The People's Perspective on Medicine

Prednisone Side Effects: Deal With The Devil?

Prednisone is a valuable medication for many serious conditions, but prednisone side effects can be serious, including sepsis and psychological reactions.

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. That is especially true for the psychological roller coaster ride that sometimes occurs.

Ella had an experience somewhat similar to Joe’s:

“I’m really glad to have found this article. I’ve been on prednisone for 2 weeks now for sudden hearing loss in one ear. At my last doctor visit I was given another prescription for 2 more weeks to eventually taper off the drug. I am so ready to be off of this drug so, I thought that I would skip tapering off of it. But after reading about side effects others have had without the tapering, I will definitely taper off as prescribed.

“The side effects are awful: Difficulty focusing, brain fog, jittery shaky inside feeling. I am irritated by things I’m not normally irritated by. I am also waking up in the middle of the night.”

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: 1/17/19

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Hi, I have been on prednisone for over four years. I got an extremely rare illness of the lungs from radiation after breast cancer. They call it B.O.O.P.,for short. The prednisone killed my adrenal glands. Now I have to take prednisone to replace some functions of the glands they killed. I am a totally different person. I have lost some capacity to keep my mind working properly. My judgement is not like it used to be. Not to mention remembering certain words. Have weird fat-like deposits in lower back areas that are painful. I have to take prednisone the rest of my so-called life.

I was 60, and my kidneys spewed protein. Almost died before 7 doctors diagnosed. Had every test known to man except a urinre test. A doc put me on 80 Mgs of Prednisone to start. I had every side effect, even thrush, dowagers hump. I still have problems from it. Now they call my problem fibromalgia. Not easy to live with.

I developed severe deep coughing and phlegm production. It has lasted for almost 2 weeks. I was given 10mg pills— 6 pills for 4 days; 5 pills for 4 days, supposed to continue till no pills. The third day after taking 5 pills I was a basket case, the coughing and phlegm started big time. I chose to start tapering off the prednisone but the deep coughing and phlegm production continues, even now. It is most unpleasant.

I went to the ER because of a severe allergic reaction to hair dye (my whole face swole up) . They kept me overnight for two days and gave me Prednisone, Pepcid, and Benadryl through IV. After I was discharged they prescribed me a 6-day taper of prednisone starting at 60mg and ending at 10mg.

Throughout the whole taper I was dealing with IBS, severe agitation, almost violent mood swings, nausea and brain fog. I was hoping everything would get better after the discontinuation. I’m on day four now of the prednisone withdrawal. My appetite is now somewhat back but I now have a itchy rash over the majority of my body. I still have brain fog but my blood pressure is almost back to normal. I also just feel crappy like I’m in a funk all the time. I’m dizzy a lot and have NO Motivation. I JUST WANT THIS ALL TO BE OVER ALREADY!

Worst experience ever…I am a very healthy person who doesn’t like taking modern medicine. I had a sinus infection and was injected with prednisone..prescribed a zpac and prednisone for 10 days..started with 3 a day…then tapering…it gave me a headache from the start so after a few days I just took 1 a day for 9 days then stopped,. That’s when all hell broke loose. Severe anxiety..my mind was racing, I thought I had all kinds of health problems..it was awful…it’s been 2 weeks and it’s almost better…went to dr for a physical thinking I was losing my mind with thought of something being wrong with me. I have read these side effects can last up to a month…never again

Prednisone and other GLUCOCORTICOIDs at any dose can cause side effects and psychotic reactions. 10mg daily of Prednisone sent me into a psychotic state, complete with delusions and audio hallucinations. I spent 10 days in psychiatric care, along with a hefty dose of Risperdal and Depakote to pull me out of it. I will never be the same again, due to the PTSD I now suffer. This is a true story. Please think twice before loading your body with this poison. If you absolutely have to have it, just have someone watch you, and seek help immediately at the first sign of trouble. Good luck.

I’ve had all the various experiences that others have described and have also wondered why no one is giving info re: side effects. I’ve taken prednisone off and on for over 40 years, and the last time was 2018 for pneumonia. I will never be the same after that last dose. The side effects have gotten worse over the years, but this time I thought I would die. The Dr. just shook his head and said it was necessary! I will think a long time before I take any of this medicine again.

Prednisone and Phototoxic plant juice rash from Wild Parsnips and Lime juice. I was exposed to Wild Parsnips, both arms and legs while climbing up and down a hill to a fishing spot. Full sunshine (85 degrees). I’d never heard of Phototoxic plants. As luck would have it, I did catch some fish, and because of that, I washed my hands several times removing the plant juice. But both arms and legs were later affected because I was in the sun and it took 5 months for Poison Ivy like symptoms to fade away. Low doses of Prednisone was a life saver.

However, when the first dosage (5 days) wore off, the rash came right back. Not one of the doctors I went to knew anything about Phototoxic plants, finally after seeing a dermatologist who understood Wild Parsnips I was given a low dose for 4 weeks. Wonderful. More info on Wild Parsnips can be found at https://laidbackgardener.blog/2018/04/16/phototoxic-plants-dont-touch-when-the-sun-shines/

I was struck by how many folks above mentioned having been prescribed prednisone for sinus infections. My integrative doctor referred me to studies by the Mayo Clinic showing that something like 96% of sufferers of chronic sinusitis actually had fungal overgrowth in their sinuses and in the discharge from same. Around 40 different species of fungi were found, with an average of two species per patient. I would think that anti fungal medication would be far more appropriate than prednisone, with far fewer ghastly side effects. I hope Joe and Terry will address this issue at some point.

While reading people’s experiences, I was struck by how many folks were prescribed prednisone for sinus infections. I recently learned the following from my integrative physician:

“In 1999, the Mayo Clinic did a study of 210 patients with chronic sinusitis. Biopsies of the sinus cavities and mucous discharge were examined and cultured. The results took mainstream medicine by surprise.

“Ninety-six percent of the patients had fungal overgrowth in their sinuses, along with fungus detected in their mucous discharge. Forty different species of fungi were identified, with an average of two per patient.

Chronic sinusitis is an immune response to the fungus. When white blood cells fight the fungus they create inflammation, resulting in swelling and mucous production, making us feel miserable with headaches, congestion and runny noses.”

I am hoping Joe and Terry will do some studying of this phenomenon. Surely some anti-fungal treatment would be far preferable to prednisone!

As a primary care physician I have frequently found that hydrocortisone for polymyalgia rheumatica can be used instead of prednisone and with significant reduction of side effects. I always follow sedimentation rates together with symptoms to determine dosage and efficacy of disease control.

I was given prednisone for a severe asthma attack. I lost all my sense of smell and taste while on it. Thankfully, both came back. But I have avoided the drug since.

If you or anyone else you know is taking a high dose steroid, please read: “For Anyone Who is Coping with Prednisone, Revised and Updated,” by Eugenia Zuckerman and Julie R. Ingelfinger, M.D.

My daughter was diagnosed with sudden onset AIED (auto-immune ear disorder) and the only treatment was to take a very high dose of prednisone for a month to see if it would help restore her hearing. It didn’t, so then she had to get off of it. I found this book, written by a physician and her sister, the renowned flutist, who underwent a similar experience. It was extremely helpful. My daughter followed their recommendations and since that time, we have both recommended it to others.

