prednisone emotional effects

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 2/16/2008 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
 Hi everyone.
I have been reading posts here for about a 4 weeks and decied to join in. I've been in  what I now know is a flair since June 07 and have been in treatment for UC since November. I am on Asacol 400mg 4tabs 3x a day mesalamine suspension 4g 60ml enema one a day and since I have not ressponded have just been put on prednisone 40 mg and will end my taper in a few months.  One question I have is what emotional issues have you experianced with this drug or combination of drugs. I have some real mood swings, anger but only momentary but mostly feeling sad I don't feel happy very often. Is this to be expected?  The other thing is that although I just started I do not have any wish to eat, I am not hungry at all?   I have not felt the need to eat for months and although I do just because I know I have to I have had no hunger pains for a long time and have lost almost 50 pounds.  I though that hunger was one of the things I could expect to come back on this drug? Anyone have similar experiences?

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 2/16/2008 11:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey mythreesons, welcome to the board. Yeah, prednisone will definitely change things, physically and emotionally. I usually gain about 20 pounds or so after a full taper and at first I'm really hyper/overactive. My face turns into pepperoni pizza, and my mood swings are erratic after about two weeks. I am usually a pretty stoic, easy going person. However about halfway through a typical taper I'll start getting really impatient and restless. I tend to rush through things as fast as I can, I become aggressive to the point of being rude, and just an overall feeling of uneasiness. I hope you don't experience these symptoms but from what I've read, almost everyone has one of several emotional or physical side effects while taking this drug. Ah, and the food intake...yeah, thats where those 20 pounds came from. After about a week (starting at 40mg), I start eating like a horse, constantly. Its nice to gain the weight back that you lost, but I tend to gain more than just that. Hehe. I hope the prednisone helps though, its the only thing thats keeping me going right now until my surgical date later this week.
Diagnosed Fall of 2004
(Scheduled for Stage 1 of IPAA in late February)

Remicade 7 infusions (no more!)
(Per Day):
Prednisone (30mg taper)
Asacol 8 (Ran out and waiting for refill...actually improving off of it...hmmm)

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 2/17/2008 12:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome, mythreesons. Some people are depressed and weepy on Pred, others are cranky and irritable. Some swing between the two. It does tend to increase the appetite in most people, as well as making you crave salt. This can lead to fluid retention and swelling. Be sure you get enoug potassium in your diet, because the extra sodium you retain can give you world-class muscle cramps if you don't. So try to watch your salt intake, be sure you get plenty of fluids. Also take a good calcium + vitamin D supplement, because the Pred will take calcium from your bones. Usually about 500 mg. taken three times a day is right. And if you can get weight-bearing exercise such as walking, that will also help keep your bones strong.

Hope you're feeling better soon.
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.
Co-Moderator UC Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 2/17/2008 1:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi and welcome to HW.I too have had the mood swings whilst on Pred.It's almost like i become a different person whilst on the high doses.I have shouted at people and went beserk over things that never bothered me before.I am a really friendly dude i believe, but Pred does something to me that i do not like.My wife used to hate when i was on the large doses.Now i have learnt to channel my anger or just to go a short walk.The walking certainly helps reduce the anxiety caused by the Pred.That is if you are fir enough to walk.I was put back on a  Pred again On Thursday and i couldn't walk out to the garden without rushing to the bathgroom first.
   Watch the weightloss though.Try and eat something.The damage that is caused by not eating is unbelievable.I lost 112 pounds in about one year, thankfully i was about 90 olbs overwight before it started:).I caused a lot of damage to my body through malnutrition, especially to the muscles in my body.So force yourself to eat, get food supplement pills or really good multivitamin and make sure your getting enough fluids too.
           Welcome again to Hw
                                     keep the faith 

         asacol/proctifoam/Zoton (lansoprazole)/propranalol


Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 2/17/2008 3:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Everyone's experiance varies with pred, sometimes there are no side-effects experianced, sometimes a few or many are experianced and it can be different each time you're on it...the good news is, side-effects are short-lived and once the pred is completely out of your system, so are the side-effects. Be patient, things will get better.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 2/17/2008 8:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you everyone for your responses. It helps alot knowing that what your not the only one going through this stuff. I have been amazed how many times over the last month that I've come to this site looking for an answer and found someone posting exactly how I was feeling or what I was experiencing. I choose MYTHREESONS as a name because along with my wife they are the most important part of my life and I need to get a handle on this so that I can be as happy and functional as I can for them. That is something I have not been able to do yet.
Thanks again

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 2/17/2008 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I had similar emotional issues with taking prednisone.  For me it was much worse than other of the physical side effects (and they weren't to pretty either).  I was depressed much of the time while on prednisone.  And had horrible mood swings.  I would become angry at the drop of a hat.  It didn't last long, but was really terrifying.  I was really afraid of doing something while in a rage that I would later regret.  For me that is why I will never go on pred again unless my life depends on it.

