a bottle of PredniSONE 1mg, short-term steroid use, prednisone side effects

Prednisone 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. Being deaf in one ear was incredibly disorienting.

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 prescribed high doses of prednisone for a short time and within a few days my hearing returned.

Other Corticosteroids:

There are a number of other medications that act in a similar manner to prednisone. They may be used in skin creams (topical preparations) or taken as pills. These include:

  • Cortisone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Prednisolone

All of these medications have different potencies, so they are prescribed at different doses. Even though they work in a similar way, they are not interchangeable.

Some steroid medicines such as fluticasone are designed primarily for inhalation or as eye drops. We are not discussing uses and side effects of those medications in this article.

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 such prednisone side effects to a deal with the devil. Even short-term use can cause problems for some people.

What Prednisone Treats:

Allergic Reactions:

One of the reasons prednisone and other corticosteroid drugs are prescribed fairly frequently is that their powerful anti-inflammatory action can be useful in many situations. These include very serious allergic reactions, such as serious poison ivy.

Another type of allergic reaction, to latex, peanuts, wasp stings, medication or other triggers, can result in anaphylactic shock. The immediate treatment is epinephrine. Prednisone or other steroids may be used to stabilize body systems after epinephrine opens the airways.

Neurological Inflammation:

Steroids such as prednisone are often used to reduce inflammation in brain or nerve tissue. This might be caused by a brain tumor or a traumatic brain injury. Prednisone can prevent brain swelling and the serious consequences that could result. Corticosteroid drugs may also help calm the inflammation of optic neuritis and multiple sclerosis.

Prednisone or another corticosteroid can prevent blindness when it is used to calm acute inflammation of blood vessels in the head, called giant cell arteritis. It can also reduce the swelling of the brain that may occur with altitude sickness.

Asthma:

In an acute asthma flare-up that can’t be controlled with the usual inhaled steroid or bronchodilator, prednisone can improve breathing. It reduces airway inflammation and can be very helpful in an emergency, though it is not appropriate as a standard asthma treatment.

Autoimmune Diseases:

Autoimmune conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (also known as Crohn’s disease), lupus, polymyalgia rheumatica and rheumatoid arthritis can all cause severe pain and inflammation. Corticosteroids such as prednisone calm the hyperactive immune response as well as the inflammation. None of these steroid medications is a long-term solution, but they can get patients through difficult flare-ups.

Addison’s Disease:

In Addison’s disease, the adrenal cortex tissue that sits atop the kidney and produces the hormones cortisol and aldosterone fails. Frequently an autoimmune attack is the cause of the this condition, although infections can also trigger Addison’s disease. Secondary adrenal insufficiency can be one of the prednisone side effects that accompany long-term treatment for another condition. To treat this serious disorder, doctors prescribe hydrocortisone, cortisone or prednisone to replace the missing cortisol and fludrocortisone to replace the aldosterone.

Cancer Treatment:

Prednisone or other corticosteroids can be useful in treating a number of cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma or multiple myeloma. In addition to reducing inflammation due to the cancer itself, such medications may help lessen the likelihood of reactions to chemotherapy, including severe nausea caused by chemo.

Joe’s Personal Experience with Prednisone Side Effects:

Joe’s experience taking prednisone to reverse his acute hearing loss illustrates some of the prednisone side effects that other people may encounter. That week or two, he couldn’t sleep, became incredibly irritable and hard to live with, and felt as if he had turned into someone else he didn’t know or like.

His experience was not at all unique. A May, 2012, 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.”

Joe responds to this conclusion:

“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.”

We have heard from a surprising number of people that they were given very little information about prednisone side effects.

What Should You Know About Prednisone Side Effects?

There are some key questions you should ask whenever you are handed a prescription. You should know what the drug is and why you are taking it. Find out how to take it (how many times a day, with food or not, etc.) and how long to take it. Ask how to stop taking it, as that information is often left out of the discussion and it can be very important.

The most important information, however, is what side effects to expect. You have a right to know what side effects are most common. You might also want to ask about reactions that are rare but deserve immediate medical attention. This reader did not get any advance warning about prednisone side effects.

Surprised by Prednisone Side Effects:

Q. I was prescribed prednisone for sinusitis. It was a nightmare.

I gained weight and my face puffed up. I had strange dreams when I could sleep, which was rare. I became irritable and aggressive. Things that wouldn’t normally bother me made me want to scream.

I wish my doctor had warned me about these prednisone side effects in advance so I would have been better prepared.

A. Prednisone is a corticosteroid used to ease a variety of inflammatory conditions ranging from asthma and severe poison ivy to arthritis and lupus.

As useful as it can be for serious health conditions, there is a long list of troublesome side effects. Some of the most common include fluid retention (edema), insomnia, irritability, mood swings, disorientation, high blood pressure, loss of potassium, headache and swollen face.

