Like any medication, there are certain side effects that many people experience when taking prednisone. Because of these effects, it is often recommended that this medication not be taken for prolonged periods, and that it only be taken in low doses. It is important to discuss the benefits you experience while taking this drug with your physician, and to compare these with any disadvantages you experience due to side effects. You can decide together whether or not continued use is best for you. Here, we will outline some of the side effects you might experience while taking the medication so you can be better prepared.
When taking Prednisone for short periods, you might experience the following:
Weight gain. This drug can cause an increase in appetite, and subsequent weight gain.
Change in mood. This could be either an advantage or a disadvantage. Sometimes, this drug can cause a more positive mood. However, it also increases depression in some people.
Swelling of the face, or a hump on the back. While many people are concerned by this change in appearance, it helps to remember that the change is temporary, and will reverse when they stop taking the drug.
Stomach pain. This discomfort may be eased by taking the medication with food.
Insomnia and shaking.
Remember, these side effects are not permanent; after you cease taking prednisone, they will go away.
When taking prednisone as a long-term treatment for a condition, you might experience the following:
Osteoporosis. Taking Prednisone can result in this condition due to a loss of calcium in the bones. If you are taking the drug long-term, make sure you are taking extra vitamin D and calcium, and that you exercise as often as you can.
Heart attacks. Combined with other factors, taking this medication can increase the risk of heart attack. Controlling your blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight can help decrease the risk.
Cataracts. This vision condition can result from this medication, and can be treated with surgery.
Stretch marks, easily bruised skin and excessive body hair.
You should remember that for many of these conditions there are preventative measures you can take, even if some of these may sound scary. You and your physician should discuss your options together and decide on the best treatment plan for you.