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How Long Does Prednisone Stay In Your System After Stopping?

Prednisone is a common synthetic corticosteroid medication that was initially synthesized in 1955.  Upon ingestion of prednisone, it doesn’t elicit significant biological effects until converted via the liver to the pharmacologically active chemical “prednisolone.”  Prednisolone functions as an irreversible glucorticoid receptor agonist, binding to alpha glucorticoid receptors (AlphaGRs) and beta glucorticoid receptors (BetaGRs) within bodily tissues to reduce inflammation.

In addition to being an anti-inflammatory agent, prednisone is an effective immunosuppressant drug, exerting effects by modifying gene transcription, reducing activity within the lymphatic system (e.g. T-lymphocytes), decreasing levels of immunoglobulin, and minimizing travel of immune complexes through basement membranes.  As a result of prenisolone’s widespread physiological effects (some of which aren’t fully understood), the drug can be used to effectively treat a variety of medical conditions including: asthma, COPD, CIPD, ulcerative colitis, Chron’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and more.

Though prednisone is an extremely helpful medication when no other treatments are available, it is akin to using a pill-based atomic bomb; it may effectively hit the target (treat the medical condition), but there are often other casualties (severe adverse effects) incurred throughout the process.  For this reason, prednisone is often reserved as a “last resort” or emergency treatment for serious medical conditions.  Since treatment-induced adverse effects can linger well-after a person has discontinued treatment, many wonder whether prednisone is still in their system after stopping and for how long.

How long does Prednisone stay in your system after stopping?

If you’ve stopped taking this drug, you may end up facing some pretty serious Prednisone withdrawal symptoms.  As these symptoms emerge, you may feel infuriated and confused – wondering when the drug will have been eliminated from your body, and when you’ll feel normal again.  To determine how long Prednisone stays in your system after stopping, it is important to consider its half-life.

The half-life for all formats of Prednisone (immediate-release and delayed-release) ranges from 2 to 3 hours after conversion to “prednisolone.”  This means that in approximately 3 hours, 50% of the dose you ingested will have been cleared from systemic circulation.  If considering the 2 to 3 hour documented half-life, the Prednisone should theoretically be cleared from your system between 11 and 16.5 hours post-ingestion.

Some sources suggest that the half-life of pharmacologically active “prednisolone” may be slightly longer than 2 to 3 hours.  One source suggests that its half-life could be 2 to 4 hours with an average of ~3.6 hours.  This would indicate that elimination of prednisolone concentrations from systemic circulation would take just under 20 hours.

In other words, both Prednisone and prednisolone should be cleared from your body within a 24 hour period after stopping.  However, just because you no longer have prednisone circulating throughout your bloodstream certainly doesn’t mean you should be feeling 100% better.  Prednisolone facilitates numerous physiological alterations throughout your body that could linger for a long-term following discontinuation.

  • Source: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/prednisone
  • Source: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/prednisolone

Variables that influence how long Prednisone stays in your system

On average, it takes up to 17 hours to eliminate Prednisone from systemic circulation, and up to 20 hours to clear prednisolone, not everyone fits the “average” clearance duration.  Some people are thought to clear the drug significantly faster than 17 to 20 hours, whereas others may be unable to clear it for over 24 hours after their last dose.  Variables such as: individual attributes, Prednisone dosage, term of administration, and co-ingestion of other drugs – account for differences in clearance speed.

  1. Individual factors

Two people could begin taking prednisone at the exact same time, with the same dose and format, and cease usage in sync – yet one person may clear the drug quicker than the other individual.  The differences in clearance speed are often chalked up to individual factors such as: a person’s age, body mass, genetics, liver/kidney function, and urinary pH.  For example, someone with renal/hepatic impairment may retain the drug for significantly longer than a person in good health.

Age: There may be differences in clearance times of prednisone (and prednisolone) among young adults compared to elderly.  Elderly individuals (age 65+) often exhibit reduced hepatic blood flow, lower albumin levels, poorer overall physiologic function, and are more likely to be taking medications that could interfere with clearance of Prednisone.  For this reason, the elimination time of Prednisone could be prolonged among those over 65.

Some research suggests that young children may also exhibit differences in clearance speed of prednisolone compared to adolescents and adults.  The half-life of prednisolone is thought to be an average of 3.6 hours in children, which is longer than most adults.  The elimination half-life of prednisolone (and prednisone) among healthy adults is 2 to 3 hours.

Body mass: Generally, the greater a person’s body mass relative to the dose of prednisone they ingest, the quicker they’re able to excrete it.  More massive individuals can usually handle a slightly greater amount of an exogenous substance compared to smaller people. For this reason, if the same dose of prednisone were administered to a tall/heavy person as a short/light person – it would likely be excreted in the former faster than the latter.

Genetics: Since Prednisone is converted by 11-beta-hydroxysteroid-dehydrogenase to form prednisolone, specific genes aren’t thought to have a major influence on its metabolism. However, prednisolone is metabolized by CYP3A4 enzymes within the liver.  CYP3A4 enzymes are thought to be influenced by various genes, resulting in rapid or poor metabolism of the drug.

Individuals with specific CYP3A4 alleles may metabolize prednisolone faster than those with different alleles.  As a result of expedited metabolism, the drug may get cleared quicker from systemic circulation.  On the other hand, poor metabolizers of prednisolone may take substantially longer to clear it from their system.

Food intake: Though medical documentation suggests taking Prednisone with food to avoid gastrointestinal distress, there is evidence that absorption of prednisolone may be affected.  One study noted that taking enteric-coated prednisolone tablets along with food could delay absorption by nearly 12 hours, resulting in prolonged drug retention following ingestion.  Though other research suggests that prednisone doesn’t significantly alter absorption times, it should be considered that food could have a slight effect on systemic clearance.

If food does in fact delay Prednisone absorption by several hours, the drug will be metabolized at a later time than had a person taken it on an empty stomach.  This means that Prednisone remains in a person’s body for a longer total duration.  Assuming you ate a large meal with your final dose of Prednisone, realize that it may not be excreted as quickly as had you taken it in a fasted state.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2598978

Liver / Kidney function: There is some evidence to suggest that among individuals with hepatic impairment, the elimination half-life of Prednisone is extended.  Not only does hepatic impairment interfere with the conversion of Prednisone to prednisolone, but it interferes with the metabolism of prednisolone.

The half-life of Prednisolone is noted as being as being as high as 10.3 hours among those with hepatic abnormalities.  This means that complete systemic clearance could take 2.36 days.  Additionally, renal impairment are known to excrete prednisone (and its metabolites) at a slower rate than those with normative kidney function.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22777155
  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4639403
  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3909980

Metabolic rate: A person’s BMR (basal metabolic rate) is known to affect drug clearance.  BMR is influenced by a variety of factors such as genetics, exercise habits, dietary intake, and sleep.  Individuals with high BMRs tend to metabolize and excrete drugs quicker than those with lower BMRs.

If you consider yourself to have a “fast metabolism,” you may excrete prednisone near the quicker end of the clearance spectrum (i.e. 11 hours).  Whereas if you consider yourself to have a “slow metabolism,” prednisone may linger in your system for a longer period (i.e. 16.5 hours).  Realize that metabolic rate may not have a significant effect on excretion time, but it could facilitate differences in clearance times potentially by minutes (or hours).

Oral contraceptives: Women taking oral contraceptives may interfere with the enzymatic metabolism of both Prednisone and prednisolone in the liver.  Oral contraceptives typically contain an estrogenic component, affecting hepatic enzyme activation and plasma proteins.  Co-ingestion of an oral contraceptive along with Prednisone increases peak serum concentrations and its elimination half-life.