left-sided UC
400 mg Asacol 4 pills 3 times/day lialda 1 pill 3 times/day
making some very light attempts using Rowasa enemas just cant seem to do these
iron supplements 3 times 1/day
multi-vitamin 1/day
Digestive Advantage Colitis formula 1/day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 2/17/2008 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, welcome to the forum. I have gone through the same things with Pred. Anger, rage, hyperness, shakiness, wanting to eat but not hungry. I guess the only advice I can offer about it is to drink decaf green tea several times a day of you can. It is good for inflammation in the body anyways, plus my arthritis doctor recommended me to drink it to keep my weight down. I have 2 boys and I really have a hard time keeping up with them most the time so I understand how you feel. I wish I could get some of their energy and strength.
Diagnosed with Left-sided Ulcerative Colitis 1995 at 15, Tried: Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocort. Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Anamantle, etc... had almost recto-vaginal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed w/ Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Remicade 700mgs every 6 wks (had reaction, will start Humira Feb 11) Clorazepate, Proctofoam HC, Glucosamine 500, Vitamin B, Lomotil,  Tylenol pm, Lyrica for Fibromyalgia started 1/17/08

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 2/17/2008 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I agree with everything above. Also, I think the the effect of being diagnosed with UC and the adjustments you have to make unwillingly can maybe add to the moodswings/emotional toll of prednisone. Just focus on improving your quality of life - that's what managing UC is about in my opinion. Lots of difficult decisions, but staying informed like you have has definitely helped.
UC diagnosed January 05

Past Meds: Azasan (Imuran) - piercing chest pains after six days so tried different brand aka Azathioprine - morning nausea /didn't really help after more than 6 months, canasa (tried but got worse at the time - connected or not laying off for now)
Current meds: Asacol 2 - 3x, Aciphex (acid reflux), Remicade - 6 treatments, prednisone boo 10mg now tapering, multivitamin, caltrate 2x a day. probiotic (florasmart right now), astelin (nasal spray) as needed, allergy shots, fosamax

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 2/17/2008 5:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Xanax helps with the agitation and anxious feelings. If you continue to feel sad for more than a couple of weeks you may want to ask about an antidepressant. I was put on Lexipro and found it to be a rather subtle medication -- basically I no longer found myself going into crying jags for no reason.

Diagnosed UC April 27, 2006
Remicade infusions: 7/21/07; 8/18/07; 10/13/07; 12/15/97; 1/26/08
Lialda, 4 tabs in the morning; Protonix; Prednisone 4/27/06-present, starting yet another taper attempt, down to 15 mg daily. Daily supplements: multivitamin w/folate; Culturelle; Fish oil capsules, calcium chews and/or Tums
12/1/07 - 12/29/07 weekly Venofer (iron sucrose) injections; 9 mg Entocourt EC; Xanax as needed; Lexipro 10 mg, Rowesa; Asacol; Colazal three 750 mg capsules 3X day; Bad reactions: Imuran (2/07)

UC Wife in MD
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 2/17/2008 6:07 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband has been on Prednisone for a year now. He started at 30mg and was very angry all the time. Non-Prednisone he's very non confrontational, on prednisone he punched a hole in the wall, kicked in a door and threw various items at me. This is completely not him.

He tapered down to 2.5 and then ended up in the hospital which spiked it to 60mg. Then he was weepy all the time. I had only seen him cry maybe 3 times before that. On prednisone he was crying at LEAST once a day about everything.

Of course the physical side effects were there too, moon face, breaking out etc.

Prednisone is an evil drug. sad

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 2/17/2008 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
It has so many nasty side effects but it is the only reason i still have my colon intact after 16years.I accept the untold damage it could be doing to my body, but i feel it is worth it.It is all about finding ways to alleviate the anxiety and mood swings.It definitly causes serious depression in many.Some people get off light with the side effects others get it really tight.
                                     keep the faith 

         asacol/proctifoam/Zoton (lansoprazole)/propranalol


tooth fairy
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 2/17/2008 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
my3sons, your lost appetite may be due to your flare, not the prednisone. i know when i'm flaring badly that i am not interested in food at all. it's like my subconscious knows that food = digestion = multiple painful trips to bathroom, and decides to cut things off at the pass; if there's nothing in there to digest, then i won't be rushing to the toilet every minute. when i'm having a rough day, all i can sometimes manage is a big jug of gatorade and a yogurt.

i've never had to go above 30 mg pred, but in my experience the side-effects have been quite mild. i am much more tired than before (but that could be the flare, not the medicine), and i am definitely more irritable, but for the most part i feel like myself. hopefully you'll have similar luck!
Erica, 31
Pancolitis, diagnosed July 2006, at age 29
Imuran, Asacol, Rowasa*(new!)
Still on prednisone (10 mg) taper, two more weeks
Experimenting with low residue diet, live culture yogurt and probiotics

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Tuesday, August 21, 2018 2:46 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,995,171 posts in 328,204 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 161320 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, nighowl.
283 Guest(s), 2 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
samster, ShinytopPC