I was quite interested (and surprised) to see hives listed as a side effect of prednisone. That has happened to me three times: once after being treated for a bad case of poison ivy (I thought it was just getting worse, and my dr just said I hadn’t given myself enough time to get over it). The next time was with some sort of steroid inhaler to treat a cough that wouldn’t go away (this time it manifested itself in my hands – itching and hurting to touch – had to cook Thanksgiving dinner with latex gloves on). The final time was to treat the same cough/lung irritation – this time I started itching and broke out in hives all over my body. My dr thought I was crazy and I had to show him pictures to prove what had happened. I’ve made him put “allergy to prednisone “ in big letters on my chart. Won’t be touching that stuff again!

Does the saying “Trust me. I’m a Doctor” come to mind, anyone? We have a lovely GP, and even they can come unstuck in passing on information re: side effects. I had severe gout and was prescribed a steroid to reduce the inflammation (can’t remember now which actual one it was). I was given 100mg/day for 4 or 5 days. On day 3 I was carted off to A&E with atrial fibrillation as a side effect. Needless to say, I won’t be taking that medication again in a hurry, at least not at that strength!

My heart goes out to all those who have the awful side effects from taking prednisone. I am one of the lucky ones who does not experience those side effects. I take prednisone occasionally for rheumatoid arthritis flares or after a bad bout of acute bronchitis coughing. The only real side effect I have is excessive hunger. Prednisone works very well for me, and the difference in my joint pain is like night and day, almost like the RA is completely gone. I wish!

I am now on Xeljanz and have not had a flare or needed to take prednisone. However, Xeljanz can have serious side effects, too. I am hoping some day there will be a drug that works as well as prednisone but with no side effects.

After using prednisone off and on for many years due to severe allergies and sinus infections I can only agree with all the side effects mentioned here, but one. I kept getting a yeast infection in my mouth, throat, and esophagus. I will never use it again.

I, too, have experienced the same reactions as others to prednisone. When it has been prescribed by me I want to jump out of my skin because I know that I will become agitated, irritable, unreasonable, and angry. It reminds me very much of the same symptoms I had when I had my period. It makes me completely out of control.

I have heard some very bad things about the side effects of Prednisone. However, I must say I have not experienced any of them. This drug seems to be the only one that I have tried that works to reduce the swelling bumps on my arms and back due to Sarcoidosis. Unfortunately, Prednisone has not eliminated the swelling completely, but has significantly reduced it. Unless I can find something else that works, I will have to stick with it.

I have taken 5 mg of prednisone for about twenty years for system lupus to keep my sedimentation rate down. I also have taken plaquenil for close to forty years, also for lupus. I have been grateful for none of the above side effects.

I’ve been on prednisone for 10 years for dermatomyositis. That’s not a typo — 10 years. It will be 11 years in June. The longer a person takes prednisone, the more likely it becomes that they cannot come off. I’ve taken doses as high as 60mg, but have lived at 8mg daily for the past few years. I’ve tried several times to come off, but once I drop below 7mg, my autoimmune disease spirals out of control, and I’m back to a mega-high dose and start the slow process of reducing all over again.

Prednisone is a deal with the devil. It saved my life when I was first diagnosed, but it continues to exact a heavy price on other aspects of my health in exchange. Osteoporosis, vertigo, thinned skin, and persistent low-level depression have taken quite a toll on my quality of life.

But I am determined. It took a few months, but I’m down to 7mg once again. I’m enlisting the care of integrated practitioners to help my body successfully make the drop to 6 3/4 mg.

I was on prednisone for 2 years because of Polymyalgia Rhuematica. It did allow me to function normally, and I have no recollection of any mental problems. I do recall the anxiety involved in weaning off the drug. That was 22 years ago. After about 3 years I started having problems with my right hip. The diagnosis was that the drug had desiccated the hip socket so I had to have a complete hip replacement. Another 3 years later, same diagnosis with the 2nd hip resulting in my second hip replacement. Most recently I had a great deal of problems with my right shoulder. Result is another complete join replacement. Then I started having back problems and, long story short, I have had three back surgeries due to desiccated vertibrae.

No more! I have had it with surgery. I function very well work out 3 times a weeks, walk miles a week with my dog and play golf. I just had the will to continue in spite of adversity. I am to be 79 this year, and my friends call me the “Bionic Woman.”

This subject should be divided into two different categories: long and short-term usage of prednisone. From our perspective short-term use has had little, if any, side affects with exception of one time when I decided I wasn’t going to finish the prednisone 6 day pack and quit after 3 days. Nothing occurred at that time but months later I was mentally doing some things that made zero sense. I would measure something and the next day find it to be grossly wrong. This side effect only occurred for a short period of time but it was scary.

My wife was put on a low dosage of prednisone for some gastro conditions. After a year she contracted a bad case of shingles which other doctors said was probably due to being on prednisone for such a long period of time, which lowers one’s immune system. One doctor said that this would have been his very last method of treatment for her original condition. The shingles episode caused other issues, and now she has had chronic nerve pain issues for over 8 years. Given the lowering on one’s immune system I would never suggest using prednisone for long periods of time.

I’m sorry to read of the bad experiences of the other posters. For me, prednisone has been a lifesaver. I have polymyalgia rheumatica, and the pain I was suffering was immediately stopped with one 20mg tablet. As it is an auto-immune condition, I’ve been on prednisone for nearly 1 year now, and the only side effect I have is that I’m more hungry than usual. I’m hopeful that I will be able to taper off soon without the polymyalgia returning.

Joe, once again, you still need to distinguish between physiologic and pharmacologic doses. Prednisone is also used for adrenal insufficiency and is metabolized to hydrocortisone, which is what one’s own adrenal glands produce, and one would die without it. For people who have difficulty taking hydrocortisone 4x daily, on schedule, prednisone in the physiologic range is a workable alternative. Yes, there are side products, other hormones, produced in the process of being metabolized to hydrocortisone, the desired end product.

I agree it is overused and in often prescribed dose ranges that are WAY above the physiologic range. I had one physician in my area call a 5 mg dose of prednisone “homeopathic”, because he did not understand the chemistry and physiology involved . Therein lies the real problem. Many physicians don’t know how to use steriods properly. It seems that you personally suffered from one of these people.

Instead of frightening people, including physicians, educate them on proper use of steroids. That is beyond the scope of your web site, however, and change needs to be taught in the medical schools.

I am currently on Methylprednisolone after hurting my hip. My doctor suspected Tendonitis. I was in such severe pain that I would try anything at this point. Doctor said that he hated to put me on it but thought it was the best thing for my hip. I could not walk at this point. I am taking the 4mg 7 day decreasing dose. I am only on day 3. I was at work on the end of day 1, and as I was leaving I started sweating and my chest started hurting, and I felt disoriented. I could not go on. The manager called for an ambulance (my 1st ride in an ambulance, and I am almost 65} My heart rate actually scared everyone there including paramedics. My heart rate went from sky high to almost nothing. They inverted me and had me blow as hard as I could without blowing air out. Kind of holding my breath and blowing like I was blowing up my head! I had heard of this if you are alone and feel like you may be having a heart attack. Trust me, it works! My heart rate instantly went back to normal.

I have had a constant dull headache since I have been taking the meds. My doctor said that he hated to put me on this med but did not tell me anything about the side effects except for high blood sugar numbers. Mine has been running 300 daily, and I take three insulins! I am in contact with my diabetic doctor. My hip is very slowly improving but still very painful. I have lost two weeks of work and had to file for FMLA to keep from losing my job. My only advice is to be very aware of the side effects of this medicine.

I have heard no mention of something that is also one of the dangers of Prednisone: It compromises the human immune system, the coat of armor that protects us from all the bacteria and viruses that we come into contact with on a daily basis.

