The People's Perspective on Medicine



Prednisone is available both by generic name and under several brand names. It is a corticosteroid, or hormone-like medication prescribed for a wide variety of conditions.

Other cortisone-like medicines that are similar to prednisone include prednisolone or Delta-Cortef, cortisone or Cortone, hydrocortisone or Cortef, and triamcinolone, also prescribed as Aristocort or Kenacort. Much of the information on prednisone is also applicable to these other medications.

It is quite effective in short-term treatment for flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout and other rheumatic conditions; for short-term or long-term treatment of conditions like lupus (SLE) or polymyositis; for a number of severe skin problems; to control incapacitating allergic reactions from hay fever and asthma to poison ivy or drug reactions; and for many eye disorders.

It is also indicated in certain cancers, blood diseases, respiratory diseases, multiple sclerosis, a severe kidney problem (nephrotic syndrome), some endocrine disorders and to tide a patient over a critical episode of ulcerative colitis or regional enteritis.

Side Effects and Interactions

At high doses, prednisone can lead to salt and water retention which may raise blood pressure. Blood pressure should be monitored. Susceptible people may experience low potassium or congestive heart failure.

It may also cause muscle weakness, weakened bones, peptic ulcer, inflamed pancreas or esophagus, menstrual irregularities and hormonal imbalances, including reduced ability to handle carbohydrates (insulin problems).

Rash and itching may be a sign of allergy to prednisone. The skin may also become thin and fragile, with slower wound healing, redness and increased sweating.

Side effects involving the nervous system may include mood swings, personality changes, insomnia, euphoria and depression. Headache, dizziness and convulsions have also been reported.

Children who must take prednisone should be measured on a regular basis to make sure their growth is not affected.

Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

If you are taking any other medicines, check with a physician or pharmacist.

Barbiturates, birth control pills, blood thinners like Coumadin, estrogen replacement therapy like Premarin, seizure medicine such as Dilantin or Peganone and the tuberculosis treatment rifampin can all interact seriously with prednisone. Even over-the-counter drugs like aspirin or Pepto-Bismol may be affected.

Read more information & testimonials on Prednisone side effects.

Special Precautions

Prednisone should not be taken when there is a systemic fungal infection. Prednisone may reduce the body’s resistance to infection and mask the signs of a new infection, including certain laboratory tests for infection.

Long-term use of prednisone may increase the risk of developing cataracts or glaucoma. Regular eye check-ups are advisable. In addition, prednisone, like other corticosteroids, increases calcium loss and long-term use may result in weakened bones.

Taking the Medicine

The lowest effective dose should be used. Because dosage regimens vary depending on what condition is being treated, be sure you understand exactly how many pills you should take and when you should take them. For some conditions, early morning (before 8 a.m.) is preferable. The doctor may prescribe prednisone to be taken every other day rather than every day.

Stopping prednisone abruptly may result in symptoms of inadequate adrenal gland function. To avoid this, you may be instructed to taper off prednisone gradually. This is important, as it may take months for the adrenal gland to return to normal if it is suppressed.

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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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Hello all. I wanted to know how you tapered down off prednisone after long term use? I started on dexamethasone 12 mg (equivalent to 80 mg prednisone ) daily19 months ago and once I was down low enough I was switched to prednisone 5mg and have been tapering down from that for the past 2 months. O.75 mg of dexamethasone = 5 mg prednisone. Can anyone please advise what your taper schedule was after long term use approximately 6-8 months or longer even years? Thank you all so very much for your time. I sincerely appreciate any information you can provide. Thanks again.

I had extremely itchy red patches of bumps all over my body, I have never gotten it before and had no idea what the hell was happening to me. Yellow pus coming out of the red bumps, it was sticky and horrifying. The doctor then give me a prescription for 40mg prednisone for 10 days, after the first dose, I feel much better, itchiness mostly gone. But the wound does seem to take longer to heal after taking the medication.

I started taking prednisone back in April. 20 mg for I.tT.P tapered down to 5mg by middle of July then told to taper to 5mg every second day till August now on 5mg on two days a week since getting down to low dose I July I am having. Extreme hair loss and itching all over. Is this due to tapering of this drug ?

I was put on a gradually lowering course of prednisone for 8 days. Following it, I got more frequent optical migraines and developed a low level of psoriasis and itching. I was given it for bronchitis and it did help with that. I am wondering when the psoriasis and itching will go away. Also during the course of it my blood sugars were super high. I am borderline type 2 diabetic. No carbs is a good idea while you are on it.

I am taking prednisone for 8 days and I also take multivitamins and (alendronate sodium)once per week. is that okay?