The ingestion of oral contraceptives results in poorer non-renal clearance of prednisolone and reduced binding of prednisolone to albumin and transcortin.  As a result prednisolone clearance decreases by 30%.  If you take contraceptives along with prednisone, it could linger in your system for up to 22 hours after your final dose.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6734709

Urinary pH: Prednisone is metabolized in the liver, processed by the kidneys, and excreted in the urine as free and conjugated metabolites.  It is known that a person’s urinary pH (alkaline vs. acidic) can impact the speed by which drugs are cleared from the body.  Individuals with alkaline urine (high pH) tend to excrete substances like Prednisone less efficiently than those with acidic urine (low pH); acidification of urine prevents reabsorption prior to excretion, whereas alkaline urine allows it.

  1. Dosage (1 mg to 80 mg)

The greater the dosage of Prednisone someone takes, the longer it will stay in their system.  This is due to the fact that administration of high doses means there’s a greater amount of the drug to metabolize, and ultimately a greater number of metabolites formed in the process.  As a result, someone taking Prednisone at a dosage of 80 mg per day will metabolize and excrete it at a slower rate than someone taking just 10 mg per day.

Furthermore, the lower dose user taking 10 mg will only have 5 mg in systemic circulation after 2-3 hours, whereas the individual who took 80 mg will have 40 mg remaining in circulation after 2-3 hours.  In addition, a greater amount of prednisolone metabolites will be formed in the system of a person taking a higher dose.  Research has shown that changes in the elimination half-life of the prednisolone metabolite are dose-dependent.

In other words, the greater the dose of Prednisone you’re taking, the longer you can expect the metabolite “prednisolone” to linger in your system.  Certain individuals believe that the drug could accumulate in a person’s body with higher doses as well.  Though accumulation isn’t scientifically supported, accumulation of high doses can occur among those with hepatic and/or renal impairment.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7310640
  1. Term of administration

The longer the duration over which a person has been taking Prednisone, the more likely they’ve accumulated peak levels of prednisolone throughout their system.  Successive, frequent administration of Prednisone will eventually lead to a “steady state” concentration.  Someone that’s been medicated with Prednisone daily for a long-term will have reached a peak, steady concentration of the drug throughout their body.

On the other hand, someone that’s been taking Prednisone for a just one day will not have reached a steady state, peak concentration of the drug.  For this reason, it is thought that clearance time in an extremely short-term user will be considerably less than that of a long-term Prednisone user.  Additionally, long-term users generally take higher doses of the drug (because they’ve built up a tolerance), which is known to prolong elimination.

  1. Taking other drugs

Simultaneously taking other drugs (or supplements) along with Prednisone could affect its metabolism and excretion.  Though Prednisone itself isn’t significantly affected by ingestion of other drugs, the metabolite prednisolone could be excreted at a much slower pace.  Drugs that affect CYP3A4 isoenzymes in the liver are thought to have the greatest impact on prednisolone clearance.

Substances that “inhibit” or interfere with CYP3A4 function are known to prolong the elimination of prednisolone.  Examples of such inhibitors of CYP3A4 function include: Ritonavir, Indinavir, Nelfinavir, Clarithromycin, Telithromycin, Ketoconazole, etc.  Should a person ingest any of these agents along with Prednisone, they may significantly increase the elimination half-life of prednisolone – thus taking longer to clear from your system.

Other substances that “induce” or enhance CYP3A4 function are thought to expedite clearance of prednisolone.  Examples of CYP3A4 inducers include: Carbamazepine, Phenytoin, Phenobarbital, Rifampicin, Rifabutin, Modafinil, and more.  Should you be taking any of these substances along with Prednisone, the half-life of prednisolone may be reduced.

Prednisone: Absorption, Metabolism, Excretion (Details)

Following oral administration of Prednisone, it is efficiently absorbed by the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  It then undergoes first pass metabolism in the liver and is converted into the pharmacologically active metabolite “prednisolone.”  Metabolism of Prednisone to form prednisolone occurs via the enzyme 11-Beta hydrozysteroid dehydrogenase (hydrogenation of the ketone group at position 11).

Prior to its conversion to prednsiolone, Prednisone has a half-life of just 1 hour.  However, post-conversion to prednisolone, its half-life is extended between 2 to 4 hours.  Research has shown that ingestion of a 50 mg tablet yields peak serum concentrations reach an average of 930 mcg/L.  Prednisone binds to plasma proteins such as albumin and serum concentrations peak within 1-2 hours post-administration.

Peak concentrations are followed by an exponential decrease in serum levels after 2 hours.  Hepatic enzymes facilitate additional breakdown of prednisolone to form metabolites such as: prednisone (11-oxo metabolite), 6-Beta-OH-prednisolone, 20-Beta-OH-prednisolone, 20-Alpha-OH-prednisolone, 20-Alpha-OH-prednisone, 20-Beta-OH-prednisone, and various tetrahydro epimers of each.  A total of 10 metabolites have been identified from prednisolone metabolism.

Prior to excretion, metabolites undergo glucuronidation or are coupled with sulfate via 3-hydroxyl.  The drug is excreted via urine as free and conjugated metabolites along with unchanged prednisolone.  The half-life of Prednisone is 2 to 4 hours, meaning a majority of the drug and its metabolites will have been excreted within 24 hours after your final dose.

  • Source: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/prednisone
  • Source: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/prednisolone
  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3543199

Note: There is a slight difference in peak maximum serum concentration in delayed-release Prednisone formats.  Delayed-release formats are estimated to reach a maximum serum concentration in approximately 6.5 hours after administration.  This is substantially longer than immediate-release Prednisone which reaches peak concentrations within 2 hours.

Tips to expedite clearance of Prednisone from your system

If you’re hoping to clear Prednisone and prednisolone from your system as soon as possible, there may be some things you can do to expedite the process.  That said, due to its short half-life, the drug should be out of systemic circulation within 24 hours of your final dose.  Any of the tips listed below should be discussed with a medical professional prior to implementation.

  1. Complete discontinuation: The most obvious way to completely eliminate Prednisone from your body is to stop taking it. The longer you’ve remained off of the drug, the more likely it is to have been fully excreted. Understand that discontinuation should never be rushed and should always be monitored by a medical professional.
  2. CYP3A4 inducers: Taking a drug that acts as a CYP3A4 inducer theoretically could ensure optimal metabolism speed of prednisolone. Since Prednisone has a short half-life, taking a CYP3A4 inducer to speed up clearance is probably unnecessary. Assuming you get medical approval to take a CYP3A4 inducer – realize that clearance speed may be enhanced.
  3. Acidify urinary pH: To ensure the fastest possible systemic clearance of Prednisone, prednisolone, and other metabolites – manipulating urinary pH may be helpful. The more acidic your urine (low pH), the less likely you’ll be to reabsorb prednisolone metabolites prior to excretion. If you have a highly alkaline (high pH) urine, acidification could significantly reduce clearance time.
  4. Stay hydrated: It may be helpful to maintain adequate hydration after you’ve stopped Prednisone if you want to ensure a fast excretion time. Hydration increases urinary flow rate, which is known to have a slight effect on clearance speed. If you are dehydrated, drinking more water should help you excrete prednisone quicker.

How long has Prednisone stayed in your system after stopping?