After I finished with “the false sense of energy,” as one respondent termed it, sleeplessness, extreme manic episodes, and highly aching joints, I was left with a severely lowered immune system. I had raised two separate families, and despite nursing all of them, had never had the flu in my life. I was rarely ever sick. However, after taking Prednisone, I suddenly caught the flu, Parvo, and then strep throat, one immediately following the other.

Before my bi-lateral hip replacement surgery in 2014, I explained to the surgeon my severe reaction to prednisone and requested that he NOT give me any steroids. However, despite my request, he must have given them to me anyway. I stayed at home rehabilitating for six weeks and had a marvelously quick and easy recovery. Then my husband and I traveled to our cottage in Canada for the summer. In the first week, I went to a 50th anniversary party with 50-75 people. The next day, I could tell that something was wrong in one of my lungs. Though I did not feel sick, I began to cough. I finally located a Canadian doctor who would see me on a cash basis (without a Canadian Health Card). As is usual, he had me breathe deeply while he listened. He didn’t need a stethoscope to hear the shocking roar that came from my lungs. My husband heard it from the next room! The doctor did not have x-ray equipment and recommended that I go to the emergency room for diagnosis. Since I would have to pay hundreds/thousands of dollars in cash in advance, I hesitated. I got increasingly worse.

After a couple of days, I received a phone call directly from the doctor himself (when does that ever happen in the U.S?!) asking how I was. He said “I’m worried about you. You need to go to the hospital.” I promptly did so and was diagnosed with pneumonia. I developed larnygospasms from all the mucous and could not breathe. One of the doctors had put me on hydrocodone cough syrup, and I also had to deal with paranoia from that after I arrived home. I didn’t want to take any more steroids to “help” me, so I coughed violently for 3 months. It took another 2 months for my ribs to heal. That was the year from hell. All compliments of steroids.

Hell week, number three. Add that to ALL the intermittent doses between February 2018 up to my surgery date for a right total knee replacement.

My husband and I went to Iceland and Amsterdam in February this year. We both had flu shots within 90 days of leaving. I came home sick with a fever, typical flu-like systems and coughing up blood. Saw my GP immediately after returning home. Negative flu and chest xray. Significant wheezing and rhonchi noted with breath sounds. Meds: Prednisone dose pack, Prednisone shot, a cough syrup, as I could not quit coughing, inhalers, nebulizer treatments. Thus, began my road to a nightmare. Since then, I have been plagued with asthma, COPD-like symptoms, and I have no mitigating risk factors, familial or otherwise. Never a smoker and no second hand.

There was an HRCT (high resolution CT scan of the chest) which showed I had what was termed “pulmonary fibrosis”. New pulmonologist suggested maybe I was environmentally exposed to “something”. I have worked in healthcare and surroundings for 40+ years. Why now am I having all these respiratory issues after a case of the flu? Within two weeks of discharge from the hospital for 8 days, I was readmitted in acute respiratory arrest. It appeared I contracted the human pneunometavirus (what a name). Another seven days in. So once I came off the steroids, within two weeks, I could not breathe.

Here it is, after I’m awake at 3 am, shaking, tachycardia, mind scattered, dizzy, and the beat goes on. I am embarrassed at the person I have turned into. It has been so grossly unfair to my husband. I can’t say sorry enough. HE KNOWS THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG.

I ‘ve been on prenisolne for 2 years Im not taking it now but has any one experience migraines humming in head abdominal pain feeling sick shaking? because I have ?I’m better but still experiencing like migraines is there anyone I can ring to talk to professionel

Hello all. I have just finished a 9-day course of prednisone due to an allergic reaction to a bee sting, and I’m thankful that I’m done. The most challenging side effects have been disorientation, disassociation, and anxiety. If I took the medication in the morning I was fine by the evening. Sleep – forget that! I recommend having your doctor prescribe an anti-anxiety med along w/the medication if you’re so prone. That way at least you can sleep at night.

In the meantime I’m so glad I’m done. Am grateful that my rash is gone, and that I will soon get my sanity back.

Such an odd, weird 9 days – and ones that I choose not to repeat – EVER!

I am very worried about my mother. She has been on and off prednisone for polymyalgia for several years. Today the Dr. has given her what he calls a “kick start” dose of 20mg which she is to take for a month, and then less for the next month and on and on. I had informed the Dr. previously that she is more mentally alert when off the drug. She has had odd behaviors when on it, and we feel that at 83 she has a level of dementia. So today he prescribed this nightmare drug before even seeing a blood test result. When asked what the side effects are, he said “nothing really.”

I believe my mother is addicted to the false sense of energy that it gives her. She has played Dr. Google and presents to the Dr all the symptoms of the illness. Now this evening, after one pill, she is away with the fairies, talking in a little girl voice. I am alarmed and do not know what to do. Leading up to this latest round she has talked constantly about aches and pains in her legs but when I question her she cannot describe the pain, and I have worked out that it is muscle weakness, which I now know is a side effect of the drug. Anyone reading this who has an elderly parent: stay away from this drug. The consequences can be alarming. I have spoken with a Dr. friend who has said to me that this was lazy Doctoring and an awful clinical decision.

I almost lost my 20-year-old daughter to a fast-onset psychotic reaction to prednisone given to her by an oral surgeon. Day 3 of a normal 7-day medpack dose, she started screaming about dying and trying to take her own life, and thus began a nightmare that included 2 forced hospitalizations. It was finally brought to a close by a great psychiatrist and some Depakote. I learned a lot about corticosteroids in the months that I dealt with this, such that I will NEVER take them or allow anyone around me to if I can stop them.

It is unconscionable that they are given out for non-life-threatening swelling or skin irritation, and after watching the incredible distortions to my child’s mind and perception, every time I read about someone who suddenly went off the rails I question whether they had been dosed with this drug in the recent past. Six months after cessation from the drug my child was normal again, and she hasn’t had psych issues since (it’s been 3 years). She stayed on Depakote for 3 months. I can’t say enough good things about Depakote for steroid psychosis, it knocked the wild bipolar mood swings, suicidal ideation, and raging paranoia down within 3 days.

Don’t touch corticosteroids unless your life depends on it. If you have to use them, get someone you trust to watch over you carefully. Based on our experience, if you are having a negative reaction, it will end completely 6 months past your last dose.

Have been on Prednisone for 3+ years for PMR . Highest amount was 15 mgs. Recently started taper off again. Am currently down from 4-3 mgs for about a week. Seems like every time I try to taper I get terrible GI problems with acid reflux , diarrhea, upper abdominal pain . Yesterday and last night I had upper abdominal pain and reflux. Got only about 3 hours sleep . Anyone else out there with similar complaints ?

I’m a 63 year old female with several auto immune diseases. The worst symptom I’ve experiences was severe flu like feeling without the flu. I’d vomit for days on end, be too weak to stand, violent headaches and pains in muscles and joints. I was also tremulous during these attacks. I’ve been on high dose prednisone, about 40 mgs per dose on and off for 22 years. Without it I would have preferred death because the way I felt was intolerable. It doesn’t work anymore for the pain but it still keeps the flu like symptoms under control. I take it about every 4 days and for me that eliminates the horrible side effects I used to experience when on it daily. I’ve been reading about the theory that Alzheimer’s is primarily caused by inflammation . Have there been any studies of people on long term high dose prednisone? Could it prevent Alzheimer’s?