I was diagnosed last April 2012 with henoch scholein purpura the doctor prescribed prednisone starting to a lower dose which is 10mg 2x a day but it doesn’t work so he increase it to 20 mg per 2x a day for 1 month now and I notice that my face puff, wt gain, craving for food, I wanted to taper my dose. how to taper my dose? how many weeks interval?

I have Pneumonia and was given a steroid shot yesterday and started Prednisone 10mg today, starting with 6 pills on day 1, and decrease 1 pill each day for 6 days. The last time I was on this medication I ended up in ICU 3 days with angina, high blood pressure, high glucose and low potassium so I’m worried about this happening again and my Dr knows this but put me on it anyway and told me to regularly check my BP/Glucose.. My BP this morning was low 111/70 but my Sugar was 196 and I have a headache.. The Dr also prescribed Levofloxacin & Tussin w/codeine. On a regular basis I take Nexium, Metoprol Levothyroxin Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Singular abd Fluticasone nasal spray, Ibuprofen, Flexril, Tarzodone and Ambien, The Dr didn’t mention and I forgot to ask if I should continue taking all my regular meds while on the Prednisone.
People’s Pharmacy response: You should ask the doctor, but normally you would continue your regular medications while on prednisone. You might not need the ibuprofen; prednisone is likely to drown out any pain relieving effect you usually get from it.

What’s the latest on your gout and prednisone. I recently started treatment for the same having gout in left foot. I am on day three of a 10 day taper and been reading alot of horror stories when course ends

It seems strange to me how many people are diagnosed with PMR. It almost seems to be a catchall when there are aches and pains in muscles. The treatment is always prednisone which seems to leave the person with more side effects than the original complaint.
I for one was on it for nine months. I started losing my hair and I started itching not only in my head, but also my body. I have been off prednisone for several months, but I am left with this itching. The prednisone must damage some area of physiology. If one person has complaints, it could be unique to that person, but when so many people have the same complaint why aren’t drug researchers finding something. I am losing all faith in drugs and people who keep making them. What would prednisone do to make you itch. Why do people itch?

Hi Beth, not sure if you are still on this forum. However I wanted to know how you tapered down prednisone after 9 months use? I started on dexamethasone 12 mg (equivalent to 80 mg prednisone ) daily 10 months ago and once I was down low enough I was switched to prednisone 5mg and have been tapering down from that for the past 2 months. O.75 mg of dexamethasone = 5 mg prednisone. Can anyone please advise what your taper schedule was after long term use approximately 8 months or longer? Thank you all so very much for your time. Leslie

I have been on Predisone for the last 2 years for FSGS. Focular Segmental Glomeral Sclerosis. Causes Kidney Failure. I was started at 60 Mgs two years ago, put on Dialysis 3x a week. Now off Dialysis for over a year now. Down to 5 mg every other day with no side effects. Kidney function back up to 80%, Creatinine now down to 1. Can I go off it now?

My son was treated for UC and diarrhea with cortisone but he actually had Chrons disease. A very expensive blood test showed the Chrons. He has been on Humira for months now and is in complete remission. He had to reduce his dosage but very few problems since he has gone to new Dr. in
Birminham, Al

Prednisone is one of the drugs I am getting for Lymphoma. 100 mg for 5 days every 3 wks.
I get very angry and am short-fused. I have weird hives. I am FAT.
The stupid doctors just say “its normal”.
I don’t think its normal to be this angry. I have yelled at my caretakers… can’t go to work because I blow up at people.
The doctors should warm patients that this can happen. It is very upsetting.
Can’t wait until the Chemo is OVER. I hope it works.

I have had the same experience as you, could not smell, went on a two week course of Prednisone and found the result fantastic. I could smell everything, good and bad, it was great! After finishing the Prednisone course, smell lasted for two or three weeks and I gradually lost it again. I have had three operations (over the past 20 yrs) to remove nasal polyps but this never had a lasting benefit. I understand there are all kinds of side effects taking Prednisone so am looking for an alternative without the side effects. Have you had any luck?

I have gluten sensitivity–the only problem for me is dh (duhrings disease), no digestive problems—–dapsone doesn’t seem to help—the only relief that I get is from prednisone 20 mg every other day. I’m an active male 82 yr’s old and have no other serious health issues. I am allergic to sulfa based drugs —hoping hear from you—-have had this condition 3 to 4 yr.s—–I’ll look forward to your reply—thanks in advance.

I take a low dose of predisone for my gout. I only take it for five days but it gives me headaches an runs my b/p up. I have chronic hypertension but I can say it does help the flare up. This was my first in my hands which is very painful an swollen.