If you’ve stopped using Prednisone, share a comment regarding how long you think it stayed in your system after your final dose.  Do you think that the drug (and its metabolites) are mostly excreted within 24 hours after your last dose?  If you believe that Prednisone stays in your system for much longer than is suggested in medical reports, do you have any credible scientific evidence to support your claims?

Many people mistakenly believe that since Prednisone’s side effects linger after stopping, that the drug must still be in their system.  In reality, the side effects are lingering because of the potent physiological effects that were exerted when Prednisone was in the body – not because it is still present.  Think of Prednisone as analogous to a tornado going through a city and wreckage as lingering side effects.

Even though the tornado has passed and is gone (Prednisone is out of the system), the deleterious effects take awhile before they are corrected.  In other words, after stopping Prednisone, it takes time for the wreckage to get fixed (adverse effects to subside).  Know that for most people, Prednisone should be out of the body within a day or two of stopping.

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{ 67 comments… add one }
  • charles September 18, 2018, 5:41 pm

    I was prescribed Prednisone for a lower quad tendinitis injury. I needed it to help an injury before a major race. I don’t like how I feel and I am discontinuing after four days. I have had sleeplessness, elevated heart rate, loss of appetite and brain fog. My race is in three days. I am worried that the side effects may hinder my performance even worse than my knee.

  • Cris September 16, 2018, 4:49 pm

    On a Saturday I was admitted to our local hospital. Diagnosis was bronchial pneumonia. I was giving prednisone via IV from Sat till Tues… Then home with a 5 day supply. I was a HOT MESS during this time. I had every side effect that comes with taking it.

    While in the hospital I kept telling the doc my vision had gotten horrible… Blurry. After researching I found it could be the prednisone. I brought it to his attention and was told it’s nothing. Nothing to worry about… Monday will be 2 weeks since I’ve stopped the steroid and my vision is not better to the extent I’m going to have them checked.

    From what I’ve read this is a dangerous drug – so why is it still given to people? If I found out outs permanently affected my vision. Someone will pay!!

    • Annie September 30, 2018, 3:16 am

      How scary. So sorry you are going through this. I was just given Prednisone for the second time in three months for breathing problems despite the fact that I told the doctor it didn’t help me at all the first time. He insisted I take it I took 60 mg today.

      My pulse is ridiculously high (resting 105 walking 140) and when I was sitting outside earlier my eyes were bothering me. Things were blurry. I felt dizzy. I hope I haven’t also done permanent damage just from this one dose I’m not taking anymore. Best of luck to you.

  • Jeaninne September 11, 2018, 7:44 pm

    I have been taking a low dosage for Poison Ivy and I am currently weening off slowly, 4 more days to go. Hope the side effects are not too bad. I am thankful it worked in clearing a bad case of Poison Ivy on neck & legs. I am feeling slightly dizzy during the day, but nothing I cannot handle. After reading such bad reactions I hope you all make a full recovery.

  • SHEILA September 9, 2018, 4:09 pm

    I came in contact with something that sent me into a severe allergic reaction with thick hives covering me from my scalp to the bottom of my feet. I was put on steroids 25mg twice a for 2 weeks then 1 a day for a week, plus benadryl pills 50 mg every 4 hours until I cleared up and then as needed.

    I have now been medication free for 4 days and I still feel like I’m on speed. My thoughts are racing faster than I can process them. The thoughts aren’t bad, actually they are good if not brilliant.

    But I just want to have my brain go back to regular speed. Still waiting for that impatiently. That’s why I’m on this site, researching if what is happening is normal.

  • April August 14, 2018, 1:03 am

    Poison. Took the 5 day pack. By day 6 went from happy, driven and ambitious to laying in bed and not caring about living or dying. I will never take this again. Make this your last resort. So upset I even took it. Depressed since. Total change for me.

    • Amber September 18, 2018, 8:05 pm

      How are you now? My husband took 3 days of his blister pack and suffered from prednisone psychosis. Does this ever end? We have 5 kids and I am emotionally wrecked. I’ve lost my husband.

  • Sarah August 13, 2018, 9:57 pm

    First, I send my empathy to everyone that is experiencing or has experienced these awful withdraw effects. Holy crap, I pray to the sweet Lord that I never have a condition that requires me to take that medication again. I abruptly stopped it after two doses because I felt like I was going absolutely crazy.

    The mental havoc that it has caused me is undeniably the worst feeling ever. Like others have mentioned, I felt numb, depersonalized, EXTREMELY anxious, nervous, short of breath, and had thoughts that have NEVER EVER crossed my mind. I can’t even speak them or type them because they aren’t me and literally scared the sh*t out of me.

    I realize the half life of the medication, and how “quickly” is can be excreted from ones system, but I’m certain these effects carry on for days/weeks after taking the last dose. Each day has become more manageable, however I can honestly say I’ve never prayed so hard for my sanity and to get rid of the thoughts and feelings.

    Please tell me these will completely resolve. I have been off the prednisone for 9 days now and again I only took 40mg one day and thirty the following day. It is NOT for me! A few medical providers I work with believe that taking the prednisone and abruptly stopping the keto diet threw my body into a whirlwind of emotions.

    As if those two insults weren’t enough, I picked up this awful GI bug that’s rearing its ugly head at the end of summer, so I’ve been down since last Thursday… not able to eat, severe nausea, diarrhea, body aches to the point you feel like your limbs are going to fall off, fever, bad dreams.

    I’m not trying to have a pity party. I’d give anything to be back to who I was, but the steroids scared me to death. Can anyone lend any info on how long their mental side effects carried on?

    • Amy August 22, 2018, 4:08 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. My experience is very similar to yours so I can completely understand your frustration and fear. I took a prednisone 4mg pack back in February of this year. I felt great while I was on it but once I stopped taking it I got the weird thoughts, couldn’t eat, got panic attacks (never had panic attacks before).

      I didn’t even connect it to the prednisone because all of it started to happen immediately after I had taken the medication. I went to my therapist, who I’d being going to for over a year and she basically told me I simply developed a mood disorder overnight… she wanted to get me on antidepressants right away I said hell no.

      I was so confused, I didn’t understand how I could just overnight develop a “mood disorder”. I went from a fun, loving person, exercised 5-6 days a week, hiking, working, generally happy just went to a therapist to get help with relationships and boundaries… to a severely depressed, sad, crying all the time, inability to handle stress, panic attacks… all right after the prednisone.

      Well no doctors were willing to help me or even mention that is could be a side effect of the prednisone so I just thought it was me, I was defective. Fast forward two months after that, in April, I was having some inflammation and a nurse wanted to give me a prednisone shot, she said it would fix me right up.

      I only remembered how great the prednisone pills made me feel…while I was on them… so I said yeah sure, maybe I’ll get a dose of happy. Um no, I did not get a dose of happy. First of all, the entire night I couldn’t sleep, my heart rate was 90-100 bpm and I couldn’t get enough food.

      By morning, after sleeping all of about two hours I woke up and felt the strongest sense of fear I’ve ever experienced in my life. I was scared to death for absolutely no reason, worst panic attacks ever. I literally thought I was dying. I was spacing out and I couldn’t remember things that were happening. It felt like my body was physically reacting as though there was a big threat when there wasn’t.

      My boyfriend looked up prednisone and FINALLY put it all together. He said everything I had been going through since February were all side effects of prednisone. Not everyone has side effects, they are apparently “rare”. And everyone experiences side effects different.

      It’s been about 4 months since that prednisone shot and 6 months since the prednisone pills. It has been up and down since then. Everything I’ve read… research and other peoples experiences… a lot of people say it can take upwards of 6 months to a year to feel 100% better again.