I was put on 20mg twice a day for 4 days. I have very low blood pressure, and I’m very tired,confused and dizzy. I never heard of prednisone for this. I’ve taken it before for rashes from unknown causes and for asthma. I really don’t like it, but it’s only for 4 days.

I’ve been on prednisone for 3 weeks now for ITP. My dose began at 18 pills every morning (90mg), and starting this week was tapered by 10mg and every week on out to wean myself off.
I’ve had every one of these symptoms covered, and I just wonder if the weight gain/moon face will start to decrease???

I feel like I’m going crazy.

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.

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!!!

I agree with you, I only took 2 8mg tablets from the first 6 I was suppose to take that day before I had to stop due to my face swelling up…(doctor told me to stop taking it) I’m glad I only took the 2 but I still feel that that little dose made me feel just like us said, it’s gonna be a month and I still feel weird or maybe it’s just my anxiety, I don’t know.

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?

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.

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??

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Thank you for your warning.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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….

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.

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!

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

U have been on Predisone ”on and off for 7 years. I now have Lychen planus..It’s the worst Autoimmune Disease. It’s a rash ”that affects my whole body. I’ve tried everything on the market. I really didn’t wanna take predisone to get rid of it”cause it will just come back afterwards. Please can someone offer some enlightment about this dsease”that is caused from takng to much predisone.

I have taken pzone for years for asthma with minimal side effects. In my opinion, everyone reacts differently to this med. In general, it’s best to take the smallest dose that provides relief. Also, this med stays in your system for more than 24 hrs and will build up over time. That said, taking more that 20mg per day for several days in a row will most likely cause bad side effects in most people. Taking 60mg in one day would keep me up for 2 days. Taking 60mg for several days in a row is a sure way to have big problems. I take it as a last resort, typically at the point of not being able to speak due to shortness of breath.

I start with 10mg or 20mg the first day or two then I drop the dose to 10mg per day for a few days and then 5mg per day.

I’ve been on prednisone for three months due to giant cell arteritis. Down to 34 mg after starting at 60 mg. I developed blood clots in one leg three weeks ago. My doctor said it was not from the Prednisone or the GCA. I would like to see the research that connects Prednisone to blood clots if you could post that for me and others in the same situation. Now I am on Xarelto as well.
I was reading your article because I have also developed extreme irritability and some depression. I can’t stop the Prednisone because of course the risks associated with GCA are too severe. I hate the thought of adding another medication, but I am not very much fun to live with at this point! Any suggestions would be appreciated.

My son is a 10 year heart-lung transplant survivor. He has been on Prednisone since Aug 2010. Over the last 12 months he has 2 episodes of very aggressive violent behavior toward me. This came on suddenly and out of no where. The first time he slapped me several times in the face and was totally out of control. A few days ago he beat me with both an open hand and closed fist while forcing me to fall. He had a sudden outburst of angry rage verbally that was unbelievable. He then walked away as if nothing had happened. This is very out of characteristic for him. I have severe bruising from head to ankle.

His doctors have played with his dosage of Prednisone while trying to lower it to “record” lower levels for lung transplant patients. Without Prednisone we have been told he will die of complications. He takes Prograf to prevent rejection along with 30 other medications daily. His transplant doctor changed his Prednisone to 5mgs every other day and 2.5 in between. That happened just a couple of months ago. I am seeing some additional changes as well. He will suddenly jump up from his chair, take 4 or 5 pacing steps and then stretch his arms out. He had been on 5mgs for 9 years every day since surgery. Given there are so few lung/heart-lung survivors everything doctors do is an experiment.

Not once in the last 10 years has any medical person advised us of these types of side effects possibly happening. I am floored and have no place to turn. If I report this to anyone in an effort to get him help, he will likely be arrested or put in a mental facility. Neither of which will address “Prednisone” reactions. I desperately need help and do not believe it will come from the transplant team. Their NP’s told him to make this abrupt change. 50% or more of Heart/Lung patients do not live to 10 years. He is a great guy and has much he wants to do with his life. It took us 36 years to finally get his transplant. If the ER doctor who recently wrote in during Dec reads this I would appreciate hearing from you. This isn’t the life we had planned. I have spent my entire adult life trying to save his life.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. I’ve had a sinus infection since the end of Nov. (good times) despite a lot of OTC BS, then 7 meds for everything, now 2-prednisone and a traditional antiB. Currently, I’m on 20mg on a schedule of 3times/3 days, 2times/3days. . .. I’m on my 1st day of 2.
I suggest you guzzle water as if a camel in a dry Saharan desert. It leaves a metallic, sickening taste in the mouth. This helps. Eat something with it, even if only crackers.
That said, sinus infections, which I seem to get a lot (too much) are heinous. I have the psych. symptoms discussed here. It probably doesn’t help when one’s head feels like it’s filled with rocks, all one can muster is sleep.
It’s no wonder I’ve morphed into a cranky old man. Additionally, I have MDD, as well as panic disorder, so this mixture does not play well with others.
My advice is feel better first. Keep your pillow elevated. Drink water, and if you can drive, get Pineapple Juice; the bromelian is helpful. IMA try to take my own advice, since I am and have felt irritable, pod, put out. Yuck.
I hope you all feel better.
I’m open to advice, as well.
TY again.

Was given a shot and the 21 tapered pack for acute bronchitis. Day 4 and it’s driving me mad. Insomnia, agitation, disorientation, ringing in the ears like a jet engine. I want to get off this crazy ride…..

I just want to no if you stop the prednisone how long does it take to be normal and not angry.

When I had taken Prednisone in the past it would make me very anxious and unable to focus. I hated the feeling so I began to tell my doctor I was allergic to it. Fast forward to 2 months ago, and I am dealing with severe neck and back issues. My doctor tells me I need to take the prednisone or risk permanent nerve damage. So I take it for 2 weeks, along with my anxiety medication. To my surprise, I diidn’t feel as bad on it this time other than gaining 10 pounds.

Then I weaned off it, and the hell began. My anxiety has never been this bad in all the 20 years I’ve dealt with it. I feel like I can’t breathe, everything hurts, I have zero energy or desire to do anything. This has been going on for over a month, and it’s not letting up at all. I wish I never would have taken those pills. I feel like my life is ruined. I just keep praying this will get better soon.

I weaned off Prednisone oral 60mg over 7 months last year. When I hit 15mg the anxiety and depression hit. Bad. I am now on antidepressants and Xanax. Better but mornings are horrible. It has been a year since I tapered to zero. Beware of long term high dose use of this drug.

Im proud of all of you for getting off of the prednisone! Most people don’t do that and the side effects are brutal. My mom was just given 3 tablets for a cough! So I was livid and found this site, wondering how long she’s going to have it in her system. She only thankfully took one tablet and threw the others away. She felt forced by the pharmacy to take it. They were like drill sergeants she said. So here’s my story and why I was so MAD!

I went through steroid psychosis 2 years ago from it after thinking it was an antibiotic for a rash that was actually an allergic reaction to another medication I had taken. I was only on it for 7 days but ended up in the ER, was pumped with the highest ¨safe¨ dosage then was crazy for the next month in my own la la land since I had insomnia, hallucinations, panic attacks etc. Thank goodness I wasn’t suicidal! Thats a common side effect too. It is a deal with the Devil! Oh yeah, he was in my hallucinations too!