Long-term complications may include muscle weakness, osteoporosis, cataracts, glaucoma and ulcers. Prescribers and pharmacist should warn patients what to expect in the way of prednisone side effects so they do not suffer in the dark as you did.

Steroid Psychosis from Prednisone Prescribed for Sinusitis:

Q. I am in very good health except for recurrent sinus infections. Recently, my internist put me on a 12-day tapered course of prednisone.

Within days I thought I was going crazy. I became extremely agitated and irritable and the least little thing set me off. I didn’t sleep for three days, even with sleeping pills. I couldn’t concentrate. My blood pressure soared and I became very fearful.

My doctor never warned me about any of this. Are these normal side effects of prednisone and what will I do if I have to take this drug again?

A. Prednisone and other corticosteroids (Medrol and Deltasone Dosepaks) relieve symptoms from a variety of conditions, including sinusitis. Many people experience severe psychological reactions to high doses of such drugs, however.

Steroid psychosis can cause anxiety, agitation, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes and even serious depression. Some patients may experience memory problems or hallucinations.

Let your doctor know you are susceptible to this kind of reaction. If you ever have to take more than 40 mg of prednisone at a time, you may need medication to counteract the psychiatric side effects.

Scary Prednisone Side Effects that Have Been Reported to Us:

A.C. shared this story:

“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 prednisone side effects occur.”

When people are unprepared for the psychological side effects of prednisone, they can be caught off guard. So can family, friends and co-workers. In A.C.’s case, the prednisone was was essential for survival. That said, A.C. should have been alerted to possible side effects.

As we mentioned earlier, corticosteroids are essential drugs for many conditions. A severe asthma attack may require a short course of oral prednisone or a similar steroid. People who are put on the new immunotherapy checkpoint inhibitors against cancer such as Keytruda or Opdivo may experience an overactive immune system. That can result in skin rash and itching, severe diarrhea and colitis, hepatitis, pneumonitis, adrenal insufficiency, eye inflammation and neurotoxicity. High doses of corticosteroids may be required to counteract such reactions to the cancer medications. Even then, people must be warned about complications.

Ely describes what happened after a moderate dose of prednisone:

“I’m having prednisone side effects. My doctor prescribed this drug last Thursday. She prescribed 20 mg 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.”

Bob describes what it’s like to be sleepless on steroids:

“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.”

How to Stop Prednisone:

We may have mentioned that when steroids are taken even for a short time, such as a week or ten days, the usual protocol is to start at a relatively high dose and then taper it down gradually. That reduces the risk of an unpleasant withdrawal reaction. Always ask the prescriber about the taper and follow the instructions.

A.M.S was not told how to stop steroids:

“I was on 20 mg 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 prednisone side effects.

“I was not told to taper the dose, so I took as prescribed 20 mg 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.”

S.K.F. describes prednisone withdrawal:

“I am experiencing high blood pressure, agoraphobia, panic attacks, lightheadedness, 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 30 mg 1 day 20 mg 2 days and 1 mg 2 days. Absolutely HATE this.

Just the Tip of the Corticosteroid Iceberg:

These are just a few of the messages that have been posted to our website. At last count there were over 800 comments in the feedback section of this post. 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 telling patients 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.

Psychological reactions such as insomnia and irritability are common, but they are certainly not the only prednisone side effects. Some of these adverse consequences, such as osteopenia, diabetes or glaucoma, appear only after long-term use of the drug. Others, such as confusion, high blood pressure or a drop in potassium, can occur on a shorter time frame. The most serious prednisone side effects that may happen within a week or two of use are dangerous blood clots (deep vein thrombosis), blood

Other Prednisone Side Effects:

  • 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
  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot)
  • Avascular necrosis of the hip

The higher the dose and the longer someone takes a drug like prednisone, the more likely there will be prednisone side effects. A recent study of people with steroid-dependent asthma reported that the majority of patients who had been taking prednisone for years experienced side effects such as bone density loss (72%), high blood pressure (60%), cataracts (42%), easy bruising (35%), diabetes (16%) and glaucoma (14%) (Aziz-Ur-Rehman et al, Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, online April 4, 2017).

The People’s Pharmacy Perspective:

Make sure your physician is monitoring things like potassium, blood sugar, bone density and psychological well being. And again, never stop a corticosteroid suddenly!

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.

If you found this article of value, please take 3 seconds to scroll to the top of the page and vote on the usefulness of this information. Many thanks from The People’s Pharmacy.