I too have been diagnosed with PMR. I am now down to 10 mg prednisone daily after being on it for 8 months. The PMR has subsided but my muscles have deteriorated. My arms and legs look like skeletons. I am working out with resistance training at Curves, and walking daily, hoping my muscles will return. I wonder if anyone else has had this problem

Please let me know what they answered you

Used prednisolone for four days to relieve lung congestion (8 tabs 5mg / day) but broke out in a rash after three days which quickly got worse, my hands and face also became very red and my blood pressure increased dramatically. It was so bad I went to the doctor. It may have been an allergic reaction as described on this page as a counter-indication of prednisolone, and as a result, I did not finish the full course (five days). I am also taking allopurinol, and was prescribed amoxillin at the same time as the prednisolone, and the first thought was that the allergic reaction might have been (unusually for me) in response to the antibiotic – which I have now stopped as well, three days short of the course.

Hi Deb, what did you end up doing? Did u have side effects of going on / off predisone? I just started on it first time two weeks ago, I’ve never felt better, I didn’t know apples smell good !! Yesterday was my last day (I was asked to take for 14 days only). I have polyps since 5 yrs (5 yrs – no sense of smell). But past two weeks, smell, taste, appetite everything returned.. feels new & great. No negative side effects yet! And I have to much energy (started loads of new projects lol). How long will this last Now that I’ve stopped the meds? When will the this “High” end? :) also- How long before ur polyps grew back after the surgery? I’ve never done surgery (although have been asked to by multiple doctors). I know this post is two years late..but I’m hoping your still out there..:)

At some point, will you go into more detail about the adrenal gland and how much damage occurs with use of Prednisone (corticosteroids), etc. It seems doctors themselves don’t have a clue, nor are they interested in this aspect of steroidal use in their patients. I think it’s reached a dangerous situation for many people and this is not being discussed or addressed by their doctors. It’s like they completely ignore the symptoms and choose to blame the illness for which it was prescribed.
Also, the heart is a muscle and it too falls into the category of side effects involving muscles, which is another factor most doctors ignore, and only if the BP elevates do they think of the heart, choosing to prescribe the newer, more dangerous BP meds instead of the older safer meds, without addressing the Prednisone issue.
I’m very concerned about the Na (sodium) imbalance my mother is experiencing, along with all other side effects of Prednisone for Lupus, and, the “adrenal exhaustion” she is obviously dealing with. Not one of her doctors wants to address any of this and are insisting on statin drugs for only 3 slightly elevated BP readings. Can you believe this?! One doctor became sarcastic and asked why she kept a BP log at home and refused to look at it.
Having worked in healthcare 26 years, I’m still in shock at the bad behavior of doctors and the great lack of knowledge/education. Remember, they are NOT pharmacists. I think this whole issue of ignoring the side effects has turned into an epidemic of great proportions.
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: We will write about the adrenal gland sometime soon. Many people are interested in the causes and consequences of adrenal exhaustion.
We are surprised, however, that your mother’s doctors want to prescribe a statin for blood pressure. Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs that don’t have an impact on blood pressure.

My husband was put on prednisone for pneumonia and now has fluid on his stomach and a spot that showed up on his liver, could this be a side effect of the medication and can he take milk thistle for his liver?

Hello. I had a cortisone shot in my knee about two weeks ago for bursitis. After a few days, the pain went away. About a week ago I developed a rash all over my body that looked like hives and itched like crazy. I tried rubbing Calamine Lotion all over and took Benedryl to help. The itching didn’t stop and I went to my internal medicine doctor and she put me on prednisone 20mg to reduce inflammation and stop itching. It worked for about one day, then the rash and itching started all over again. The only way I get get any relief is to keep taking the Benedryl, but then I’m knocked out for the whole day. Should I just stop taking the Prednisone? I’m about half way through the dose. I’m going crazy itching myself raw. Please advise. Kathy

I have been on prednisone for about 8 months. I take it for a condition called polymyositis. I hate that I have to take it but if I try to skip a day i can barely walk or use my arms. It causes mood swings, weight gain, hair loss, depression. I do want to share one thing though. My hair was falling out at an alarming rate. I started taking EPA-DHA 720 omega-3s fish oil. The results were amazing. Within 2 weeks my hair stopped falling out. I also take calcium with vitamin D.
The dr says I will always have to take prednisone because there is no cure for polymyositis and it is an autoimmune disease. I’m gained between 15-20 pounds which is depressing. Has anyone tried an over the counter diuretic to lose the water weight? It seems like there should be something else to take instead of prednisone. I try to stay positive but it’s hard sometimes. I’ll keep hoping for a miracle :)