Prednisone: is a steroid which turns your immune system off. We use it in medicine if your immune system is causing your symptoms. For instance in Asthma. Asthma is really just an allergic reaction to whatever, cats, pollen, antibiotics, fish, etc. People who have allergies basically have extra hyperactive immune systems, ie their immune systems are too good! Their immune systems notice everything that is not “the self” and it turns on and sends out massive amounts of mast cells, and T-cells and cytokines etc.

All of those cells and particles run to the site of the allergen…if its something you inhaled then you get asthma. Asthma is nothing more than all of those immune cells running to the lung tissue…so much so that it causes congestion and swelling within the tissue and it literally swells the airways shut and then you could die…So we have to give you prednisone to turn off your immune system and tell it to cut it out and go back to its dormant state. The prednisone works almost immediately and if not we can use epinephrine (and by the way both of these hormones are made naturally by your adrenal glands which sit on top of your kidneys.)

So in my many years of practicing ER Medicine I have seen many other doctors and especially Physician Assistants and Nurses inappropriately use Prednisone. If your body’s immune system is not causing the problem then there is no reason to turn off the immune system…especially if you are fighting an upper respiratory problem that could very well be caused by a virus. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics, antibiotics only work to kill bacteria. Viruses are not alive so they can not be killed, only disassembled or blocked so to speak. So if you had a viral pneumonia then the only thing that is going to save you is your immune system..but if it is turned off by inappropriate use of prednisone then you are now in serious trouble.

My point is… unless your airway is closing up on you and you can not breath or there is some sort of swelling “caused by your immune system” which is pressing on something and it will shut down the flow of blood to an organ and cause to stop working …then you don’t need prednisone. Yes there are many neurologic injuries which cause nerve swelling due to the immune system trying to go down there and repair the injury. If the nerve, let use the spinal cord, is trapped in a bony cage like the vertebral column, then it is trapped in there and has no where to go when it swells so it swells up against the bones and then the bones and especially pointy edges embed in the cord and cause a lot of the time irreparable damage…yes you would use a steroid because the alternative is paralysis.

ie with Asthma, yes you would you prednisone because not breathing causes death. But you stop as soon as the problem is gone. Sometimes peoples immune systems are so hyper they keep attacking the self…ie lupus and it will say attack the hip joints, skin eyes, many areas at once and the pain and destruction is so debilitating we have to use prednisone for a long time in hopes of resetting the immune system. Most of the time unfortunately it can not be reset and they will have to stay on prednisone with all of the side effects.

But if you just have your run of the mill cold, flu, sinus infection..don’t do it, its inappropriate and the Texas Medical Board is finally coming down on the ones who use this drug and they have no concept as to why or how it works. Nurses and PA’s don’t get the physiology training doctors do, so they are usually prescribing it to everyone with an upper respiratory infection because they saw a doctor do it. Well maybe the doctor gave it to a person who had an upper respiratory bacterial pneumonia and who was a know hyperactive asthmatic and they were trying to avoid any form of asthma until the pt was over the lung infection. I will say a lot of the symptoms some of you describe could be caused by your actual illness and not the prednisone. A lot of viral illnesses cause arthritis, especially in the rib cage and back areas and it can take 6 weeks to clear all of those antagen-antibody complexes out of the joints..the joints are not very vascular in the first place so it takes a long time to clear out the pieces of the stuff your immune system attached to and disassembled of killed…kind of like sludge of sand particles in your joints. When they look at it under a scope they can see it is your own antibodies from your immune system attached to what ever it just attacked. Hope this helps.

Prednisone is a double edged sword…only use it it you have to, as a last resort to stop the body from harming itself.

Sinusitis – the very best treatment is irrigation. This will cure sinusitis faster then antibiotics. Go to Walmart and by one of those clear plastic containers for Mustard or ketchup (looking for the pointy cap on the end) put 2 heaping tablespoons of regular table salt in the bottle and fill with hot water and shake until salt is dissolved and water is warm not hot…lean over the sink, put it in one nostril and squirt, BUT YOU WILL BLOW THE SALT WATER OUT OF THE OTHER NOSTRIL…you can do it…you will automatically lift your back palate…to shut of the back of your nose, just like you do when you jump in a pool. (by the way if you have ever gotten water in your nose when in a swimming pool the reason it hurts if because there is no salt in it…so don’t worry about putting too much salt in the bottle but do make sure it is dissolved otherwise it would be like putting sand up your nose. Use the entire bottle on one side, then mix up another bottle and do the other nostril..do this twice a day….you will feel so much better…If you are prone to sinus infections its because you have more nooks and crannies in your sinuses than normal and you don’t clear out the debris naturally…so you in particular will benefit substantially by nasal irrigation at least twice a month. You will see a substantial reduction in the sinusitis infections. Hope this helps. Excuse any misspellings etc I wrote this while being on hold with American Airlines listening to their terrible recording and some screeching noise they call music…

Excellent response!

Avascular necrosis does not only affect the hips. I have had a shoulder and knee replacement with another knee replacement scheduled for this month. All of this was caused by long term prednisone use.

Wow, thank you for that incredibly thoughtful reply. I’m going to try this; in fact I did try something similar with a long Gatorade bottle, weirdly ~ an instinct. I didn’t use that much salt, though.

I’m not sure of my dosage – pill bottle is in the other room. and I’m too lazy to go get it. It’s Friday evening, and I’ve been taking one pill every 12 hours or so since Wednesday evening, prescribed for a sinus issue. Yesterday I found myself crying while doing the dishes. Today I don’t feel any better. I don’t feel like myself. I’ve been depressed before but this is a whole new level. On the plus side, my sinuses are already clearing up, but I’ve still got three more days of prednisone to go. I’m scared to keep taking it. I don’t know if it’s worth it. My doc didn’t warn me about any side effects, but when I went to the pharmacy, the tech said “have you been on this before? It’ll make you pretty jittery so don’t take it too late, and make sure you take it with a meal or snack.” That’s it. No warning for depression. I had no clue what I was getting myself into and it came on almost instantly. Crazy. Absolutely crazy.

I was on predizone for two years because polymialgia rhumatica…within the first 24 hours i finally felt releif from the terrible joint pain i had been in for so long!! What a releif!! My wonderful doctor check me every 3 months or so to make sure everything was going well. I was tapered off it slowly and the only side affects i had were slight swollen face and small amout of hair loss… all worth it.
But yes…do not want to be on any drug for ever.

My experience has been different but am concerned about repeated use. The past few years I have been prescribed various dosages of prednisone and methylprednisolone for pneumonia, asthma, pain, stenosis and hives.

I always feel significantly better during treatment. In fact I mentioned that on methylprednisolone I am euphoric and even feel taller. I mentioned this and my doctor said that it could be my adrenal glands are depleted. I’ve tried to follow up on this but new doctors say I have too many other things to deal with first. Has anyone else heard of this?

I was on a 14 day course of prednisone for vertigo. Not sure even why my ENT doctor prescribed it. I took it unknowingly and have had terrible withdrawal symptoms for 10 days now. Luckily, they are getting better but I’m still shaky, weak, nauseous, have no appetite, and lightheaded. I feel like I can’t function. I just want to know when this is going to end because I can’t take it anymore. I don’t feel like myself.

I have been on a short-term course of Prednisone for severe back pain. I’ve done the same regimen about three years ago. (3 days, 60 mg, 3 days, 40 mg., 3 days, 20 mg, 4 days, 10 mg). On the earlier occasion, on about day 10, I became cranky and argumentative–got into a verbal altercation in a local store over a minor incident–way out of character. My doctor had me stop the medication altogether. I had no further symptoms, and the situation quickly returned to normal.