      I have my ups and downs. Some days I finally feel like myself again and then out of no where I’ll feel fear and panic. The last couple days haven’t been good at all. I’m holding out hope that once I get to 6 months or even a year I’ll finally get to have my life back because the quality of my life is currently crap.

      So basically, I’m noticing the mental side effects are less and less as time goes on but it has been a slow process for me. As far as the thoughts go, I had those too, they were scary as hell. You are not alone in that and remember it’s the lingering side effects of the medication, it’s not you.

      They do go away. What I’ve noticed now is I feel like I have PTSD from that particular side effect. How are you feeling now?

    • Sarah August 27, 2018, 6:39 am

      OMG Sarah! I just read your post and had to reply. I am going through the same thing now! I was going through a severe flare from my Fibromyalgia, and was having worse intense pain, migraines, etc., so my doc prescribed a short term dosage of Prednisone.

      I was scared to take it because I’ve heard of some of the side effects, but I was desperate to get some kind of relief. I only took the 40mg dose for two days, and I’m feeling worse then I ever did. This has ben going on for 2 & 1/2 weeks after stopping! I feel like I’m ready to lose it.

      I’m having a lot of the same issues as you. Terrible depression (which is not usual for me), daily headaches, bad daily nausea, weakness, dizziness, my lymph nodes are terribly swollen and painful. I don’t know if if it all has to do with the Prednisone, but I sure am starting to wonder! I have never felt so bad!

      I also forgot to mention that I’ve had no appetite whatsoever. I’ve hardly eaten anything in over a week.

    • Kelly August 30, 2018, 3:52 am

      April and Sarah, I’m so sorry you had to go thru what you went thru in regard to starting and stopping Prednisone. It’s an awful drug – awful good AND awful bad. I was on Prednisone for over 5 years. During that time I also had a terrible issue with my back and after 2 surgeries contracted a pseudomonas infection from the hospital and had to be put on massive doses of narcotics for 3 months due to the sepsis and nerve pain.

      I can honestly tell you that coming down off of Prednisone was worse than coming off of narcotics!!! Prednisone has its place. After being off the drug for almost a year now, I agreed just recently to doing a 10 day boost. My Lupus had gotten so bad that I was spending more time in bed than out of it and I was going nuts!! For 10 days I felt like I was healthy. I was happy, energetic and so hopeful for the future.

      I’m now 5 days off of Prednisone and I’m right back where I was 12 days ago – in bed, crying, just all around miserable. I now feel like I have an angel on one shoulder saying “Don’t go back for more Prednisone!!! You’ll live to regret it!!” and a devil on the other shoulder saying “C’mon now…just do it!!! You’ll feel AMAZING!!! And why worry about getting off Prednisone anyway?! Just stay on it forever!! Who cares about the brittle bones, thin skin, heart issues and cataracts???!”

      Lord. I’ve never faced such an epic struggle!!! And that’s exactly why I’m on this page. To remind myself of just how AWFUL those withdrawals are!!! I know mine were magnified by a million having been on the drug for so long (that and my adrenals are suppressed so I’m not making my own natural steroids), but I also know what each of you on here felt was AWFUL, TERRIBLE, BEYOND WORDS!!! The drug is amazing in so many ways, but used improperly and it’s a killer.

      Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re anything other than amazing!! Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re being dramatic or that you’re over-dramatizing your experience!!! No one would ever say anything along those lines if everyone in the wold experienced Prednisone withdrawals. It’s enough to make you wish you didn’t wake up in the morning – even when you’re NOT AT ALL suicidal!!! (If that makes sense!)

      Stay strong and do your very best to stay away from this drug. Use it in situations where it’s an absolute necessity, and don’t be afraid to ask that of your doctor: “Is this absolutely necessary?” In instances where you have no choice – I have 2 friends who are sisters, each has had to have an organ transplant so they had absolutely no choice! – don’t turn away from this drug.

      It saves lives and it should be used when necessary. But try to avoid it for things like sinus infections and other instances when there may be a better alternative. Best of luck to all of you!! Get up every day, do your very best to enjoy the heck out of this life and STAY HEALTHY!!

      • Don September 19, 2018, 11:14 am

        All. So glad I came across these stories. Now I know it isn’t me. It’s the drug. I was given 125mg in hospital (called starter load) for what they thought was bronchitis. Then I was given 50mg doses to take daily over a 4 day period with no ramp down.

        The next day after my hospital dose, I immediately felt like I could fly to the moon! The jitters were off the charts. I took my next dose and all hell broke lose. I became nervous, panic and feeling so crazy. My body was twitching and I got terrible chills.

        I immediately called my doctor and he said stop them. Well over the last four days I put myself and my wife through hell. My blood pressure started spiking into dangerous territory which led me to another hospital visit. I mentioned the effects I was having with the prednisone and they fluffed it off.

        Their attitude was that it was out of your system by now and shouldn’t be affecting you. This wasn’t actually true because when I do the math I sill have around 9 mg left in me if I do the half life using 24 hours. I have had a real bad experience with this stuff and will never use this again.

        I hope to start feeling better soon. I’m fighting the good fight and send my prayers to everyone. My only silver lining is that I lost 15 pounds from not eating. So I try to make lemonade out of lemons.

  • lindsey August 4, 2018, 12:58 am

    I was on 60mg of Prednisone, tapered down by 10mg everyday for four days. My doctor prescribed this to me for a continuous migraine. I had an incredibly adverse reaction with vertigo, lightheadedness, headaches, numbness, appetite loss, vision changes, and began feeling like reality wasn’t real (which I have learned could be called depersonalization).

    It made me feel like I was completely underwater. It has been 10 days since my last dose of Prednisone (30mg – I was supposed to be on it until 10mg but my doctor ordered me to stop taking the medication after I told him of my experience) and I still feel some side effects – I get mildly light headed, my vision has not returned to normal and I still lose contact with reality.

    I can’t see far away, I can only see what is right in front of my face. It may be comparable to tunnel vision. I will sometimes see strange lights or shadows when I look from place to place. My doctor refuses to believe that this could be leftover symptoms from the Prednisone and has ordered an extensive series of tests. Personally, after going through it, I believe these are lingering side effects.

    Has anyone experienced something similar? I am incredibly concerned and worry about permanent or long term damage. (I also suffer from terrible anxiety, which I know is not helpful.) I am unable to drive or complete daily activities. This drug has made me feel like I lost my mind. Looking for any support, relief, or knowledge. Thank you.

    • Steven August 4, 2018, 11:55 pm

      The second week I was off of Prednisone my anxiety was pretty bad too. I felt light-headed occasionally as well. Personally I found breathing exercises and a healthier diet helped some. I had been constantly looking up my symptoms but I think it was only stressing myself out.

      I’m almost 3 weeks off of Prednisone now and I think I’m slowly getting better while keeping stress at a minimum. It may be different for everyone but I wish you the best of luck!

      • Lindsey August 7, 2018, 11:40 pm

        Steven, thank you for your reply. I am not seeing much of an improvement but holding onto hope. Wishing you the best of luck as well.

    • Ellie August 9, 2018, 9:19 pm

      Back in February a nurse put me on a prednisone pack in which I tapered down for just six days. Even though I was on a short term dose I still experienced adverse side effects. Three days after taking it I felt euphoric, like I could do anything.

      However, a few days after I stopped taking the medication I experienced the worst side effects to include zero appetite (I had to force myself to drink ensure shakes), extreme anxiety, decreased ability to cope with stress, disturbing thoughts… it was the worst experience in my life.