In short temporary spurts it has been of great benefit to me. 20mg tablet once a day for a week, then 10mg for 14 days. helping me to lose weight due to being active where I could barely walk before, without the med and resorted to walker and crutches at times, as well as a cane often.
I can actually exercise, my mind clearer and I feel very alert/sharp, I have energy and I feel happy when on this little dose of 20mg. Oh, and I don’t hurt, no pain that exhausts me or very little. 10mg and I begin feeling my ra again but something is better than nothing and I can still exercise which helps me in the long run. Food tastes better too and I have been making better food choices because I am not fatigued so I don’t eat to get energy but to enjoy it slowly. We are talking a 19lbs weight loss so far. I want to be able to not use it at all but for now, I am ecstatic at what it has done for me. A real miracle improving my quality of life a good 85%.

Interesting, my son 51 yrs and brother 62 yrs, have Psoriasis. My son for 20 years and my br. for 6 or so…. My son has tried light booth, which works, and many home remedies with some success. He was on Emberyl for a while but gained weight and went off of it. My brother has been on Emberyl for sometime now and also has gained much weight. Could this stuff have prednisone in it, as I see some of the comments mention heart problems, which he just experienced….Hope to hear from some of you. Thanks

Hi my name is Joanie, I have a autoimmune disease called Mysthenia Gravis. It is very rare and I’ve been taking prednisone for 7 years. I just want to ask you if your speech is impaired and you have a hard time swallowing at times? Have you seen a neurologist?
Joanie from Buffalo

On the article above it says not to take with Coumadin.

I’m having the same problem. I have chronic hives and have been on pred for months and no one can seem to help me. I went to a dermatologist but will now make an appointment to see an allergist.

M. Flores
Thank you so much for your story and advice. My 15 year old son was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and he has been in and out of the hospital 3 times since the summer. I see the effects of the Prednisone and I am so tired of him feeling like crap every time I am starting to wean him off of it. I took down some of the info you mentioned about the natural remedies and I just got a package from my brother from I-Herb and I am staring down at this B-Complex bottle of vitamins as well as Raw vitamin E, B-12 and green blends to detoxify the body. The only issue that I have is that Im afraid that these remedies may interfere with all of the meds that he is currently on(6-MP, Omprazole and the Prednisone)
Thank you again for the advice. Your story has been a blessing to me tonight and I know there is HOPE for my son!!!

My daughter was diagnosed with vasculitis as the condition, but was never told Why she has it. The doctor said to put her on Prednisone. 60mg a day For 6 months, then taper to 30 a day after that..
Results: my daughter gained 45 lbs of water weight, she looked like a fat Chinese baby. the hump on her back was so big, that she couldn’t raise her arms. She gained man hair grossly all over her body, especially her face.
emotionally her mood swings were so severe, in the end the doctor said she now needed anxiety and depression meds.. but to continue the Prednisone… FOREVER..
her blood pressure was normal before this, and now was 154/112, and her chest pounded painfully if she even walked down stairs..
RESULTS: congestive heart failure/ right heart failure High blood pressure, caused back flow edema especially in the upper body.
What we did about it as parents… Stopped this insanity of a devil drug
we researched the web, as the doctor would NOT taper her off this drug. And did this our selves.. slowly over 5 months my daughter got off this..
She lost all the 45lbs of water weight.. oh yea, during the Prednisone treatment, the doctor would NOT give her water pills, so she would not gain so much.. told her she didn’t need it.. and the side effects were worth the control of vasculitis, that she never told why she had it in the first place.
The spots on her body pechia, were gone in 3 weeks after taking Prednisone.
RESULTS: Her own adrenal cortisol level at time of blood test is normal, but with surges of epinephrine, which make her blood pressure sky-high..
She lost all her man-hair..
But now is so nausea’s from the heart damage, that she gets sick, and the lack of protein being absorbed has dwindled.. She now has lost most of her hair on her head.. The new doctor calls it alopecia. This has caused severe self image problems..
Now the new doctor wants to give her anxiety depression pills… Even though we went there, because her chest is hurting her so bad, when she walks…
If you get anything out of this…. If a doctor will not tell you WHY you have something, and only wants to treat the symptoms but not the underlying cause.. THEN FOR THE LOVE OF PETE.. DO NOT TAKE Prednisone!