This time it’s different. I’m experiencing back pain in the center of my shoulder blades (different from the original problem/location)–severe, enough to make me became sweaty and nauseous. Also terrible indigestion. But I’ve had the exact same array symptoms at other times over my lifetime, and I’m not sure whether this is a coincidence. Also, I did not experience the personality change that happened about three years ago.

Today, I’m down to the 10 mg./day stage, but I am becoming increasingly concerned about dropping from 10 mg to 0 three days hence. I may post here again at that point.

Frank, your back symptoms and their change and movement, along with the nausea, could be your gall bladder. I had stomach problems my whole life & GI series turned up normal. Years on it became my back-between my shoulders-in other areas etc. The last night my back was in agony between my shoulders, and I was really nauseous. I walked around the block, gagging every few feet and was in the ER at 7am. I had an inflamed Gall bladder and had it removed. The surgeon told me the pain was from stones that would either pass or turn to sand so tests didn’t diagnose it but your symptoms sound exactly as mine were. Best of luck to you, Frank.

My story is just a little more odd than most I have read because I was given only 2 mg of prednisone to try to control pain joint pain that i am still working with my doc to find an answer to. I made a point of telling him that I am extremely sensitive to all medications and that baby doses are all I will ever consider of any drug. The pain became unbearable. He put me on a 2 mg dose for three days, with a very long slow taper. After day two, I found myself writing emails to family members telling them I hated them, I told my best friend I would be unavailable for the next few months. I am quite literally going insane. Now to top that off, the pain is far, far, far worse than it was just 2 days ago. I cannot put any weight on my wrists without screaming in pain. I have welts on my shins. I have a headache that would kill a horse. The bottom half of my vision is simply gone. My neck is stiff. My hands and feet feel like they are on fire, my face is hot to the touch. I’m afraid to move and am certainly afraid to interact with anybody as my level of rage is in uncharted territories. I have no appetite. I have a sore throat and swollen glands. I am exhausted yet shaking from the inside out in a way I can’t even describe. TWO MILLIGRAMS. TWO. Absolutely the worst medication I have ever experienced and now I have to go through a taper of it on top of that because going cold turkey is worse? Wow. Unless your life absolutely depends on this medication stay as far away from this devil as you can. And yes, I am suicidal as well. From 2 milligrams. Oh did I mention the uncontrolled crying jags? Stay far away unless this drug is your ONLY life saving option.

I’m currently taking Prednisone- 2 tablets a day for 5 days because of a sudden asthma attack. The last time I had the same dose and medication was last year for an acute bout of an ear infection. And, both times prescribed, my hearing has gone off-key to a lower key. So, music and sounds are a note deeper than they should be and for me, it’s very disorienting. I hate the stuff. I even fretted about the medication in the doctor’s office yesterday but my doctor and the pharmacist were adamant about me using it. Can’t mankind make something that doesn’t affect the senses so dramatically???

Have been on methylprednisolone 4 mg for 4 years and now have full blown cataracts and glaucoma. I have been telling my doc for the last 2 years that my eyes are getting fogged, and he said well we will cut it down a bit. Never said that this could happen. Can hardly see anything. Need surgery and laser surgery.

I was diagnosed with pneumonia 8 days ago and started antibiotics the same day. Was told it most likely would take anywhere from weeks to months to feel completely healed but that the cough and trouble breathing should start getting better after 1-3 days on antibiotics. 2 days ago my cough got worse and my chest hurt when breathing, I’d get winded just walking and I had a headache. Later that night I started getting chills, dizziness and my temp went from 102.6-104.3 in 2 hrs and while on Tylenol and ibuprofen. My husband called an ambulance after I lost consciousness due to not being able to breathe well… was in the ER for 24 hrs, they gave me IV fluids/antibiotics and my first dose of prednisone an hour before discharge, with a 10 day script of 50mg daily and some breathing treatments.. last night I couldn’t fall asleep even tho I was exhausted from barely sleeping at hospital, my heart was racing but my fever had spiked again so I thought it was that until I looked up prednisone side effects.. I’ve had no appetite today and felt really off, nausea started 2 hrs after taking morning dose and it’s got worse to where if I stand up I gag or puke. After reading this article and comments, I don’t even want to continue the course of this drug! I’m a young mom of 3 young kids and I babysit during the week so I need to be healthy yes but the side effects listed are awful! Most likely going to start tapering bc the ER dr didn’t only fail to tell me about side effects, but didn’t mention withdrawals or recommend tapering. I’ll just pray the antibiotics and breathing treatments clear my chest… I don’t need to add issues bc of this ridiculous drug.

I’m having a difficult time imagining why my doctor prescribed 60mg of prednisone for me to take three days in a row. I’m 4’ 11” and was in the ER last night from the side effects. I didn’t take any today, but I’m flushed, anxious, feels like my BP is high.

All I needed was something for an allergic reaction to insect bites.

I’m going to Walgreens to have my BP checked.

THIS MEDICATION KILL YOU SLOWLY
I use this medicine to treat sinusitis and not cure it. I was on the verge of death because this medicine suppresses your own immune system, so its kill you slowly. Thaks to God that im intelligent and stop using it and begin to drink natural veggies and fruits juices to heal my inmune system again.

I was prescribed Prednisone a few days ago when part of my upper lip swelled immensely. No known allergies. This has happened to me before. The dr visit was the usual, sent me home with prednisone 40 mg to take for 3 days. which as far as I could tell did nothing so far. I took it out of desperation earlier , never again. One minute I was getting ready to go out and the next waking up over 3 hours later. Last memory I had I was getting ready to go out. What was up with that? So confused I passed right out. This med is the devil the side effects I read can happen I think I’ll pass

I was prescribed 6 tapers of Prednisone back to back over 7 weeks. Not once when I picked up any of these 6 prescriptions was I warned about the adverse side effects of taking Prednisone. Let me put this in context to outline the seriousness of my adverse side effects. When I say adverse side effects I am referring to hostility, aggression, rage, being set off by things that never bothered me before. Just over 3 months ago I started a new job with a local church.

Doing the math you can see that for half my time at my new job I was on Prednisone. I knew I felt differently. I knew I was full of rage. I had trouble interacting with people EVERYWHERE! What is deeply concerning to me is the sit down talk I had with the pastor and the president of the common council last week. I was informed that members of the congregation had been discussing my rude aggressive behavior with the pastor and council President as well as amongst themselves.

Embarrassed and full of shame doesn’t begin to describe how awful I feel. I feel that Prednisone single handily derailed my job. To say that my job was my life is an understatement. It meant everything to me. I was thrilled that I was attending worship services on a regular basis. I was thrilled to meet such wonderful people. Since my sit down with the pastor and the council President everything has changed. I don’t want to show my face. There isn’t a hole deep enough for me to crawl into. Since I got home from work Friday, I have not left my house. I can’t even go to the grocery store.

Taking Prednisone for such a long time has completely derailed my job. It has been a huge nightmare. I don’t know if I will ever be able to recover from this nightmare. It’s a damn shame I didn’t listen to myself when I knew I felt so aggressive and hostile and full of rage. To anyone reading this, let my story be a lesson , DO NOT EVER TAKE PREDNISONE! It is a nightmare.

In case you want to know about insomnia and prednisone, my son was given the drug for an ordinary sinus infection at 60 MG. at a walk-in clinic. After only one dose of 60 MG. he had a horrible reaction, racing heartbeat, anxiety, and sleeplessness. After an entire week he still struggles to get even 4 hours of sleep. Thankfully, the other symptoms are dissipating but the insomnia is still a problem. All this for a single dose of 60mg. The worst is that the doctor didn’t bother to fill him in on the side effects so he wasn’t able to consider not risking them. So much for trusting a doctor.