      I seriously feel like I have PTSD from it but no one would understand unless they have gone through it, too. Over the months I have gotten better but it has taken time. I’m not a doctor but for me I believe the medication really messed up my adrenal glands and hormone balance.

      I’ve looked up adrenal fatigue and a lot of the symptoms match up. I don’t understand why your doctor doesn’t believe it’s the prednisone. If you look up the adverse side effects and even scientific journal articles the symptoms you have are listed. How are you feeling now?

  • Steven August 1, 2018, 2:31 am

    I was on Prednisone 30 mg for 5 days after an asthma attack and collapsing. I didn’t experience many side effects while taking it, other than some difficulty sleeping. After I came off the Prednisone I had lots of awful effects.

    -3 days after stopping I had almost constant anxiety, had pains in my upper and lower abdomen, occasional tightness in my chest and difficulty sleeping.
    -5 days after stopping I had a depressed mood and lost about 10 lbs due to not feeling hungry or wanting to eat.

    It’s now been two weeks since my last dose and I’m almost feeling back to normal… my only concern is that my big abrasion on the side of my chest seems to be healing slowly (it’s been a little over 3 weeks since the injury). I think the Prednisone may have weakened my immune system for a short period of time even though I was only on it for 5 days.

    The good news:
    – My tightness feelings in the chest went away after a few days.
    – My pains in the upper abdomen went away after about a week and in the lower abdomen are much more mild now.
    – The anxiety and feelings of depression went away after about 8 days.

    Also, just a note: I did make changes to my diet and ate much more fruits, lean meats, yogurt, and some greens during the past 2 weeks or so which may have helped (I don’t know). Best wishes to everyone currently on or coming off this steroid!

    • Ellie August 9, 2018, 9:43 pm

      My experience was very similar to yours. The only side effect I experienced while I was on prednisone was euphoria, I felt like super woman! But the real nightmare began once I ceased the medication. I was only on it for a week.

      Since I was unaware of any kind of adverse reactions, I wasn’t all that worried when I took it, but looking back, had I been informed of the mental side effects it can cause, for me it was intense anxiety, I would never have taken it.

      I was already stressed with a lot of things going on in my life and I think the prednisone was really the nail in the coffin for me. It’s been a long time and I am still not 100% back to normal but I can tell I’m getting better.

      All I can say is I’m never taking that stuff again! So happy to hear you recovered and are well.

  • Ryan July 26, 2018, 5:18 pm

    Back in early May I was prescribed prednisone for optic neuritis. 3 days of IV treatments then 10 days oral tablets with a decreasing dose every day. It’s now July and I am still dealing with side effects. If I am able to sleep, it’s only for 3-4 hours a day. I still feel off… it’s like I am buzzed and can’t focus.

    I have prescribed Trazodone which allows me to sleep 6 hours, but it makes me feel drowsy on top of feeling off. I get to choose if I sleep for 6 hours and feel drowsy all day or not sleep (or minimal sleep). I have seen a neurologist to review an MRI of my brain and a heart doctor to review an EKG – the results say I am good.

    The only concern is with minimal movement, blood pressure spikes significantly. Today I was walking and then next thing I know I am picking myself off the ground with a bloody right knee and pain in my left foot. May 24th was my last day of Prednisone. When will I feel normal again?

  • Michelle July 1, 2018, 2:07 pm

    I have been on Prednisone for several months for chronic pain thought to be caused by an autoimmune disease. I started at 10mg daily and then went down to 5mg every other day. I feel great on Prednisone.

    My my body doesn’t hurt (other than a few break through pains here and there), I have energy, and I can sleep. I’m sure I probably have side effects but I feel so much better that I don’t notice them. It’s a miracle drug for me.

  • Robert June 19, 2018, 7:34 pm

    I was on prednisone for most of Jan, Feb, and March due to my asthma and unable to control it with my inhalers. I definitely had mood swings and they were the worse, where I would just snap at people for no reason.

    I do have lingering body acne from taking it so long and weight gain… it definitely helps my asthma when I need it but sometimes it sucks with all the side effects I have to go through to get better.

  • Phil June 13, 2018, 10:31 am

    I was on 10 day 60/40/20 mg regime for bronchitis. At first I felt like I was 20 again. No knee or back pain from football injuries. I loved it. Had a weird cool sweat but that also felt good. Then as I tapered off to 20 and done the after effects hit.

    Bloating, belly aches, tender to touch belly (has anyone else had this tender almost bruise like feeling in their belly?) and dehydration. I am now Day 4 off the drug and feel very off and nauseous. Is there any over-the-counter remedy?

    • Dee July 16, 2018, 10:58 pm

      Try to take some magnesium… start out with a really small dose at first so that your muscles don’t twitch too badly. Will make you more calm too!

  • Sara June 12, 2018, 3:41 am

    I am so very grateful for all of you sharing your stories. The PA gave me this for a flash that she “did not know” what it was. I think it was a reaction to an artificially sweetened beverage I drank over a period of several days, during which the rash continued to get worse and spread.

    I explained this to her and she put me on a 2 week regimen of prednisone. Day 6 and the insomnia, mood swings, the comes and goes at significant levels appetite, crazy levels of anxiety and horrific gastric pains are Hell.

    My husband fears me and I am miserable! I am starting a quick-wean tomorrow, as I am currently miserable and do not want any long-term issues.

    • Ellie August 9, 2018, 9:51 pm

      How are you doing now? Hopefully you are feeling better.

  • Katelyn May 29, 2018, 1:40 am

    I was put on 50mg daily of prednisone after going into sever anaphylaxis. I was hospitalized for two days and given even more steroids intravenously. After leaving the hospital we had to call 911 a second time a couple days later from the pills.

    I’m approximately 5’2 110 pounds and healthy otherwise. My resting heart rate was over 190 beats per minute with severe numbness/tingling/shaking in my face, arms and legs, extreme chest pains, nausea, dizziness with blurred vision and shortness of breath.

    It has been 5 days since my last dose and I am still feeling awful. Very high heart rate and “pounding”, shortness of breath, all-over body weakness and tingling, tight chest, loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness/light-headed, sadness, headaches, depression, anxiety, body shaking, and exhaustion but very difficult to sleep.

    It feels like your whole body is crawling and rejecting itself. This is the most awful medication. If you have any other options I URGE YOU to try something else. It feels like your body is shutting down. I don’t know how much longer I can handle these side effect and withdrawal symptoms.

    Neither the doctors nor pharmacists talked about any side effects until after I was hospitalized the second time. They said I may feel “weird”. Biggest understatement of the century. I hope I NEVER have to take this ever again!!

    • Nancy f June 3, 2018, 1:22 pm

      Relieved to read these comments and know I am not alone. My first experience with Prednisone when I was 49 for gastric intestinal problems was mild in comparison to this recent experience at 75. Was put on it for 1 week at 20 mg twice a day for allergic reaction to a bug bite.

      The first 4 days were tolerable with only positive side effects but day 5 hit me with a bang. Extreme hunger, hyperactive, sore throat, exhaustion but little sleep and unable to settle down, lost my voice and felt like I was crawling out of my skin. It was horrible to say the least.

      Was very glad to stop it on day 7. Even though I wasn’t instructed to this time ,I tapered myself off the last 2 days simply because I was afraid to just stop the drug. I can’t begin to understand how awful it must be for drug addicts to go through withdrawal!

      I felt horrible for 5 days after stopping this medication… sore throat, runny nose, still extreme hunger, complete exhaustion. Should it ever be suggested that I take this drug again – there will be a serious discussion, because I don’t plan on taking it again!