Revised: 4/28/17

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  1. Tiffany
    AZ
    Reply

    I was prescribed this for sinus inflammation. While it did get rid of the inflammation within a day the side effects made it not worth it. This is the worst drug I have ever taken in my life. Unless it’s life or death I do NOT recommend taking this. It initially gave me a sense of euphoria, which only lasted a few days, and then I experienced the worst anxiety/depression in my life. I couldn’t cope with anything. I had NO appetite, I lost significant weight in a short period of time. All I could keep down were ensure shakes. I could no longer exercise, I was a very active person prior to taking it. I was scared to be alone. I had suicidal thoughts. My head was always tingling like pins and needles. The worst part was that the nurse that prescribed it to me didn’t inform me of these possible side effects, if she had I wouldn’t have made the choice to take it. It’s been months since I’ve taken it and although I am feeling better it’s been a long road to just feel like myself again. I understand many people say they take it and have no issues and that’s wonderful. BUT people can experience this drug differently and those possible adverse reactions can really mess up your life. There is no drug worth feeling suicidal.

  2. Sue
    North Carolina
    Reply

    Diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 1991. In 2011, diagnosed with lymphatic sarcoidosis. In September 2017, diagnosed with neurosarcoid and a meningioma. I had taken prednisone and hated it; told pulmonologist I would not take it again unless it was a life-threatening emergency! When diagnosed with neurosarcoid, neurologist put me on 40 mg. I went from 130lbs to 160lbs. I felt like I had a jackhammer inside me because I shook uncontrollably! Couldn’t sleep; my entire head would be drenched with sweat! I am now in withdrawal and still have the same blanking symptoms!!!

    I am going to try completely natural supplements that help alleviate inflammation. Trying a popular 8 wk diet program to see if my body will heal itself. Basically organic vegetables and berries; only EEVO. Lots of ph balanced water and organic pomegranate juice. The doctor who invented this diet also recommends yoga. Salmon or organic chicken or soy protein. But prednisone is a devil that I want exorcised from my body forever!!! It appears to do more bad than good! I’m done with it!!!

  3. Lori
    Pennsylvania
    Reply

    My husband has stage 4 pancreas cancer, diagnosed in nov 2017. Chemo wiped out the cancer in the lungs and the tumor shrunk but his weakness and anemia have gotten worse since chemo stopped. a month ago. He lost alot of weight therefore dr took him off of metroprolol for high blood pressure. Saw cancer dr and we told him his appetite is poor also and he just gets exhausted so quickly. “It’s your body recouping from the cancer, lets give you Megace and Prednisone 10 mg a day for a month and see what happens”.

    Second day, appetite great, energy level much better but frightfully so. I am happy but worried that after a month he will have side effects but everyone on here is stating higher doses than 10 mg a day so do you think we have anything to worry about?

  4. Jerry
    Fl
    Reply

    I have ITP. I was diagnosed with this about 15 or so years ago now. Just to inform, ITP is a disease where your own immune system basically destroys your platelets. A “normal” platelet count is between 100,000 and 300,000. Mine is consistently below 20,000. My first hematologist was ok with 20,000 and had me on prednisone, 5mg daily, every day and I was fine. I really can’t say I experienced any side effects at all and I did that for about 8 years.

    That hematologist left and my next hematologist was ok with a platelet count of 20,000 too. Both had me drawing blood for CBC weekly, but everything was fine. I knew the dangers of a platelet count that low but my life was fine. No peticia just some easy bruising. Well that hematologist also left this particular cancer center and my next hematologist had a fit that my platelet count was down to 20,000. I tried to explain but his God complex kept getting in the way. He wanted me off the prednisone immediately and of course my platelet count bottomed out.

    He suggested that I get shots of N-Plates so I figured what the heck, sure. The N-Plates shot would boost my platelet count up to around 200,000. And it would gradually drop every week. If my count was 200,000 then next week it might be 170,000, then the following week, 145,000. Then 101,000 and so in a slow regular decrease. So we could see when to get my next N-Plates shot.

    Usually when my count reached about 50,000 then I would get another shot. So I was getting a shot about once every two months and all was good. Then all of a sudden the N-Plates shots would only keep my count up for a couple of weeks, then another shot. It got to the point that I was getting a shot every week. Well when that stuff got built up in my system, I was a zombie. I felt like I was dead.

    I had no desire to do anything. I was too weak to stand some days. I told the doctor that I never felt like I wanted to kill myself but I was certain that I did not want to live feeling like this. So we switched to IVIG. No results. Rituxan. No results. Promacta worked but I again felt like I was already in the process of dying as well as hard to breathe and do normal daily activities. Nothing was working to keep my platelet count above 10,000. I kept begging him to try the prednisone again and finally when we were out of options, he did. I started with 50mg daily for one week. My platelet count went to 195,000.

    The next week 40mg daily. Platelet count 226,000. Then 30mg, then 20mg and now 15mg daily every day. And my platelet count is still above 100,000. The goal is to get to 5mg a day (imagine that-where I was in the first place) and hopefully my count will still be above 50,000. But over time now with the higher doses of prednisone, I can feel some side effects. Mostly weakness of my muscles and basically my entire body. Some jitters setting in now and then.