M. Flores,
I have MS and have found it has moved into a progressive form. I am currently within a flare-up that has lasted over a month and is compromising every system of my body. I just started a mega-dose of prednisone (1250mg a day for 5 days). I will say that after 1 day, my condition has been slightly improved (cognitive functioning and some motor skills are slightly improved with the only side effect, a mild headache), and I will be finishing this course of tx.
But with your research and background history, I was wondering if you had run across anything recently about long-term tx remedies for progressive MS through natural remedies. I have yet to start a chemical long-term tx plan, but I will be seeing my neurologist next month and exploring those options; I would like to have an idea of natural options, as well.
After reading the main article here, I have become concerned about adrenal gland function after taking this mega-dose, and I was also wondering if you might know of anything that would assist re-regulation of the adrenal gland.
Thank you for any insight you can provide. My aunt has promoted a million different natural remedies to me and have tried and failed researching on my own that I feel lost as to where to even begin with them!
In Gratitude,

A month ago my husband and I (senior couple) took our morning walk on an open path leading into a thickly forested area, which deteriorated to no path and we forged ahead through thick undergrowth, including blackberry vines, grasses, fallen logs, deer areas, and most likely poison ivy/oak, sometimes taking five minutes to progress 3 to 4 feet.
I had on 3/4 pants and light canvas shoes and t-shirt. Arriving home we didn’t change our clothes right away. We had no knowledge about poison ivy. We had a few small scratches For the next 6 days I had no prickles or pain, but then began to feel itchy, which developed into rash and bumpy skin on legs, but nothing major during several days. Then I got sores on my legs in a tracking pattern, and one became very large and infected over the next week, which became abscessed.
Meanwhile I went online to study poison ivy , etc., saw Dr. and he prescribed prednisone for poison ivy. I had neck, scalp, behind ears, breast area tried hot water soaks, different soaps, tea tree oil, olive oil, etc. Oil made it worse, as did a gauze bandage. I kept getting new spots, and a rash covering my back, scalp, upper arms, parts of legs. Help! Is this an allergic reaction to prednisone? I’m allergic to tinacton.

I was on 40mg solumedrol shots for 5 months and 5 moths before that 30mg pred for shortness of breath, I have no insurance and now no doctor. I’ve been trying to taper down and get off this before my meds run out, does anybody have a regime to go by so I don’t experience these headaches and even tooth aches with tightness in legs and pain? please reply

I developed Chronic Pericarditis 4 years ago and I’ve seen numerous specialist about this problem. Nobody can figure out what is causing it and all my tests come back negative. I have 2 small pockets of fluid around my heart, but the Docs say its not enough to cause my severe chest pain and shortness of breath that I’ve been experiencing. They have me on Prednisone for the inflammation around my heart and this seems to keep it in check, but when I get off it the Pericarditis flairs up.
There seems to be no end to my nightmare. Is there anyone out there that has been going through the same experience that I’ve been suffering with?

charlotte g. I too have ra when I have flare ups I can’t move, can’t feed myself. just pain. they couldn’t figure it out for long time to be sure cause I had symptoms of gout, lupus you name it. but after several blood test and doctors, I was put on methotrexate once a week. and arthrotec with medrol pak.. the two together have worked great. with these meds I have gone from about 10 pills a day to just these. I still have to take ibuprofen 800 for pain. my main help was limiting my red meat, I gave it up completely for bout 6 months now I let myself have small amount once month. I eat ground turkey, season it just like hamburger meat, fish, eat lots of cantaloupe and cherries, all fruit is good but mainly cherries and cantaloupe. and because ra attacks the immune system it goes crazy and that is what puts the inflammation in the joints. the immune system doesn’t know good germs from bad germs so it just keeps attacking itself. I found a whole food supplement that works wonders. I found with immune system so screwed up I am now wheat intolerant. I stopped wheat and it helped me loose 16 pounds in a month and lot of pain has eased. so you might try staying going wheat and gluten free for a month or so and see if it helps. good luck

I developed PMR 8 years ago. I began on predinisone and added methotrexate. I reduced methotrexate, but still had pain, so began prednisone again and reduced it to none – and still had pain. My sed rate now is normal, but I have severe pain in the upper arms. Could this be a side effect of long term use of prednisone?

I am being tested for possible RA. I have been told many times in the last two or three years that I have it, but now am referred to a Rheumatologist. He is giving me prednisone, and I am having an embarrassing side effect. (I smell) Has anyone had this experience, and if so, what did you do to remedy the situation? Thanks.

Hi Jade;
I kept having severe shortness of breath.
My pulmonologist told me that I was having panic attacks because my PFT was normal. He told there was nothing wrong with my heart because he did a stress test. Unfortunately, he referred me to PT but they wouldn’t listen to me when I said I didn’t feel well and I got chest pain. I had to be hospitalized. I took 10 mg Prednisone a while ago.
I wrote to the Medical Board and the pulmonologist keeps saying that I can’t possibly have CHF-it’s all in my mind. Finally, I had to get a letter from my cardiologist. Evidently, he is world famous and can never make a mistake. I suffer from OCD.