    • Lindsey August 4, 2018, 1:03 am

      Hi Katelyn. This sounds very similar to my experience that I am dealing with now. How are you feeling today? How long did it take you to return to normal?

  • M S May 28, 2018, 10:54 am

    I had to take a 20 day round dropping down every 5 days. I can walk again, back much better but feeling terrible. I think due to prednisone. I will be glad when it’s out of my system.

  • Anne April 28, 2018, 1:26 pm

    I have been on prednisone for two months – started at 60 mg, now tapering down. I currently take 30 mg and will be off the med by the end of three months. It was prescribed for sudden vision loss – optic neuritis is the diagnosis.

    My vision has finally started to improve, but I have gained 15 pounds and my face is so swollen it is painful. Wondering how long it will take for the weight to come off and for my face to return to normal. I hate taking medication but had no choice.

    • Janeel September 8, 2018, 4:26 am

      Question: Have you been tested for Multiple Sclerosis? Optic Neuritis is a common first symptom. Just wondering because I have MS and I am currently on 80 mg of Prednisone no talk of tapering off yet, just that I will need to stay on it until my Neurologists appointment which isn’t until Jan.

      I have been on it since June. My face hurts from the swelling too… can’t wait for it to get back to normal. How long did it take for yours to get better? Please tell me it didn’t take long.

  • L.A. April 6, 2018, 4:44 pm

    I have been on Prednisone 10 mg since January and I completed on March 31st. It’s been several days and I still feel the same way as if I am still on it. The liver specialist said it is the “withdrawal effects.”

    I still have the “puffiness” down to my neck. I still feel bloated and have gained 15 lbs. My eyes are still tearing and I am always exhausted! But, I have been sleeping better (meaning continuously).

  • Juanita April 3, 2018, 1:47 pm

    I’ve been on meds for 8 days – tapered. 60 mgs for 5 days then 20 mgs for 3. Today is my last day – thank you Jesus!! I didn’t begin to feel adverse effects until Saturday (5th day): irritated, dry mouth, lethargic, headaches, blurred vision, no appetite, sleeping a lot, stomach cramps like menstrual pain, pressure behind my eyes.

    By Sunday (day 6) I noticed joint pain in front of legs and in left knee, ears feel stopped up, head stuffiness (which is exasperating because it is allergies – stuffiness and a clogged right ear that has me on this med to begin with) and overall achy.

    I was told the only side effects I’d have were some moodiness (been pressing my way trying HARD to stay my energetic self) and an extremely increased appetite (I have to force myself to eat). After dealing with my ear issue over a year and seeing three doctors, I’d hoped this med would work. Won’t do this again.

    • L.A. April 6, 2018, 4:51 pm

      After reading the comments, it seems that there are various side effects, not all the same. Most common is sleep patterns, lethargy, the face puffiness, and appetite and weight gain.

      I continued going to work but had to take off some time when the weather was bad because I couldn’t concentrate on driving as well as just looking “tired” as co-workers pointed out. My eyes would get bloodshot and just physically, I would look exhausted.

  • Mary February 12, 2018, 4:44 pm

    My dr put me on Prednisone on 1-24, 20 mg , he said to take 2 a day for 10 days and 1 a day for another 10 days. I had a swollen hand -some type of bacterial infection. This Dr did not go over any type of side effects with me, and after reading the comments from all of you, I’ve had a lot of these symptoms.

    I’m 67 and was getting really worried. I took the last dosage on the 9th, only 17 days because I was feeling so weird. I have moon face and decided today to find out when the heck this and the other symptoms would be going away. Now I find out – who knows? I WILL NEVER TAKE THIS AGAIN!

  • Lena February 12, 2018, 4:05 am

    I took this for a week for a sinus infection and then about 8-9 days later got my period. Now it’s important to note I haven’t had my period in over a year thanks to birth control I’m on..so I’m really panicking. It’s now day 8 of my period! It’s lightened a lot and the cramps have calmed but I need to stop this bleeding (I have plans and this is going to screw them up big time)!

    When my period first started the cramps felt like someone was gutting me from the inside out and the blood was very light then went heavier and now back to light. But any advice on how to stop prolonged periods thanks to this would be great..No one told me the side effects of this when prescribed and I thought I was pregnant or something was wrong with me all week until I found something that mentioned steroids and bam answers came.

    I’m so upset. I would have never taken it if I knew I would get a period and one this bad too! I wish I found info sooner. I’m also having breast swelling and acne all over my face. Along with dry skin and slight depression. It’s been roughly 2 weeks now since I’ve stopped taking this and I’m starting to really worry.

  • Alicia January 29, 2018, 9:19 pm

    I am so glad I found this page! I was put on a 5 day of 20mg twice a day. The only thing my doctor said was “ you might feel coffee jittery” and this was prescribed for a very minor face rash but he’s my dermatologist so I trusted him. I felt really jacked up the first two days, broken sleep, hot and cold so the next two days I just took one.

    I had had no appetite, the thought of any food made me nauseous. I started feeling sick to my stomach when I went to bed last night so I told my husband I’d sleep in the guest room since the flu has been going around. I started violently vomiting at 11pm til 3am. My heart was racing and pounding and I haven’t slept since 8 am yesterday.

    What I thought was the flu I now believe is a horrible reaction to prednisone after searching the web about reactions. I’m feeling moderately better but haven’t moved off bed or couch and forced myself to eat a banana. First and last time I will ever take this drug!

    I can’t believe I took it blindly. Worse I have to get on a plane tomorrow with my son in a four hour flight for a college visit. At least I don’t have the stomach flu but this stuff is toxic!!!!

  • Von January 28, 2018, 10:37 am

    I was placed on the medrol dose pack for 6 days at 4mg each…day 1 I had to take 6 then taper down each day by 1 less. My last dose of one 4mg tablet was 7 days ago and am very concerned with possible permanent side effects from this medication as I went thru hell being on it with awful dizziness, fatigue, exhaustion, head pressure, ears ringing, ears plugged, face at times would go numb, sweating, face very hot (fever like) flushed, dehydrated, muscle cramps, left arm went numb at times, stomach/kidney spasms, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, mood swings, constipation and confusion.

    And now even 7 days after my last dose I’m still having some of these side effects that come on suddenly on and off. I questioned my physician regarding other medications I am on for insomnia if they could interact with each other and he didn’t seem to think so but why won’t this leave my system?

    I have tried everything with drinking water and eating just to flush it out, I even went to the hospital for a saline drip which did nothing. I’m 5’4 and 145lbs with a high metabolism and just don’t understand why this won’t leave my body. If anyone has any answers please it would be much appreciated…with that being said I WILL NEVER TAKE THIS MED AGAIN!!

    • Ellie August 9, 2018, 9:59 pm

      Reading your experience helps me feel not so alone. I took the exact same dose you did and had pretty much the exact same experience. I took the pack back in February, so around the same time as you. It was the brand Qualitest, in a yellow brown box.

      Is that the same one you took? Also, how are you feeling now? Hopefully you are feeling back to normal!

  • Dawn January 27, 2018, 7:50 pm

    I was put in steroid pack for sinuses. By day 4 I was feeling anxious. Doctor told me to stop taking them so I did. Now next day I feel super exhausted and weak. I have to go back to work tomorrow as I missed 4 days of work already. Giving me steroid pack was worst thing the doctor could of done for me and it lowers immune system and we are in flu crazy mode.