I use this medicine to treat sinusitis and not cure it. I was on the verge of death because this medicine suppresses your own immune system, so its kill you slowly. Thaks to God that im intelligent and stop using it and begin to drink natural veggies and fruits juices to heal my inmune system again.

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1997 so I’ve been on my share of Prednisone. But, all but one GI doctor tried to keep my doses low and taken as little as possible. The GI doc I had was off for some reason. I wasn’t flaring too badly but while in the hospital, I was put on a heavy dose of I.V. steroids. So, I couldn’t just go home and take a much smaller dosage.
The doctor who saw me in the hospital put me on 80 mgs. of Prednisone a day.

I had to taper off weekly. 80 for a week, 70 a week and so on.
I even told my mom that I felt that I was on way too much. But, I knew better than to go cold turkey it. The only side effect was weight gain. But, I gained 100 lbs. I’ve never been overweight in my entire life until Prednisone entered my life. My GI did do a bone density test, and it was normal. In fact, everything was. Normal A1C, BP, no mental problems, nothing.

In 2009, I stopped the IBD maintenance meds. Doctors can’t find the disease anymore. It’s like it just decided to die off, thank God. I still never have any IBD ever. Fast forward to 2014. I’ve been having stiffness in my back and neck. My GP would give me steroid shots. They worked at first.
Then, I would be startled awake with these terrible back spasms. They happened every 10 minutes or so. I didn’t get to sleep until 8 the next morning. So, I was put on Tramadol and Baclofen.

Now, in 2017, I can barely turn my neck from side to side; the muscles in my back and neck are always tight. There’s hardly any give to them. It is so bad that I couldn’t turn my neck when I was turning the corner in a parking garage and dented the truck. Last week, I was walking to the truck after shopping. I was stooping over a bit. Plus, the sun was in my eyes. By the time I managed to look up. I didn’t see a thick square of wood sticking out of someone’s truck. I slammed into it with my left cheek. It knocked off my glasses and badly scratched my cheek. It’s healed great now but you can see how badly my disability has affected me.

I’m still on Tramadol and Baclofen. But, I also have to take Goody’s or BC powder for Arthritis if I want to be able to bend down to tie my shoes.
The aspirin with the pain meds and muscle relaxants really help.
My brother is a massage therapist so that helps.

But, is there anything that I can do to get my range of motion back without needing all these meds? I’m tired of having my neck and back muscles feel like they are set in stone. Taking more steroid shots isn’t an option for me. I want to try to avoid them as much as possible now.

I’m 41. I want to feel as normal as possible before I get too old to enjoy my favorite activities, which are hiking, exercising, biking and other things. I’m an outdoor person. But, ever since 2014, I stay home more and more. I even avoid shopping a lot.

What can I do? I feel too young to stop living the way I want to.

I developed a cold sore and I actually thought it was acne. Just one sore by my lip, covered it with Clearasil and a Band-Aid. Woke up three days before Christmas 2016 with a swollen eye, saw pa said I had pink eye. Christmas mooring my eye was worse, went to regional health, same diagnosis but they changed me for drops to ointment.

Did not improve so I went to my eye surgeon and he said I had uveitis and gave me durezol. New super strength steroid eye drop. Ended up going to fkaum eye institute, had herpes simplex eye infection from cold sore virus. Am now taking at least 6 .05 Xanax to deal with the damage to my system and anxiety.

Now, on weaker eye drop but no dr will admit that durezol caused anxiety. Emailed a friend of my daughter’s, top eye surgeon John’s Hopkins who told me that some of her patients have had the same experience as I am having. Just a warning and I am still suffering after 10 months. It does happen to some people.

My aunt was prescribed prednisone for asthma when she was admitted to hospital. After 3 days, she started talking with a grandiose air and making extravagant purchases and plans. She started writing a book and was going to direct a play that was to take place in a neighbouring bandshell. She wrote day and night and called people at inappropriate times. She was forced off the drugs. She had no idea anything was wrong with her. The behaviour continued for 2 months after the prednisone was stopped, and then she had a huge melt down and completely lost her mind. An ambulance was called, and she was hospitalized for a day and surprisingly released. She was quiet for 6 months, but for the past year and a half has been condescending, aggressive, intense, no empathy, grandiose, queenly, opinionated, interrupts others, and has become punishing and mean. She has no filter, and can’t tell if what she is saying is hurting or offending people. She still continues to work part-time in a retail store and hasn’t been fired.

Is this a documented pathology where prednisone can cause long-term, chronic, lifelong personality disorder? She seems to be manic too.

I am on a 12 day regime of prednisone with the first 6 days 60mg per day and the remaining to be used to taper off the drug. I’m on day 3. I have had no side effects following instructions to take med in am and with food.

The ringing in my ears has no change and the lump in the left lingual side of my tongue has not reduced. When should I expect any changes?

I was given Prednisone Intermuscular when admitted to the ER for an anaphylactic reaction to a Bee sting. I had already given myself a dose of Epinepherine (Epi-Pen) as I am supposed to, and that had brought the anaphylactic reaction under control, long before the EMT’s arrived. Upon release from the ER I was perscribed Prednisone oral 10mg BID for 5 days, this is day one. I was admited to the ER 26 hours ago, and released 20 hours ago.

So far as to reactions to prednisone, I have vomited 3 times (I had never in my life vomited in memory before), ejecting whatever portion of the drug had not yet been absorbed, along with my keppra (I experience epeliptic seizures, fairly regularly normally, keppra helps to control this), and any food in my stomach. I have not been able to sleep, I have felt very hot on this very cool 90 degree day (cool for here, sanoran desert).

I have further had both surface sensations on skin, and stomach feelings that are beyond my ability to describe, as they are so different from anything I have ever previously experienced that I have no reference to be able to put these sensations into words. These sensations are very very unplesent.

I am having ghost sensations in my legs/feet. While I do have some sensation in my legs (paraplegic) these sensations are much stronger than what I capable of feeling in my legs/feet. Sensations as strong as what I can feel in my arms, and uncomfortable sensations at that.

I also experienced a strong sense of all is well for a few hours that I can only attribute to a potential psych reaction to Prednisone.

I read that Prednisone increases the risk of epelictic seizures, beings as I normally deal with reasonably frequent epelictic seizures this scares me a bit, especially as I am not able to keep my Keppra down, do to the prednisone causing me to vomit.

As the use of epeniphrine had brought the anaphylaptic reaction under control, and there was no sign of the symptoms returning, I do not understand whay the ER physition chose to perscribe Prednisone. I could understand possibly perscribing an antihistamine or histamine-blocker, and monitoring for me for an extra couple of hours to be safe, though prednisone is a definite case of overkill qubed (raised to the power of 3) for this case.

I belive that the level of negitive effects I am experiencing qualify as an elergic reaction, as they are worse than what would call for an ER visit if they were from any other class of medication, as such I am discontinuing the Prednisone, calling this evenings dose the final dose. If it is that the withdraw side effects turn out to be as bad as is often reported, after only three doses then I will have to deal with that in the best maner I am able to .

