Living With Prednisone

The Side Effects Of Prednisone Can Be Dealt With Effectively

Prednisone is often used to treat inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The side effects of prednisone can be difficult to cope with for many people. The good news is that some side effects can be managed, especially with some careful planning. The dose of prednisone being taken needs to be slowly lowered over a period of time (which is called tapering) in order to prevent problems with the adrenal glands. Side effects will start to lessen as the dose of prednisone is lowered and ultimately stopped. In the meantime, working closely with physicians regarding adverse effects will help in lessening their impact on daily life. 

Most physicians are trying to get away from prescribing prednisone for IBD and other inflammatory diseases, in favor of newer medications that have fewer possible adverse effects. When it is used, it should be used for the shortest duration possible.

That said, 2020 guidelines still recommend corticosteroids for those who are hospitalized with ulcerative colitis as a way to reduce the chance that surgery will be needed. The recommendations, however, suggest that lower doses be used than in the past and only for a period of up to seven days (treatment beyond seven days is unlikely to be effective).

The information in the articles below will be invaluable to anyone who is faced with a course of prednisone in order to better understand the benefits and drawbacks when making decisions regarding this drug. 

Learn how prednisone affects the body, whether it is safe during pregnancy, and how to lessen side effects.

The Most Important Things to Know About Prednisone

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Becoming familiar with the important points about any new medication is important. Some of the factors that are important to understand include side effects, what to do about missing a dose, and if it's safe to take while pregnant or nursing. Get the answers to these questions and more in this article about the most important things to know about prednisone.

Prednisone Side Effects

Side Effects
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Prednisone comes with a list of potential adverse effects that can be daunting. Many of the more serious and long-lasting side effects of prednisone develop after taking the drug for months to years, as opposed to only days to weeks. While the list is long, the good news is that most side effects will lessen and go away when the prednisone is tapered down and discontinued. Reducing the amount of prednisone taken and stopping it as soon as possible should be the goal of IBD treatment.

Steroid Acne

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Acne from prednisone can be on the face, but it can also appear on the back, the chest, or the abdomen. Image © / DigitalVision / Getty Images

One of the more visible side effects of prednisone can be steroid acne. This type of acne typically appears on the face, chest, and back. It does tend to go away when the prednisone is discontinued, but it can be very troublesome for some people, especially adolescents who may be coping with typical teenage breakouts. Learn how steroid acne can be treated.

Prednisone Weight Gain

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Many people gain weight while taking prednisone. In some cases, especially for people with IBD, a little weight gain might be welcome, but for others, the extra weight can be distressing. Find out why weight gain may occur while taking prednisone, and how to lose the weight or even avoid gaining it in the first place.

Prednisone and Facial Swelling

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People taking higher amounts of prednisone may notice their face or neck appearing fuller than it did before. This is not an uncommon side effect of prednisone, and it can be upsetting, especially for young people. It's often called "moon face," and it will go away when the prednisone is discontinued or stopped. Find out more about swelling in the face and neck while taking prednisone.

Steroid-Induced Osteoporosis

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Along with the temporary side effects of prednisone, there are some permanent side effects that should be considered while taking this drug. One such adverse effect is the development of osteoporosis, which is associated with long-term use of prednisone. Find out more about how prednisone can lead to osteoporosis in some people and how this might be avoided or mitigated.

Prednisone And Cataracts

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Another potential permanent adverse effect of prednisone is the formation of cataracts in the eyes. Cataracts are typically thought of as a condition that affects elderly people, but cataracts can occur even in younger people after high doses or prolonged use of prednisone. This article will help explain how cataracts can form in those taking prednisone, and how they may be treated.

A Word From Verywell

In some cases, prednisone is an appropriate treatment choice, but it's important to understand why it's needed and for how long it might be used. A discussion surrounding benefits versus risks is important and should be talked over with a physician. If it's decided that prednisone is needed, talking over ways to reduce potential side effects and stop the prednisone as soon as possible is important.

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