  • Tandi Bergsma January 24, 2018, 7:15 am

    I had a severe case of hives. My feet were so swollen I couldn’t hardly walk. They put me on prednisone for 3 days. It calmed my hives down, but day 2 I felt big. Then day 3 I woke up with a red face and feel even bigger.

    My taste buds have changed. Nothing tasted good. It’s only 3 days thank the Lord, but worried the reaction will return when I stop. Just took my last dose… I’ll see what I look like in the morning. Praying this is all over

  • anne January 18, 2018, 4:27 pm

    I was on 10mg of prednisone for 30 days. I stopped 2 days ago and I have moon face. How long before my face returns to normal?

  • Matt January 10, 2018, 2:53 pm

    I was prescribed 5 days of 20mg of Prednisone for sinusitis, along with Augmentin. Though, I only took 4 days. I’m on Day 6 without Prednisone, still feeling elevated heart rate, anxious, panicky, nausea, etc.

  • Dave Breakey April 9, 2017, 11:37 pm

    I am in remission from MCD (minimal change disease of the kidneys), yet I am having difficulty walking and getting up from a chair. The kidney doctor has scheduled me once a month for lab work and an office visit every other month for the next year.

    I am better and I look forward to changes every day. I was on 80mg of prednisone per day for 16 weeks and a 6 weeks step down to zero. That was 8 months ago and I am really concerned about the after effects.

  • Debi February 14, 2017, 4:51 am

    I was put on a 10 day course of Prednisone 4×4 days, 3×3, 2×2 and 1 for hives I got from an allergic reaction to an antibiotic. After the second dose I had SEVERE insomnia. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. The front desk person at Patient First told me to stop the drug, friends told me don’t stop cold turkey as it could shock my system, so I weaned off it.

    The night after my last dose I felt like I was going to have a heart attack and as though electricity was rushing through my entire body. I had a fever over 102 degrees for 3 days. It has been over a week since I took my last dose and I still feel very lethargic, I have no energy or appetite.

    My urine has changed in color and my thoughts are scattered. I am usually a very active hiker, clean eater in my 40s and now I can’t climb stairs without taking a breath. I will NEVER put prednisone in my system ever again, it almost killed me.

  • Christine January 27, 2017, 4:06 pm

    I was put on Prednisolone (30mg daily) for an initial period of 7 days (plus antibiotics) because of a severe asthma attack in mid November, after picking up the nasty virus that’s been circulating this winter. This was then extended for a further 3 days (plus more antibiotics), then another 7 days followed by tapering off at the rate of 1 tablet every 3 days (5 tabs for 3 days, then 4, then 3 etc).

    Unfortunately, by the time I was down to 2 tabs (10mg daily) my asthma symptoms of excessive wheezing, breathlessness, coughing and exhaustion, all returned with a vengeance and I was put back up to 30mg daily again. Eventually, I was referred to a respiratory consultant who immediately began reducing the Prednisolone again but at a much slower rate (4 tabs for 5 days, then 3 for 5 days etc) plus more antibiotics (1 tab 3 x a week for a month) and a change of inhaler (from Clenil & Ventolin to Fostair).

    Finally my symptoms diminished and I took the last Prednisolone 10 days ago and the last antibiotic today. But, altogether, I was taking the steroids for about 9 weeks (at varying doses). However – I now have steroid-induced diabetes which my GP is expecting me to be stuck with. I’m devastated. My GP would like to start me on Metformin immediately but I’m clinging to the hope that eventually my elevated blood sugar will return to normal (as the respiratory consultant suggested) but I’m not confident.

    My symptoms now are increased thirst, dry mouth, waking up 2-3 times nightly to urinate, banging headaches (especially first thing on waking), extreme tiredness and very low mood. I don’t know if all these symptoms are due to the high blood sugar or side effects of stopping the steroids? My GP has agreed to wait a month after the last Prednisolone before re-testing my blood sugar levels – but I don’t know if I’m just wasting my time and should just accept the diabetes diagnosis and start the medication… has anyone had a similar experience? And, if so, what was the outcome? Thanks.

    • Katie March 6, 2017, 2:01 am

      I’m feeling a little less worried since reading the comments here. Thank you. However, I’ve never experienced the strange effects I’m having for the past few days. I am an asthmatic adult and suffered an asthma attack 5 days ago.

      After the salbutamol nebuliser, I was prescribed 30mg of Prednisolone for 5 days along with 500mg of Clarithromycin twice daily. I took the final dose of Prednisolone about 4 hours ago. I’m wide awake, haven’t slept for nearly 48hrs, it’s awful. I’m sort of ‘hyper’-active, never spent so much time awake and I’m afraid. I was prescribed 500mg of Clarithromycin, twice a day at the same time.

      Does anyone know If I’ll return to ‘normal’? My liver isn’t that healthy yet for 2 days I’ve had 2 bottles of 9% wine thinking I’d get to sleep. It’s as if I no longer have any control of my body, I don’t know myself.

      I will never take this prescribed medicine again. Ok, my chest is clear and I feel ‘cured’ of the wheezing, but this madness is alarming! Sorry to ramble, I’m troubled and never had an experience quite like this. Thank you everybody, I’d be grateful for any comments from you.

    • Gail April 3, 2018, 12:33 am

      Same thing happened to me.

    • Nick May 20, 2018, 12:52 am

      I was given Prednisone @ 20mg daily for a fungal infection of lungs. I was given no warning of side effects. After about 4 months I started with extreme thirst and several head calls nightly. I thought it might be a kidney infection but my PCP said “it is the sugar”.

      I was given Januvia @ 100mg daily. I have diabetes ll and do not know if it will go away. I requested to be taken off Prednisone and was tapered down. It has been about 2 weeks and I have the aches and stiffness and down feeling about being diabetic and not knowing what is ahead.

  • CJ January 15, 2017, 1:45 pm

    I do not want to offend anyone by talking about my dogs issue. But they mirror your comments. My dog has lymphoma and was put on chemo and a high dose of prednisone daily.

    I kept telling the vet of the symptoms of panting, fatigue, she gained 22 pounds in 4 months. Her sweet personality has become aggressive. Her urination was so excessive. Her moist nose dried out. No energy at all. So vet finally allowed 6 weeks of weening her off.

    I have completed weening 4 days ago and she still has all of the side effects and is having urination accidents, aggression around food and no energy. We are trying to work on weight over the 6 weeks with little success. Her blood cell count is normal but she will continue to take the chemo every other day and assured it does not produce these side affects.

    This article was very helpful. I wish the other commenters best of luck reversing these toxic side effects.

    • Maria August 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

      Hi CJ. I am so sad to hear about your dog. If this medication is bad for us you can imagine what is happening to the poor pet. Please do all you can to get her back to health.

  • Debbie November 30, 2016, 11:33 pm

    Doctor prescribed Prednisone because I have been experiencing severe itching all over. The Doctor wanted me to take it for 2 weeks (3 days, 5 pills at 10 mg each pill, then 3 days 4 pills, then 3 days 3 pills, then 2 days 2 pills, 1 pill one day. The first day I took it I had an upset stomach but I continued for a total of 5 days.

    I started getting bumps on my forehead, my top lip started swelling, itchy tongue and eyes were extremely dry also loss of appetite. I called the Doctor and he had me do a fast tapper, 2 pills 2 days then 1 pill 1 day. I will never take that pill again! Now that I got off the pill the itching has gotten worse, my left leg and left side of my face swells and my bones ache.