    I just sort of feel shaky but not actually shaking. Hard to explain. Sorry. So I’m actually kind of stuck with prednisone. It’s the only thing that seems to work for my body and without sounding too dramatic, it’s really the only thing keeping my count high enough to not worry about bleeding out and dying some day. Hopefully my system will keep a high enough platelet count at 5mg a day and hopefully that amount will leave me feeling no side effects like before. Because he already told me that if I need more than 7mg a day our only recourse is chemo drugs with huge side effects. I already told him that isn’t going to happen. I’ll take my chances with the prednisone.

    But to everyone out there dealing with prednisone side effects, I feel for you. I can relate and can only hope that you get through whatever your condition is and off the prednisone and back to your normal everyday life. Good luck to all of you.

  5. Lyn
    Poconos
    Reply

    I have Giant Cell Arteritis and have been on Prednisone since June 13, 2017. I have sweats and chills still and Bilateral knees replaced on March 1,2018. I have been developing bulges of fat all around my knees that have been getting bigger every day. The pain is terrible. I need to get off Prednisone to help my knees. Diagnosed with Breast Cancer, November 21 2017 and had Bilateral Mastectomies.
    Started on methotrexate 5 weeks ago, tapering Prednisone, now on 22mg.
    Has anyone ever seen the fat pads around a knee replacement ??
    And has anyone continued with sweats and chills??

  6. Bertha M
    Merrimac, Ma
    Reply

    Betty from Merrimac ma. Folks I also had the same problem thought I was dying couldn’t breath went to the ER they gave me what I thought was my life back.

    It was explaned this is not like the weight lifters use this is different,i went on the 40 for 4 days 30 for 3 days 20 for 3 days 20 for 2 days 10 for 2 days and 10 for 2 days again, HOWEVER in 2 weeks I was feeling bad again and the dr said you cant have a dose yet I tried to function for another month or so and was back in the Emergency What could I do I went to my Dr he said I will give you what you think will work and I said lets try 10 mgs for 1 time each day That I have been doing for 6 months I had had 3 bouts in the ER before this however I am so afraid I will become used to this amount and then what.

    Well I had tried to go down 1mg at a time and just could not get through a day and so Now I need help with, something to counteract the side effects of the prednisone we all know our hard luck stories but what has some ( pharmacy research Dr) found to tell us what he feels will be a replacement, that we can start and it will help us get on something that will not have the side effects They have a injection for people who have overdosed on street drugs Or even things like OxyContin drugs etc So folks some one some where needs to help the folks who never would have taken even a aleve without a dr saying it wont hurt you Thanks Betty from Merrimac Ma.

    Let’s remember they can put a man on the moon and can’t figure out what to do with prednisone.

  7. JoAnn
    Staten Island N.Y
    Reply

    I have systemic lupus and been on prednisone for a long time. I have gotten some of the side effects. Not sleeping. Your supposed to take it before 9:00am in the morning. I sweat like crazy, and I’m always looking for something to eat even though I’m not hungry,and I also get bloated which is water retention. I’ve never gotten any other side effects. In fact, when I get a flare up, prednisone really helps. I don’t like the feeling of the side effects, but if I have to take it I do

  8. Niobe
    WA State
    Reply

    I’m here trying to cope with what this drug is doing to my husband. The more comments I read, the more I feel sadness and empathy for the writers and resentment at and anger towards our “care team” and the medical industry/”profession” in general, which pushes lucrative pills in lieu of more intelligence-intense approaches to dealing with biological problems. My husband was prescribed prednisone twice for a severe to profound sudden hearing loss that has intensified twice in a short time. So it’s not apparently helping.

    What it’s doing in spades is robbing him of his normal, calm, intelligent personality. It is making him sleepless, exhausted, short-tempered, confused, jittery, fearful of things beyond his control, and more, including physical symptoms like urinating hourly in the night and canine hunger/thirst. He is literally having his normal, calm, mature, “the guy you can rely on” personhood emptied out, which is horrific to witness. This is piled atop coping with the sensory loss that’s making it hard for him to do his job, which heavily relies on that sense. He is only 55. We live very cleanly, never used recreational drugs/smoked/etc., and up till this he was robust, active, and super reliable/calm in a storm.

    What makes me the most angry about all of this is that there are genetic/genomic approaches now 20 years old that our “care team” refuses to talk about even conversationally as I try to piece together options or understand the 21st century science of what is happening to him. They are obviously committed to the lucrative pushing of pharmaceuticals within crude HMO algorithms/care flow charts. Never mind what damage it does to those on whose these drugs are being tested, wearing the mask of “health care.” And if we ask the drug to be ended, then we are recorded as “difficult” patients/family who refused their medical care. And who knows what the long-term or after-effects will be?

