tunnel, and dr prescribed prednisone and arm braces .. Yeah right… But it worked. Started 50mg prednisone x 5 days, then 40 for 5 days, 30 for 5 days etc. just finishing the 30mg and hands are better. … Feel like I used to. Side effects?? … Some insomnia but nothing a cold beer or two can’t cure. I was scared, now relieved. :)

    • Betty S.
      Iowa
      Reply

      I was put on Prednisone for chest congestion. Small dose 15 mg then boosted it a few days to 20 mg then slow drop off. I have Peripheral artery disease and other conditions. I swear I hadn’t felt that great in 10 years, but was told I couldn’t stay on it. Everyone I know hates prednisone. After being off about 10 days though I have experienced a possible herinated disc in low back. For this I was put back on Predisone. This is a higher dose and I have experienced real short temper swings. Is this the Predisone or the horrid pain. It took 2 days for the pain to subside . I understand it is a miracle drug, yet so many scary side effects. Why do some people feel so good and most feel so bad?

  23. JGirl05
    Alexandria, Va
    Reply

    Thank you for this thread. I went to ENT today who said I should take an antibiotic for 2 weeks plus prednisone for 6 days-starting off with 60 mg 1st day then decreasing each day. This is for a severe sinus infection. After reading this thread, I WILL NOT take the prednisone. I’m 50 years old and having menopausal symptoms like sleepless nights and depression. The last thing I need is to take something that sends me over the edge. Thanks everyone.

  24. Lullaby
    Reply

    Prednisone…I don’t even know what to say about it. The first time I took it, I had a severe allergic reaction to something and was covered in hives. They were so terrible it kept me from sleeping for two days straight, so when the doctor prescribed me some prednisone it was like the miracle drug. The hives were going away within an hour, and there didn’t seem to be many other side effects. I was aware the the prednisone was effecting my thyroid, but it wasn’t severe enough to warrant any concern. The lack of sleep wasn’t a problem since the hives kept me from sleeping anyway and I’m already an insomniac, so there was no problem there. I tapered off the medication, and everything was kosher…for a while, that is.

    The hives start to come back and I’m scheduled for allergy testing. Problem is I have to be taken off all medication for a week, and you could see how that would be an issue because without the allergy medication I was prescribed the hives were bound to come back in spades. So, the allergist prescribes me prednisone again. First few days, all is good. Yeah, a little bit of nausea and insomnia, but that’s nothing new for me…but then it gets bad.

    I’ve always had thyroid problems, so I’m honestly pretty used to getting heart palpitations as a result, even wit medication. Already seen a specialist and they’re benign, so no need to worry. However, I’ve never, ever had them like this before. I swear, few days after taking the prednisone, my heart palpitations get severe.

    I’m talking anything from palpitation a minute to thirty. I know, rationally, I should contact my doctor immediately about this change, but my thoughts are I’ve had palpitations before, that they’ll pass. No cigar, been dealing with them on this level of severity for days now. Then the migraines start, severe migraines that really nothing can help, not to mention the lack of good sleep is not helping. Everything is stacking up on top of each other, and it’s freaking me out. I don’t know what to do, how to handle this, don’t know if this stupid medicine is turning up my anxiety and paranoia to the max or what. All I know is that, given the chance, I will not take this medication again unless it is absolutely necessary. I shouldn’t have taken it this second time, I should’ve just waited it out.

  25. Cathy
    Fargo
    Reply

    I have had rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia for over 20 years. I was recently diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome and am on Enbrel, Plaquenil and Gapabentin. In February I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatic which is very painful especially in my feet, shoulders and arms. I was started on Prednisone 20 mg a day which helped the pain after a few days. I recently started weaning off of it. I’m really struggling because my symptoms are coming back which means I would need to increase the dose again. However the side effects are terrible and haven’t improved with decreasing the dose. I have that awful moon face look and terrible weight gain. I also ended up with diabetes and am on Insulin and oral medications. I am retaining so much fluid and am very short of breath and now am on Lasix. Which is the worst of 2 evils?

  26. Catherine
    FL
    Reply

    I took just one 20 mg prednisone pill. Next morning, my stomach was like being 7 months pregnant. I find it very abnormal. This lasted all day yesterday. I decided to drink a bottle of that magnesium nastiness. It’s cleaning me out, however, my stomach is still huge. It’s 3:42 am Fri. I took the pill Wed morning. I am very sensitive to meds. I’m on the lowest dose of lexapro and klonopin. I was told there would be no interactions. Now, I’ll have to go see my reg. Dr today.

    • tammy
      Maryland
      Reply

      Me too, after day one. Even my husband asks me if i’m pregnant. When I get up from a sitting position, it feels as though I’m pregnant, having to maneuver around my hard belly. I’m day 4 off of prednisone and still feel that pressure. It’s my belly. I cant sleep right because there’s so much pressure. My sides, back, and shoulder are feeling effects from it too. It’s hard as a rock still after 4 days off of the prednisone. I get these weird brusies on my sides. On line forums and comments say that it could be allergy to food. But i’m here to state that if I have allergies to food, I never experienced this symptom until I took prednisone. Did your symptoms ever go away? I’m fearing this will last forever????

  27. Taylor
    England
    Reply

    My husband has been diagnosed with Polymyalgia and given Prednisone. The side affects are awful, and we should have been warned! Having seen the impact on my husband and us, I would advise NOT TO TAKE this drug unless absolutely necessary. He has been the angriest I have ever seen him (and we have been married for 30 years). He manages only a couple of hours sleep a night, has panic attacks; his heart races all the time; he has become fixated on things, has put on weight, and his face is swollen!

    Do anything you can but take this drug! The manufacturer has A LOT to answer for. If anyone caused these symptoms in a person in any other environment but the medical profession, they would be locked up! They are character and life-changing for all the wrong reasons. You cannot stop the drug and switch back to how you were within a day or so. Instead, they are disabling and life-altering. The drug has impacted our relationship, family life, and goodness knows what his work colleagues think!!

    I am no alarmist. I am a professional executive and made of solid stuff, but life as a user or partner to someone taking this drug is wrong on many fronts, and in my experience has by far outweighed the initial problem we were looking for assistance with.

    • Loren
      L.A
      Reply

      I have lower back chronic pain caused by the L5 stenosis also my disk is badly degenerated The first time prescribed was back 2013 The first week was a challenge Mild to severe depression, anxiety’s, sleepiness, actually I was up for over 48 hrs. wondering , talking, crying, crazy stuff. It took me one week 10mg 3 times a day and a quit actually I didn’t tell my Doc because I was totally disoriented even to discussed. I was done. The after results was amazing Still I take Hydrocodone 3 times a day it does mask the pain not the inflammation. Prednisone is a inflammation healer Took it for one week did the work for a whole year . 2 years later I started again this time I complete the 3 weeks It was difficult same symptoms but I was able to finish. It has been over a month a totally different person I know its going to last also Im aware is not a typical every other month medication and I m deeply grateful for the work it does. Yes I feel all the neg reviews are real and I hope the best to you all. That’s my story.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.