Prednisone Side Effects

August 20th, 2012 by Maggie Heart

Prednisone is in a class of drugs called corticosteroids. Prednisone prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Prednisone is used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to prednisone, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.

Prednisone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Steroids can also worsen an infection you already have, or reactivate an infection you recently had. Before taking prednisone, tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.

To make sure you can safely take prednisone, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease (such as cirrhosis);
  • kidney disease;
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • diabetes;
  • a history of malaria;
  • tuberculosis;
  • osteoporosis;
  • a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis;
  • glaucoma or cataracts;
  • herpes infection of the eyes;
  • stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis;
  • depression or mental illness;
  • congestive heart failure; or
  • high blood pressure

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether prednisone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Prednisone can pass into breast milk but this is not expected to harm a nursing baby however, do not use prednisone without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to prednisone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of┬ábreath;
  • severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions);
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood;
  • pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate);
  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious prednisone side effects may include:

  • sleep problems (insomnia), mood changes;
  • acne, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising or discoloration;
  • slow wound healing;
  • increased sweating;
  • headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • nausea, stomach pain, bloating; or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.