    This is like the Sackler/opioid pandemic all over again. Doctors pushing harmful drugs for profit. I resent the power that this industry has over individuals, holding us and our loved ones hostage with our own vulnerabilities, and using us as lab rats for global elites. I’d much rather they say honestly, “Yeah, we know you’re having this problem, tens or hundreds of millions of people are, we can’t help, but if you want to let us experiment on you with drugs from the 1950s, that would be nice for us and help us publish articles and buy a bigger boat.”

    People who cause deliberate harm to others under the guise of “helping” are the worst psychopaths of all. It’s getting harder every day not to conclude that the entire medical industry doesn’t suffer from Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy. The difference is that we just regular people are in fact experiencing health problems, but the medical industry cares less about solving that than their MBAs coming up with a good bottom line, and individuals having lucrative careers pushing pills and trying to keep medicine in the 20th or 19th centuries. This includes the “medical advertising” industry, which in my opinion should have every one of its members taken out and dosed with prednisone and oxycodone till they plotz.

    • CC
      PSL
      Reply

      I applaud you for being so well spoken and telling it like it is to our “Doctors” who are here to help, w/out letting us know of the dangerous side effects. I have actually given up trying to talk to Doctors about side effects, they don’t either believe in them, or just don’t want to know about them. The more the push the drug the bigger the bonus! I’ve lost count how many times I’ve researched side effects from the evil, toxic, devils tic tacs Prednisone. I won’t bore you w/ my long story, only to say, Prednisone has stolen my husband from me. He is not the man I remember from 3 years ago, and our marriage is broken and on shaky ground because of the this evil drug. When I brought this to the Doctors attention, he had the audacity to suggest that I may need valium, when I had suggested for my husband’s ongoing outburst. I could have slapped that ancient old Doctor! I’ve researched this for hours and have found very little to make me feel any better. Although there is a huge connection w/ the adrenal glands, the pred. depleting them of making natural pred. So you may want to read about that. Good luck to you as well, we all need it.

  9. Chris
    PA
    Reply

    I was placed on 40mg in the morning for 2 days, 20 for 2 days, and by day 4 I knew I was in trouble.

    I have epilepsy but haven’t had a seizure in 8 years. I went entirely blind in my central vision. Just flashing blobs of light. The medicine actually gave me a high and I was cutting it down on this day.

    I was entirely alone with my little girl. Could barely see the phone to call 911. My legs and arms were in tremors and I was in a full sweat standing in 30 degree weather for an ambulance.

    That was 3 days ago.

    I was injected with Ativan, Benadryl, and sedated because I truly could not form a sentence but kept telling everyone I was going to die.

    I was released the same day. 3 days on my couch paranoid, confused, and dizzy. I’m afraid to look out the widows. Last night, I woke up screaming because I was paralyzed in my sleep.

    Ears are ringing, I can’t make sense of TV, and non stop nightmares.

    Never even thought this medicine could do this, so I told the hospital I used to have seizures. Now I look like a nutcase, because I failed to even mention Prednisone.

    Why would a nurse in a walk-in clinic give this to someone with seizures? Horrible. I would type more but my head hurts.

  10. Janice
    Illinois
    Reply

    I was put on Prednisone for about two weeks, 10 mg. twice a day. I am on Keytruda for state 4 lung cancer, and after about two months of Keytruda I started itching from head to ankles.

    Before I started prednisone it was awful; no sleep, and I looked like hell. I had no problems with it, maybe because I was on 20 mg per day, I don’t know. All I know is I started getting some sleep and felt better all the way around. I was so disappointed when my doctor took me off of it. The only thing the Prednisone did not help was my head which is still terribley itchy, more than ever now. I wonder why the Prendisone did not take care of it?

    I have bumps, and when I scratch they get bigger. I have welts about four inches long. I’ve tried everything I could think of, everything my skin Doctor thought of, and here I am feeling like someone is pulling lightly on one strand of hair in every section of my head. I have to admit it was worse on my body before the prednisone but this will not let me rest either. Anybody else ever have this?

  11. Mike
    Reply

    This drug didn’t do anything for my sinuses. This drug gave me nasty side effects like anxiety and insomnia on top of my sinuses still being inflamed. Also, my face puffed up, and the doctors said it’s irreversible.

  12. Jack
    Pocono's PA
    Reply

    Developed excruciating shoulder and hip pain within a few weeks of taking Zitea. Stopped taking it but symptoms continued to increase.
    Called my PCP 3 times, twice asking for prednisone. I’ve never taken it but something told me I needed something like that. NSAIDS or oxycodone just weren’t going to touch this much pain so spread out in my body. I was told to see a rheumatologist but knowing I couldn’t wait months to see one I went to the quickie clinic at my local hospital and after pleading my case they willing put me on a tapered dosage schedule til I could get to my appointment.

