The side effects of Prednisone?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 1/15/2008 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Can I these side effects(raging hunger, moon face, mood swings, sleepless nights, hair loss) effect everyone?  Has anyone had to go on it that never got these terrible effects? I know they say "possible" side effects, but it seems everyone I know has them.
Also does everyone with UC end up on this drug?
Thanks from someone I feel will have to go on it eventually?

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 233
   Posted 1/15/2008 4:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I know people who never had negative side effects, but they were on such low dosages.
I myself usually started at 70-80 mg and tapered for months.  The side effects weren't always so quick to show themselves to me.  It was after a few weeks that I started getting acne, hair loss, and joint pain.  After months, I got the moon face and anxiety.  I never in my many years of this drug gained any weight or had hunger issues. 
There are always it's not going to effect everybody in the same way.  But it really depended on my dosage and amount of time on it.
My husband has arthritis and took prednisone for years with no side effect.  BUT...he never went higher than 5 mg a day. 
Its a really horrid drug unfortunately.  Saved my life a few times, but truly horrid as far as side effects.  Hopefully, you won't have to see how it affects you.
Currently in remission since September 2004!!!  I am on Imuran 150 mg and am LOVING life!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 1/15/2008 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Joylu,

I am on pred for a dual purpose, my kidney's and my UC. My UC is pretty close to remission now.

Most people respond faster to it than I did and I do not think they stay on the high dosage that I am on as long as I am on it. (though I could be wrong)

I went on 60mg a day in Sept 07 and it made me cry a lot, but I was flaring horribly at the time so I think it was a combo of being put on this high dosage of pred and the flare. Also got hot flashes during the day and at night.

In Oct I went on 60/40mg alternating days. I did not cry that much and the hot flashes became less and less (though it is cold where I live).

In Nov I put on 10 pounds.

In Dec I got moonface and acne and I put on 10 pounds in a week about a week ago (don't know how I did that). Also get toe, foot, shin, calf and thigh cramps (I suppliment my potassium too).

to combat moonface limit your salt (I love salt and so I cheated and it shows on my face). For acne, I got "Vishy" acne gel and toner from CVS (my friend who is a dermatologist nurse recommended it) since I have used it I have barely gotten a few zits and the pimples are going away.
Also, the only hair loss I had was the hair on my legs has barely grown, other than that I have gotten more hair, I had to wax a mustache and my face is more hairy.  I don't notice any difference on my head.

there is a great book called coping with prednisone, it was invaluable to me, I think I may reread it.

I think that if I had began to taper the prednisone in Nov when my flare started to be under control then I would not have all these nasty side effects.

HTH! but again, I would take the pred over a serious flare any day!

Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ working on remission almost there
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Potassium 600mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 381
   Posted 1/15/2008 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
The highest dose I have been on is 20 mg. I didn't feel real side effects until I was on it for a month. I have been tapering and am now at 10mg. The latest side effects are more hungry than usual, dizzy and spacy- hard to concentrate and weak legs...

I just start 6MP and the doctor is really trying to get me off Prednisone

Good Luck

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 1/15/2008 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Joylu, it varies a lot from one person to the next. I get horrible side effects. Others get minimal side effects. The shorter time you're on it, the less the effects.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 1/15/2008 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I've probably done around twenty courses of Pred and have hadd all the sidee effects except the hair loss. Weight gain and moonface are the ones that effect me every course.
                                     keep the faith 

         asacol/proctifoam/Zoton (lansoprazole)/propranalol


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 1/15/2008 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   
MicheleV, Holy CRAP remission since 2004! end hijack

Many pred cycles only once did I gain wieght.
Never hair loss. Joint pain on or off pred so I do dnot know.
Moon pie face once. Clammy sweats yes every tine.
Fuzzy head pssied off at the world evry time.
Steriod raged aimed at Doctors twice.
I usually start at 80mg sometimes 60mg.
Diagnosed panColitis 1990.
Current Meds Asacol x4 twice a day.
Pred for flares. I still have my colon THANK YOU GOD!!!
vitamins-veggie juice-wheat grass juice--fish oil
Started 1/01/08
Freindly bacteria:raw milk-kefir made with raw milk--natto--probiotic
Antifungus:Caprylicacid, Pau D Arco, Black walnut hull, Oregano oil
Anti inflammatory:fish oil  1/15/08 started Turmeric
1/10/08 Started healthy diet again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 1/15/2008 7:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Joylu - I was on pred for a very long time and I didn't get any of the physical side effects you are speaking about. The combination of side effects differ greatly from person to person. It also depends on the dose and the length of time you are using it.

The side effects that I got were complete lack of libedo, mild depression and lack of emotion.
"We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers..." - Elric, elder Technomage
    - 2xColazide, twice a day; 1x6-mp twice a day; 1xAbatacept 10mg/kg per month;
    - 1xZinc per day, 2xScoop of Sustagen Sport per day;
    - 1xBIOCeuticals UltraBiotic 45 per day, 1xBIOCeuticals SB FlorActiv per day;
    - 1xHeaped teaspoon of Metamucil smooth orange powder 3 times a day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 1/15/2008 11:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I had different/worse side effects this time I took it than I did the first time I took it, and the first time it was a higher dose and much longer period of time. This time, the highest dose I was on was 40mgs. I was starving all the time, sweating like crazy, aggresive/angry/moody, gaining weight, shaky, unable to sleep/ horrific nightmares. The first time all I remember was my face got big, acne, and I was moody.  I never noticed hair loss either time.

Diagnosed with Left-sided Ulcerative Colitis 1995 at 15
Tried: Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocortisone Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Proctocort, Anamantle, etc...
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis with almost rectovaginal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Remicade 700mgs every 6 wks (had reaction, will start Humira Jan 29) Clorazepate, Proctofoam HC, Glucosamine 500, Vitamin B, Lomotil as needed, Darvocet, Tylenol pm

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 1/18/2008 2:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on 20 mg for almost two weeks and while I haven't noticed any of the classic side effects yet (moonface, munchies, crazies, etc.). However, I have been having a really hard time focusing. I feel really fuzzy-headed, like when someone wakes you up in the middle of a deep sleep - only I feel that way all day. It's annoying, but I'm hoping the good will outweigh the bad. The jury's still out on whether or not it's helping. I've had less frequency and urgency the past few days, but I still have blood and mucous and I'm wondering if things are just moving slowly because I ate too much cheese pizza (so good, but so bad...).
Erin, 25

Dx with left-sided UC June 2007
Flaring since June 2007
Meds: Asacol 400 mg x 9; Prednisone 20 mg (since 01/09/08)
Supplements: Iron, Multivitamin, Fish Oil & Probiotic Yogurt
Dx with Depression, GAD, and OCD in 2001
Meds: Paxil Lexapro Zoloft 100 mg
Currently in therapy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 1/18/2008 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
took a while for the pred to help me and yes I am super fuzzy headed, I can't think as clear as I normally do.

Also, too I have started stuttering sometimes, I stuttered up until 4th grade when I got help. I think it must be b/c of the pred (so I am predisposed I would guess) and the only other times I have stuttered since then is when I was really excited or angry and just tried to get some words out (very rarely) happened but it is happening more and more, but there is not much I can do, except wait for the pred to be over.

but we are all different and I am on a high dose for a long time.
Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ working on remission almost there
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Potassium 600mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.

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