Did you ever find a solution to your problem? I am completely where you are and now facing surgery. Please let me know what your next step was. I am reaching out wherever I can. Thank you.

I have taken prednisone on & off for 2 years to shrink nasal polyps.
I have had surgery, & now they are growing back. I find that when I take
it, low dose of 5mg for 6 days, I feel fine, but then after a few weeks I’m
back to feeling lousy & I can feel the polyps coming back. I want to try something else that will do the same job as the prednisone. I don’t’ want to take it anymore. It doesn’t sound healthy. I still feel achy, lethargic, & the docs say just keep taking it. What to do??????

In ’85/86 I had two trans-sphenoidal surgeries, the last removed my pituitary gland, I have been on prednisone ever since. I also have a bone infection in the sphenoid bone and now have a fungal infection under the nail of my big toe.
Recently I have found it hard to fall asleep at night and have become extremely itchy. Could this be the result of being on this med for over 20 years? If so what can be taken in place of it?

For the past 10/15 years I have had difficulty walking and breathing.
At first I could walk about 600 feet and would be out of breath and legs would ache, now I can only walk about 30 ft and am gasping for air.
Yearly doctor visits are the same,have ‘BLOW TEST’-‘PULMONARY FUNCTION’ -‘RESPIROLOGY’ tests and the results are always the same “you’re doing fine”. Now I’m on Viagra to widen the artery to my heart, so far I’ve taken 150 20mg pills (3 pills daily) no change, now I’m on Prednisone 5mg x 8 daily. ANY THOUGHTS OUT THERE? Maybe I should count my blessings, I’m 84 years old.

Well you really didn’t give much detail on why you were taking the prednisone… You should contact your doctor… Mixing the benadryl and the prednisone is fine in itself, I have to do it because i have uticaria (basically I break out in hives every night, it’s more of a condition like eczema, but with itchy hives) and that is something I’ve had for years. Now I am taking the prednisone for the sinus infection I have which has nothing to do with the hives, so I have to take both.
But with you, you need to find out from your doctor if the reaction that your having to the prednisone is dangerous, because if it isn’t he may want you to keep taking it, and just use the benadryl or a less drowsy antihistamine to cope with the side affects. If he has you stop the prednisone all together he may be able to prescribe you something else.

Hi my name is Rahwa and I am so shocked by your story because I was diagnosed with JRA when I was 10 years old and I now 23, so it had been 13 years. I was on all the medications you can think of. I recently had a reaction to remicade and a medicine called lefluniomide, which was the first time I have ever taken that medicine. I am not stable with my condition and medicines. I have been on prednisone off and on for so many years and was jus put back on it a couple months ago with dosage increasing because of my condition getting worse. My doctor is going to have me try another infusion and hopefully it works. I am a college student wanting to work in the medical field, but due to my condition getting worse I have to better my health before trying to help others I guess, so I had to recenlty change my major to social work, which I am glad I did because I love to help others. Anyway, if you do not mind I would like to know more about this natural remedies because I am gaining so much weight being on prednisone. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!
Rahwa N.

Hey kirk,
I am taking prednisone and Lialda as well 60mg 3 times a day for my flare ups. The minute I try to decrease I have a flare up. This drug is very serious and shouldn’t be taken for a long period of time. I now have every side effect known and looking into other alternatives and doctors. The side effects are just as bad as your flare ups, believe me try to get off if you can. My doctor is recommended me to take shots of steroids to help with my condition.

Do you take BCQ as a supplement, and if so how often and where do you get it? Also suffering from RA and want to stop taking meds. Thanks for any advice