    It worked wonders, allowing me to not only sleep for the first time in 6 weeks because I wasn’t crying out in pain in the middle of the night but getting my mobility back. Now I’m on 12.5 a day waiting on my temperal artery test to come back to decide next dosage to stay on for PMR but I plan on asking about Actemra.

    • Anna
      Ohio
      Reply

      My Mom has been on prednisone for 20 years . Her face puffed up on a lower dose it stopped being puffy. Have hope!

  13. Nancy
    Ohio
    Reply

    I’ve been hospitalized three times in my life for asthma exacerbations. I’d be started on IV Solu-Medrol then transitioned to oral prednisone. I had the usual symptoms–insomnia, hair-trigger temper, constant hunger, racing heart, shaking and weakness. The third time, five years ago, was the worst, though, and different. I remember it like it happened yesterday. Instead of insomnia, I was tired all the time and would sleep 10-12 hours at night. I sweated so much that I couldn’t keep my hair dry; sweat would just run down my face and neck. This went on for weeks after I was totally off the drug. But the worst–the very worst–were the foot cramps. They would occur out of the blue. My toes would involuntarily cross over each other. I would scream and cry in gut-wrenching sobs from the pain. I wasn’t given taper instructions but remembered how it was done from the last two times, and I tapered myself off. Every inch of my skin hurt but as I took less prednisone, that went away. I have since been on a few courses of prednisone at much lower doses for much less time and I will get mild muscle cramps, not always in the feet.

    • Margo
      Calgary
      Reply

      I thought I was the only one with foot cramps, thanks for letting me know I am not crazy.

      • patricia
        Reply

        The cramping feet! how do you get it to stop? Is there a vitamin or anything else to help

        • Annette
          Canada
          Reply

          I get foot and leg cramps often (not prednisone-related, but due to neuropathy), and a dose of magnesium brings almost immediate relief. One of the side effects of pred is potassium loss, and I suspect that might be the culprit. So I take potassium supplements too.

  14. Adelaide
    ME
    Reply

    I have psoriasis and was put on 20 mg of prednisone for bronchitis. I then broke out all over with a very bad case of psoriasis. I am being tapered off. My question is: why was I put on prednisone if it is known to make it flare up uncontrollably. I was not told it would do this. It was on my doctor’s record that I had psoriasis but they gave it to me anyway.

  15. Oliver
    New Zealand
    Reply

    I was admitted to hospital some seveteen years ago for acute asthma and, since the health system in New Zealand is basically in chaos, one is shoved in and shoved out as quickly as possible. I was given two massive injected doses of prednisone. I have since then suffered from very high blood pressure which the doctor is finding very hard to control. Prior to this episode I had low blood pressure. I also suffer acute anxiety attacks for no reason. During the period I was on the drugs orally after release from hospital I suffered almost bi-polar mood swings and still do.
    My advice is: if at all possible avoid steroids. No one tells you what may happen long-term and the horrors when actually on the drug.

  16. linda
    canada
    Reply

    i was given 70 mg prednisone a day for eight days for bell’s palsy.
    there was no tapering off.
    48 days after my last dose and i am still experiencing severe itching at night to the extent that it can be impossible to sleep sometimes.
    occasionally i experience feelings of anxiety for no apparent reason. these seem to be less often now and i initially attributed it to lack of sleep but having researched realise the prednisone would seem to be the cause.
    my energy levels are still low and again i am not sure if this is due to lack of sleep or the lingering effects of the prednisone.
    in the future the only time i will comply with a doctor’s advice to take prednisone is if my life depends on it.

    • Marge
      NC
      Reply

      Thank you for your warning.

  17. Jeny
    Colorado
    Reply

    Prednisone is killing me. I’ve been on it for 5 yrs. Omg! My life has not been the same. I haven’t slept in so long I don’t know what a goodnight means. Know one told me I would suffer this way. They gave me this because they thought I had Giant. Cell Aritis. Well they were wrong. After two temple biopsies I was cleared of that. My eyees have suffered I have Glaucoma now. I’m 58 yrs old but I feel like a hundred yrs old and dying every day. I would rather be blind then to deal with these HORRIBLE HORRIBLE SIDE EFFECTS. The doctors are very cruel for not giving me information on Prednisone being that I started at 100 mgs. Now I’m just trying to make it through a day. Because I don’t sleep anymore.

  18. Peggy
    New Mexico
    Reply

    Diagnosed with bronchitis, I was prescribed this horrible drug with no information shared about its intensity.
    After 5 days I stopped because I was riding a crazy train. It is alarming that a seemingly intelligent ER doc shared nothing. My heart rate has been pounding. She knew I had arrhythmia.
    This has been one of the top bad med experiences in life, and I’ve had some serious experiences. I’m just waiting for some quality of life to return so I can just deal with bronchitis and not this alarming LSD trip.