    I get a sharp pain in my head and I now have a rash going down the middle of my back. It’s been a week since I took that last pill and I feel worse now then I did before I started taking that pill. Please beware of Prednisone usage even if it’s only for a week. :( So much for a Happy Holiday!

  • sarah October 21, 2016, 6:50 pm

    I was on high dose prednisolone, 100mg, for several months, being taped off for almost a year, after having no platelets, internal bleeding, and having a platelet transfusion. I feel totally different, I can’t concentrate, I have zero tolerance for most things, I seem to have lost all my organization skills I had before. This was 3 years ago now. Can it be connected??

    • mary December 6, 2016, 3:13 am

      I to was on the same dose as Sarah for the same reason. I have pretty much become a person with a short fuse. I have stopped taking prednisone a week ago. I feel like I’m spaced out most of the time. I am glad my platelet count is up but hope I never have to take the steroids again. I have gained a ton of weight and my face looks like a basketball. Terrible side effects.

  • Brigitte George September 27, 2016, 9:50 am

    Just before I stopped taking prednisolone the back of my head started insanely itching and is just as bad now I’m off it. It has spread down my neck and sometimes I get a rash round there and I can feel lumps on my head now which I couldn’t feel before. How long will this go on for can anyone please tell me? I was on it for about four months.

  • Tina September 25, 2016, 8:02 pm

    Help. I’ve had Shingles. I was put on Prednisone and Acyclovir. I finished the Prednisone on the 20th I’m still taking 5 800 MG a day of the Acyclovir. I have a weird taste when I eat anything. I feel extremely frustrated.

  • Susan Culp September 13, 2016, 7:02 pm

    I stopped taking a five day dose of Prednisone as well as Levaquin two weeks ago, but I continue to feel dizzy, weak, disoriented and aggravated and still have trouble sleeping. Could I still be having side effects?

    • Carol October 22, 2016, 5:34 pm

      I was diagnosed with “sudden sensorineural hearing loss” and prescribed a 7-day therapy of 60 mg of prednisone daily. I developed a slight headache and heart palpitations the afternoon of my first dose. The next morning my face was very flushed and hot, and the headache and palpitations were worse. I contacted my doctor’s on-call associate and was advised to stop prednisone. It was basically the same reaction I had to IV vancomycin pre-surgery 5 years ago. Maybe some people can take prednisone, but not me.

      • Stacey November 12, 2016, 4:35 pm

        Did you get your hearing back?

  • Jill Chambers August 15, 2016, 3:20 pm

    Was on Prednisone, which was tiered down over 16 days for a sciatic nerve that was out of control. Started on 40 mg an day for 4 days, then 30mg for 4 days, 20mg for 4 days, and lastly 10 mg for 4 days. At the onset, my short fuse became non existent, EVERYTHING infuriated me.

    The general muscle weakness was terrible, to the point both ankles were unstable and could not even stand on tippy toes with holding on to something. As the drug tiered down, those symptoms got somewhat better but I took my last 10 mg dose 3 days ago and am just now starting to feel somewhat my old self as far as my general muscle strength is concerned. I was able to partially support myself on tippy toes this morning, which I haven’t been able to do since before the prednisone.

    Each day is a little better but it’s obvious that residual effects of this drug linger LONG AFTER the drug is out of your system. This is my first time being on Prednisone. If my Doctor chooses to prescribe it again in the future for anything, I will discuss alternate medications with her. Given the choice, I WOULD NOT take it again…

    In addition to my previous comment, the increase in appetite was ridiculous as well. I was eating everything in sight and gained 8 lbs in 16 days. NOT acceptable….

  • Gail McArthur June 16, 2016, 12:31 am

    I’ve been diagnosed with “temporary” or “partial” (secondary) adrenal insufficiency, brought on by repeated doses of high prednisone for asthma. I’m not able to taper in the manner my doctors thought should work… I need to taper much more slowly, no more than 2.5 mg every few days, or I end up with a cluster of typical secondary adrenal insufficiency symptoms, including: weakness, fatigue, nausea (I lost 30 lbs before dx) seizures, body cramps, migraines, and more!

    I’m currently working with a group of women dx with both primary (Addisons) and secondary adrenal insufficiency, advocating for ALL patients taking long term steroids, even inhaled steroids, who exhibit ANY combination of the classic symptoms, to have their am serum cortisol tested. I narrowly avoided a full adrenal crisis last week, resulting in a trip to ER by ambulance, as I couldn’t stop vomiting, couldn’t stand up, and had severe abdominal pain, all classic symptoms of pending crisis.

    If not treated asap, such a crisis can be fatal. I urge any of you struggling to taper off pred to talk to your doctors if you have these symptoms, read the literature (it took 3 years for me to find doctors who had a clue) and get your am cortisol tested! If you’d like more info, the best source I’ve found is the Facebook Group: ADSG (Addison’s Support Group). They have a fantastic file library, and also address secondary adrenal insufficiency.

  • Kellie May 13, 2016, 4:39 am

    On due to allergic reaction. I will be on a total of 8 days. One day gap when I was off it. I did feel dizzy with the second dose of 40 mg. I took 50 mg in small 10 dose. It helped with the reaction half way. The final doses cleared it up more. Going to allergist soon don’t want to go through this again.

  • Anita February 29, 2016, 6:40 pm

    I have Bells Palsy. I was given prednisone 50mg for 7 days. It made me so ill from the day I took it. I stopped after 6 days. My blood sugar went so high to dangerous levels. I have been off of the drug for 7 days and I’m still not well. The Dr. has put me on insulin. I was only on pills before.

    Something doesn’t feel right and even with insulin I am unable to keep my numbers at a safe place I feel ill and not able to stand for any period of time. These symptoms came on as soon as the prednisone kicked in. And have not left after 7 days.

    • Sarcoid sufferer March 18, 2016, 5:05 am

      I was placed on steroids, 40 mg a day, then titrated down over a period of 9 months for sarcoidosis. I was also taking an antibiotic every other day this entire time. The side effects are too numerous to list, but I now have osteoporosis, widespread body pain, muscle problems and chronic fatigue. There has got to be a better way to deal with autoimmune diseases then long term steroid use.

      • Maureen Cooper May 18, 2016, 10:22 pm

        I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis and was put on 40 mg of Prednisolone. I was on this medication for over 3 years, tapering down. I took the last tablet in January of this year and almost immediately began to feel fatigued with body aches and pains affecting my upper arms and other joints. I never felt this bad before I took the damn things!

  • Bob February 25, 2016, 9:58 am

    Is it possible for the extreme mood side effects of a patient to last a life time in that patient? I know someone that never acted the way they do now (25+ years) after their original extreme doze (over 100 mg per day) for over 2 weeks straight – then (100 mg for a week). There personality completely changed after just a few days and some of that change has never reversed back to the way it was before taking the drug.

    • Dee February 23, 2018, 10:46 pm

      My husband has MS. He had his first attack 20 years ago and was given prednisone in the hospital. He experienced the personality change and aggression that is described in the comments above. Now he has had a second attack. I warned the emergency room doctor about the effect prednisone had on him 20 years ago, but she said it was probably because they did not taper him on and off correctly.

      His reaction & recovery from the prednisone was much worse than was before. It is now a year after the MS attack. He has been diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia with panic attacks several times a day. Although the MS had been slowly affecting his brain, before and even during the MS attack, the prednisone definitely increased the dementia after the attack was over, to the point that the dementia is now unmanageable.

      This is a year later. If anyone knows how to get prednisone completely out of the body, please let me know. (Although I know it should already be completely out, I am still seeing mental effects. Perhaps they are irreversible at this point.)

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