HI, I am a 42 year old female who was diagnosed with RA in April of 07, I take Prednisone and methotrexate, with vicodin as well (I will explain the vicodin in a sec).
I have tried to slowly come off the prednisone but when I get to 5 and 6 milograms, I start to get very inflamed and hard to walk on my feet, can’t bend the fingers yadayada yada the norm others get as well…. I seriously went from never even taking aspirin to mysteriously over night taking a boat load of meds…..
OK In Jan of 09 I was hospitalized for 8 days from having 3 pulmonary embolisms (yes am a lucky survivor:) walked around for 10 weeks with them… so now we find out I have a FactorX deficiency, (blood gets thick) funny, why wait to hit when 42 and not when younger with smoking, and birth control… anyways wondering if all that is related to the medicines I am taking…
I am now on Coumadin for life, which brings us back to why I take the vicodin, obviously can’t be taking the Motrin, Aspirins, Naprosin anymore being on the Coumadin…
So my question really is: Will I ever be able to get off the prednisone or is it always going to be a song and dance with them, always increasing the dosage of the methotrexate….. I want my old life back, exercise, forget it. That flew out the window, I tried to walk to work only 2 miles away, got half a mile had to call husband to pick me up and drive me back to my car…
Anyways just curious if anyone has a diet I can follow that goes along with the coumadin diet as well as the RA diet. I can’t eat anything with K in it, which is most of the greens family:( Salad, spinich, brocoli,etc.. Husband just read a story published in our Daily buletin today on RA.. Bravo to that article, he now understands a little on my RA and the drugs taken associated with it… any feedback would be fabulous, thanks for listening and sorrry so long:)..
Chino, CA

I agree, it is awful!! Thrown up all morning, nothing really . I will lose weight at this rate. I am so lethargic, my husband asked me why I was talking funny. I feel so crazy, I hope it goes away. I could not live like this. It is terrible and I can hardly keep my eyes open to type this. It SUCKS!!!
Please help me,
Thanks in advance.

I have PMR which was diagnosed in Jan. 2009. I’ve been on Prednisone since then starting with a very high dose. I was able to get it down to 9 mg per day when the PMR came back with a vengeance two weeks ago. It began on a day I had vertigo and started taking generic anti-vert (Bonine). Within two days the pain got unbearable, especially after taking Bonine, so I stopped the Bonine and upped the Prednisone to 30 mg. The pain is still there but not as bad although it is affecting my ability to walk, so I’m using a walker to keep the pressure off my left hip and leg. Anyone out there with PMR and advice to give about interactions with Prednisone? I want to get off this stuff. It’s awful.

I am 28 years old and have had Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 5 years old. I’ve been on prednisone since I was 7..never having been able to completely get off of it. I had a very bad flare up when I was 17 which caused me to almost go into a wheelchair and I couldn’t even eat because it hurt my fingers to hold the silverware.
My doctor couldn’t do anything for me because we tried so many different therapies but nothing worked. So I started researching things myself. You all should really Google this information about Natural Remedies for your diseases because there is sooo much out there that can help you. And it breaks my heart to hear so many of you in so much pain, even with the meds you are taking.
I’ll tell you that BCQ (bromelain, found in pineapple, Curcumin and Quercitin, is an incredible combination that works just the same in the body as prednisone. Granted natural supplements do take longer to start working before you feel results…but long-term it’s definitely worth it. BCQ has been tested and been proven to work just the same as what prednisone can do your swelling and such.
I also used to take Methotrexate and tried a few Remicaid therapies but found I was allergic to Remicaid. I also used to take Tolectin.
You’ll find that there are so many natural remedies out there that will indeed help and thus you will be able to taper off your chemical medications.
Pain from joint swelling, gout, etc – tart cherry juice. Tart cherry juice has the same effects as taking Ibuprofen.
Swelling from RA, arthritis, etc. – BCQ
Low energy especially due from the effects of prednisone – B-complex. this also helps to stimulate the adrenal glands, which slow or completely stop working depending on your dosage and duration of a corticosteroid drug.
Also, with any medication you’re taking, your liver can become very taxed, so a good liver support is Milk Thistle.
My husband has been struggling with Psoriatic Arthritis for 8 years now and when he learned about Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root healing so many Psoriasis victims, he started taking it. He’s covered head to toe with Psoriasis and after being on this for only 3 months, he skin is about 1/3 cleared up.
You should also look up the benefits to drinking fresh vegetable juice. Read up on the Healthy Cell Concept.
Also, research how emotional issues and stress can affect or even create physical ailments and diseases. You’d be so surprised to see how strong the mind is and plays a role in your physical health.
There’s tons of information out there everyone. And, unfortunately, the Medical Field will disregard and even deny any claims of natural things working for diseases. Please, before hearing the negatives from these doctors, do the research yourself. Read the blogs and chat groups from people who have experienced health and healing from natural ways. You all DESERVE to live healthy and be free of your disease.
I’m not a doctor of any sort. But have researched and LIVED through experience with all this for the past 10 years. And have lived with the disease, itself, for 25 years. I’ve also worked for and studied under two Naturopathic Doctors for two years.
I don’t mind sharing my story with you or sharing any information I know based on what I’ve learned and studied.
You deserve to do something better for yourself. “To have something you’ve never had, means to do something you’ve never done.”
I wish you all the best.