I was prescribed Prednisone when I developed an unknown rash and itching. After numerous tests the cause was undetermined and I was put on Prednisone usually between 5mg and 10mg. I have been on them now for about 7 years and my arms are starting to show a lot of skin deterioration. My doctor wants to reduce gradually my daily intake to 5mg through 1mg reductions for 4 weeks. After four days the itching has returned to the arms and torso. I want to know what other body parts that Prednisone affects if taken long term.

I am on Keppra also and have vomited up my meds.

I also had 2 hours of seizure-like activity on pzone.

Best wishes.

Gary,
Do you consume anything that contains artificial sweeteners?
Protein drinks, diet soda and anything of that nature?
I had an unbearable, undiagnosable rash for 4 years. It was from the artificial sweetener in Muscle Milk, a protein drink that contained no sugar.
I stopped artificial sugar and the rash is gone!!

Very helpful article.

I went to see my GP for a doctor’s certificate to take 2 days off from work due to a persistent cough (I am nurse and could not work around patients like this). I also had a sore throat which was getting better and wasn’t really bothering me anymore. My GP decided to give me Prednisone 40mg per day for 5 days. That was on a Tuesday morning. As soon as I got home i took the first dose of Prednisone. That night I woke up around 03h00 with the most painful throat I have ever had. By Thursday night I could hardly swallow my saliva let alone any food or drink. I looked up the side effects and saw that you have to let your doctor know if you have a persistent sore throat. I did not take the rest of the tablets and am now waiting to see if things are going to clear up over the next 7 days. Good luck to me.

I have finally decided to share my story after reading countless blogs related to other people’s issues with Prednisone. I was diagnosed with sudden hearing loss earlier this year. Up until then I had been in perfect health. I am active, I run, work out, don’t ever smoke, I do drink alcohol, no drugs, etc. I had gone to he urgent care in which they pumped me full of antibiotics as they thought I had an ear infection. after the third trip I decided to go to the ENT. they confirmed it was sudden hearing loss with no real explanation as to why or how this would happen.

The ENT said it could have been viral which can cause sudden hearing loss. Nothing in the research can confirm that but some studies suggest it. Either way, he then said in a hail Mary effort to recover my hearing that I should take a 20 day dose of Prednisone. Said this would be around a 1% chance it would work but that it would be worth it. also said not to worry about the side effects as even though they look bad online, they typically do not impact his patience. Taking the Docs advice I went through with it.

First 5 days, 20MG, next five 15mg then 10 and 5. by day 10, I was in the ER. I thought I was having a heart attack. I had a beer at lunch with a client and I immediately felt faint. I was told alcohol and Prednisone do not have any known interactions. It was horrible. My right arm went numb, tingling in my feel and hands, shortness of breathe, light headed, dizzy, loss of balance, blurred vision, body was shaking….it was a nightmare. They ran all sorts of tests, EKG, blood work, etc and said I had a panic attack. They also said to go ahead and keep taking the Prednisone. so, three days later, had a sip of wine, wound up in the ER again. between the first ER and second er visit I had to get an MRI for the hearing loss.

This ER visit same blood work and run of everything with the addition of a CAT scan and a neurologist visit. they said the same thing, panic attack. some how the Prednisone had set off my system and alcohol was some how triggering these extreme panic attacks. for the last four months, I had to deal with my wife, family, doctors all think I am crazy. That I have some sort of anxiety or PTSD due to work stress or something. Nobody believed me when I said it was the medicine. I finally went to an endocrinologist and she is the one who did believe me. told me stories on how bad this drug can be (suicide, hallucinations, heart failure, etc). didn’t have an explanation or solution to anything. only that in time this should all wear off. same things Two ENT’s, PCP, four ER docs and a neurologist said. Living it was hell. I am finally back to 90-92% normalcy. This drug is hell. Stay away.

I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I’ve been hospitalized twice for Costachondritis (inflammation of the connective tissue in the ribs). To Ankylose means to fuse. If my ribs fused I wouldn’t be able to expand my lungs. I was put on IV’s of Solumedrol (steroids), and my liver enzymes that shouldn’t be above 40 went above 1100, and I had to have surgery to remove a perfectly good gall bladder because they couldn’t figure out what to do to help my liver. The protective coating around the liver was floating in my abdomen, and it was large and boggy according to the operative report. My face got so round and turned orange from jaundice induced by the steroids. I’ve been hospitalized for it twice, and both times I was put on IV steroids. 1 year after the 2nd case of Costachondritis I was in an accident and got a serious burst fracture of my L1 vertebrae. I was hospitalized for 1 month completely immobilized because my bones had such severe Osteoporosis from all of the steroids. I wore a torso cast for 10 months. Afterwards I was given a Dexa Scan and at 42 I had the bones of 101 year old woman. I had to have cataract surgery in both eyes as a result of steroid eye drops for Iritis, a condition caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis.

My liver enzymes are still a wreck and I’m now 59. I had to have a liver biopsy and it was just inflammed. I have severe muscle spasms constantly. My quality of life has been reduced to a great deal of time in bed just dealing with the pain of all the inflammation. I’m on a very strict anti-inflammatory diet with zero gluten and any night shade vegetables that would also cause inflammation. It’s so hard when my grandkids who live in different states come to visit, and I don’t have the energy to enjoy them. They’ve put me on Humira now but when i take it bi-monthly it feels as though I have the flu, and I hurt all over. I’m so tired of just existing.

I have severe Meziere’s syndrome for the last 7 yrs with flunctuating hearing loss; some vertigo (dizziness) periodically; blocking of ears; extreme noise in both ears; sounds like siren in 1 ear and the other pulsating in time to my heartbeat. Have just finished an 18-day “prednisone burst” of high-dose oral steroids with taper, 60 mg x 3D, 50, 40, etc. For the first 5 days I felt wonderful. My ears opened, could hear, no noise or pulsating. Noticed that as I tapered down my ears began to block again, and now I have worse symptoms than when I started. Have been off for 1 wk and feeling worse . Called md who was sympathetic but said it would pass. Wondered if you can become intolerant to steroids?

I am just tapering off a short term high dose course of Prednisolone after an inflammatory pulmonary response following bronchitis. The doctor didn’t warn me of side effects but my RN daughter did. The doctor gave me a prescription for another medication to fill if I felt nauseous, that’s all. But I have had no nausea. The side effect for me was that an hour or so after taking it I would be hyperactive and almost manic. It wasn’t a bad feeling, though, and one my daughter had prepared me for, and I was able to use it to get a few things done. But then in the middle-late afternoon I had a slump. Felt terrible for a few hours and eventually levelled out and went to bed. Then a few hours sleep and up again.

I’m tapering off now, and the hyperactivity has definitely reduced. I’ve never been as sick in my life so I’m grateful that I had the medication but can understand how frightening it would be to feel the way I felt without knowing it could be the medication.

I was put on 40mg prednizone after a brush with acute idiopathic pancreatitis. Meaning, no one could tell me why it was happening or what coukdve caused it. 40mg for a week then taper down 5mg every week until I was done. The pain I was experiencing in my pancreas drastically decreased and my appetite returned. Instead of weight gain, I lost pretty close to 40 lbs.
The only real side effects I experienced while taking the drug were euphoria and insomnia. Many nights up past 4 am with warm face and stomach.
The real issues arose when my taper went from 5mg to nothing . Massive mood swings and bouts with depression. I already have had issues with anxiety and now that im off prednizone the panic attacks are getting more frequent . Whereas before I started taking the drug I hadnt had an attack in almost a year. Just had 3 within the same week. Im hoping that within the next few months my levels will stabilize and I can go back to being me.

Im terrified I wont be able to.

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