    • Bonnie
      WA
      Reply

      Hi, I know How you feel, I was put on 60 mg of prednisone last March 2017 because they thought I had temporal arterites also. Had 2 biopsies also, and the drs were also wrong. I have Waldenstroms, a type of Hodgkins lymphoma. Have had 4 infusions for that. My last checkup looked good. It is not fatal but not curable. I was weaned off of 60 mg twice and am now on 2.5 every other day. I have severe muscle and bone pain all the time. The drs say it is because of the prednisone. Am trying to find out what I can do or take for this. Tylenol and Ibuprofen and 1 Claritin that was recommended have not helped.

  19. Linda
    VA
    Reply

    My husband is on 50 mg of Prednisone daily. He takes this every day for 6 -18 months. He will be taking Cyclophosphamide 150 mg every other month with the Prednisone (chemo) until he goes into remission. He has been on the Prednisone for 3 weeks and he has a hard time sleeping and gets jittery at times. All this information is scary. I will post and let you all know how this goes. He has Memberous GN. Linda from Virginia

  20. Susan
    ME
    Reply

    My husband had been taking prednisone for PRM (poly rheumatic myalgia) and had tapered from 15mg to 3mg per day. Then he suddenly started feeling like he had a sinus infection plus his leg ached. He was given an antibiotic but the symptoms persisted and all of a sudden he had a terrible headache and then double vision. We were away on a trip but came right home and after a call to the opthomologist he was advised to go straight to emergency. They tested him for stroke etc and discovered he had giant cell arteritis which left untreated would cause blindness. Evidently the use of prednisone lowers the body’s ability to fight off infection and the rheumatologist said that’s what caused the eye problem. He was put on 55mg and began to show major confusion and hyper activity to the point I was very scared and worried for his safety.

    We went to the doc day before yesterday and she lowered his dose to 30mgs starting immediately and tapering to 20mgs over the next 20 days. She also called back after his urine and blood tests and said he needed to drink a LOT OF WATER…..8 glasses a day. I’m praying.

  21. Jireh J.J
    Reply

    I was given 5mg prednisolone and was advised to take 4 pills at a go (20mg) each day for seven days for my knee injury.
    I’m experiencing unexplained stomach ache with mild diarrhoea during and after completing the course.
    I’m also experiencing muscle weakness and slight confusions.

    I’m just hoping my stomach ache will get better and am also quite worried whether I have to report the case at the hospital again.

    I was also worried whether the 4th pill was too much for my system.

    What do I do. I wish I had known all these things before taking the drug.

    Please help

  22. GENIEB
    N.c.
    Reply

    I have taken PREDNISONE and a Z Pack for bad colds…..I have Asthma….respiratory problems….and PREDNISONE has been a life saver. Also, now I have osteoarthritis and find PREDNISONE helps with joint pain….
    PRTDNISONE HAS GIVEN ME MY LIFE BACK. Hope this helps.

    • Jan
      Ontario
      Reply

      It is a very difficult drug to deal with. I had never been on it, even for really bad psoriatic arthritis. Then my breathing got bad, got night sweats plus swollen neck nodes. Biopsy discovered Sarcoidosis of the Lungs, and I was put on prednisone, 40mg a day for 2 months. I got the whole 9 yards: Moon face, big belly, and eating all day and night; bouncing off the walls. Finally tapered it down and went off it. Now I take way lower doses, 5-10 mg a day, when needed for chronic pain. I basically monitor myself! Whatever.

  23. Gayle
    Ontario
    Reply

    Started 40mg prednisne 8 pills once daily for 5 days then stop with amoxicillon &clavulanic acid twice daily 7 days plusspiriva18mg daily for real bad cold and slight copd.im worried about all these interacting.been on all three days.any info is so welcome i am 76 thanks