I was given Pred initially because of a particularly awful whole-head sinus infection and have had 2 surgeries, one for the delightfully-named fungus ball removal. I finished the 12 day course 2 days ago and feel pretty crummy. Also on a 21 day antibiotic which has no ill effects at all.
During the course, I was an energetic powerhouse getting all kinds of projects done around the house (ripping up landscaping, cleaning out closets, snapping my family’s heads off) Now I cry spontaneously, feel all-over joint pain and body ache akin to pre-flu symptoms. And I’m clenched in chills off and on.
The upside is that I’m breathing like a carwash vaccuum and I did regain a sense of smell that was missing for countless years. I never realized dogs smelled so… pungent. I heard electrolytes may go off track during Prednisone, so I choked down some Gatorade.
I am not thirsty but must make myself drink more. I read of adrenal/cortisol being affected and hoped there was something found in nature to help balance out this withdrawal. I’d like to avoid another surgery or dose of steroids, though they did help.
Thank you so much!

Several years ago I broke out in hives. My Internal Medicine Doc put me on Prednizone and the hives went away immediately. However, within several days of finishing the dose pack, the hives came back. We went through this about 4 times.
I had two serious reactions. One I was taking an antidepressant and became suicidal, two I gained 30 lbs and have not been able to drop more than 10 lbs. I finally went to an Allergist who put me on a simple antihistimen–no more hives.
I do need to acknowledge my IM Doc had tried double doses of Claritin which had no effect.

I was on Prednisone from November ’07-April ’08 as part of treatment for Non Hodgken’s Lymphoma. I experienced stomach pain, possible ulcer while on it. I took an incredibly large amount of different drugs most of which gave me side effects. I’m done with chemo but I continue to have problems due to all the drugs. The worst is vomiting & I never know what may cause it to occur. Also I get dizzy from time to time. Anyone out there who went through treatment for Lymphoma I’d like to hear from. I was on RCHOP.N.L.

My mom is taking prednisone for her inflamed and itching legs. She is 90.
She is having bad headaches now. Is that from the prednisone?

I am taking prednisone for ulcerative colitis. I was off of the prednisone one month of Febuary 2008 and had to be put back on. I am taking 40 mg, and then I will go down to 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 mg. How long can I take prednisone for ulcerative colitis, because I will have a flareup with my disease? I have been told by my GI doctor that you have to be on it for a short period of time because prednisone is a steroid and it is not good for anyone to be on for so long. It has helped me with my bowel movements. When I have diarrhea and blood in the stool, any other medication that is over the counter will not stop the diarrhea or the blood in the stool. I would like to know your advice. Prednisone has helped me to stay better. Plus I am taking another medication with my disease and it is called Lialda.

I’m on prednisone 10 mg for pain in back and neck. On day 3 of taking the medication, I had an allergic reaction–red spots and rash. I understand that I can not discountinue the medication, so I took benadryl after prednisone. A friend told me to discontinue prednisone and start with benadryl. What should I do?

I am on Prednisone for RA. I have been on 5 mg for two years. Last summer I tried to reduce my dosage but ran into flares with my RA, so now I am back to 5. This spring we are going to try again. Is there any other drug that I could replace the Prednisone with to assist me in getting off the stuff? I feel fine on it but have gained weight and would like to get back to normal. I also take Methatrexate, 25mg and 300 mg of Remicade. I supplement with Foxamax weekly, 1500mg calcium, 1mg of folic acid daily.
Thanks for any information that you can give me… k. tate

I took Prednisone several times for Respitory infections. I was started on 60 mg. for three days tapering off to ten. Each time, I ended up in the hospital for rapid heartbeat (A-Fib) and high blood sugar levels. I always feel worse while I’m on it. Doctor says I will feel worse, but it wil improve my lungs. I am on several other medications, Coumadin, Cardizem, Gly/Met.,Metropol. Simvistatin, Digitek.

I am on my second round of Medrol, since Feb–for muscular weakness, inflammation & high CPK numbers–possibly linked to Zetia, a virus, or Myositis. Leg biopsy & other tests are inconclusive. Weakness went away after several months of a daily dose of 64 mg. of Medrol. Within 4 weeks, the problem reappeared–almost as bad as before. It continues to worsen each day, and the side effects of Medrol are devastating! Losing weight, hair, thin skin, seizures, insomnia, tremors–so very bad. Any suggestions? Please.

I have PMR & have taken this for the past 8 months beginning with 40 mg. I am now down to 10 mg per day. The doctor tried reducing it to 5 mg but I ran into problems. I haven’t had any side effects except my skin is thinner & I have noticed it doesn’t heal as well.

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