  24. dzor
    Texas
    Reply

    On Tuesday, January 9th I was given one 10 mg injection of the long acting steroid dexamethasone (along with an antibiotic injection) in the ER. I went there when I had the flu, felt like I was having trouble breathing and thought I might have bronchitis. Couldn’t get in to my regular doctor because they were swamped with flu patients. I was also given 3 prescriptions (a steroid, an antibiotic and an inhaler) to have filled when I left the ER. I didn’t have fever, was now breathing OK and after googling the steroid they prescribed, I decided not to get the prescriptions. By the end of the week I thought I was over the flu and Friday evening I cleaned up the house and disinfected surfaces for when my grandkids come over Sat. morning. After cleaning, I started feeling weak and shaky. The next morning I was even more weak and shaky. I thought that I must not be over the flu after all. Days later, I’m still feeling weak, shaky, no appetite, chills and then I’m hit with this sudden, horrible anxiety, heart palpitations and have tingling in my feet and hands. I’ve never had anxiety before in my life, why would I now? These were not flu symptoms. I start googling and that’s when I realized it was the steroid injection. I got in to see my doctor and was surprised that he agreed with me. He said with an injection, it’s hard to control how much is absorbed into your system. I told him I had been drinking a lot of water to flush it out, but he said that wouldn’t get rid of it. Since it is a long acting steroid, it could take months. Though I never have before, the last few weeks I have also had high blood pressure and a high heart rate. I am now at week 5 after the steroid injection. Some days I feel OK, but many days, not. I never know when the anxiety will hit and some times its like a panic attack. I want to feel like myself again, but wonder if I ever will. l will never take another steroid again! I think that I was over treated in the ER based on my symptoms (no fever, 97.5 blood oxygen). I was only told that the injections would make me feel better -no mention of any side effects.

  25. John
    Connecticut
    Reply

    I was put on 40mg for four days, no taper, due to an acute asthma exacerbation (ever had one in my life). I didn’t question the dosage because I don’t recall ever having taken prednisone before, and trusted the doctor! It has been almost one full week since my last dose, and I still feel like crap. I’m still fatigued, slight anxiety (anxiety was through the roof initially), poor blood flow, excessive urination, etc. I will avoid prednisone at all costs in the future.

    • Erica
      Ohio
      Reply

      John, I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I’m going through a similar situation. I have asthma and was not feeling well. I ended up having an asthma attack and went to the ER. They placed me on 60mg of Prednisone on Sat. By Monday I still was not feeling the greatest and went to my family doctor. She gave me an injection of Prednisone even though I did not have a fever and she said I was not wheezing. I just kept feeling short of breath. She then told me to continue the 60mg of Prednisone the following day. By Tuesday night was an emotional mess. I couldn’t breathe, I was crying, shaking and having awful anxiety. I went to the doctor again on Wed and the older doctor I saw had me taper from 60mg, 30, 20, and 10mg. I took my last dose Feb 16. It will be 5 weeks Friday since my last dose. I have had the worst anxiety, depression, feeling weak, shortness of breath, stomach issues, and loss of appetite. I am not going to say I was completely “normal” before this. I have strugggled over the years with mild depression and what I thought was anxiety. Nothing has compared to what I have experienced since going on this medicine. My NP started me on Prozac and have Lorazapin as needed. I’m going to see a therapist tomorrow. I am starting to feel better, but am so scared about what happened. I just want to feel back to myself. How are you doing now?

  26. LieskeV
    New
    Reply

    My doctor put me on Prednisone 50mg a day for 3-5 days for asthma and then said to stop. Previous doctors have had me taper off slowly. Now I am on day 4, and my blood pressure has soared, and I am shaking like a leaf. After reading this I will definitely taper down with my next dose rather than stopping. Thank you. This was very useful.

  27. joyce
    Maryland
    Reply

    I had severe acute bronchitis. I was put on Prednisone 50mg daily for 4 days and then nothing. I am a nurse and should have asked about tapering doses. However, I didn’t think a short time dosing would have bad side effects. Boy, was I wrong. 1 day after stopping this med I started getting panic attack, being off balance, vertigo. Mood swings. I would get depressed because I couldn’t start a new task, much less my regular duties. I am now waiting and hoping these side effects wear off over the weekend. I can’t work if I can’t walk far. There should be a better warning about this med when prescribed by any doctor.

    • Andrea
      Reply

      May I ask how you are doing now? If so, may I ask how long after taking your last dose it took for you to feel back to normal. You perfectly described exactly what my husband is currently going through. We would like to know if there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you….

      • Oliver
        Reply

        I have just posted my experience(27/2) and hate to be the bearer of bad news but it has been seventeen years for me suffering after-effects. I was a relatively healthy person for for all my life until prednisone took that away .

  28. Jack
    Reply

    After two days on prednisone I had to stop, otherwise I would have lost my job. I had too many side effects to list and were worse than the condition I was taking it for, to clear up ( a Severe sinus infection ) Took me almost two weeks for my body to get back to normal after taking this for just two days. Scary stuff is all I can say.

  29. Bethany
    Taree
    Reply

    I had prednisone when i got my wisdom teeth out. Two 5g, twice daily. I stopped after one week and have felt weak and pained muscles, euphoria, irritability, sad and just cried for a while, tired, stomach pain and missed my period. I’ve also had prednisone for an allergic reaction but only one tablet. This time around the mental side effects have really sucked! I wish i didn’t take them and hope i get the old me back again! Soon!

  30. Chris
    Wi
    Reply

    What’s worse? A short course of 20 mg prednisone for 5 days or a round of antibiotics?

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