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Adverse Reactions to Prednisone

written by: Jennifer Gonzalez • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 2/26/2011

Prednisone is a medication prescribed for many different conditions. Before taking this medication you want to be aware of any possible adverse reactions to prednisone and how they might possibly affect you.

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    About Prednisone

    Prednisone is a medication that is part of a group of medications known as corticosteroids. This medication can be prescribed on its own or in conjunction with other medications from its class. Prednisone is used to treat many different medical conditions such as asthma/breathing conditions, rheumatic disorders, allergy conditions, ophthalmic diseases, certain types of cancer and other miscellaneous conditions as seen fit by a doctor.

    Like many other medications, prednisone has known side effects; but unlike other medications prednisone has a long list of possible side effects that should not be taken lightly. Before beginning to take this medication it’s important to talk to your doctor about any medical conditions or problems you are currently facing to avoid an adverse reaction to taking prednisone. A few conditions your doctor should know about before placing you on this medication are:

    • Liver disease
    • Kidney disease
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart failure
    • Depression
    • Mental illness
    • Thyroid disorder
    • Tuberculosis
    • Osteoporosis
    • Glaucoma/Cataracts
    • Muscle disorder
    • Herpes of the eyes
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    What Should I Be Aware of if I Am Currently Taking Prednisone

    While you are taking prednisone it's important to closely follow your doctor’s instructions. Take the medication exactly as prescribed, nothing more and nothing less, as misuse of this product can have serious consequences. It is also advised that a person on this medication stay away from others that are showing symptoms of illness, sense prednisone lowers the body’s ability to properly fight infection.

    Below is a list of the more serious possible side effects a person can experience while taking this medication.

    • Vision problems
    • Weight gain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Seizure/convulsions
    • Depression, some cases more severe than others
    • Unusual thoughts and behavior
    • Coughing up blood
    • Bloody or tarry stools
    • Severe pain in the stomach that spreads to a person’s back
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Increased heart rate
    • Low potassium
    • Confusion
    • Uneven heart rate
    • Extreme thirst and increased urination
    • Pain in the leg
    • Muscle weakness
    • Feeling limp
    • Very high blood pressure
    • Severe headache
    • Buzzing noise in the ears
    • Anxiety
    • Confusion
    • Chest pain
    • Seizure

    Other side effects that are possible but not so serious are:

    • Trouble sleeping
    • Skin problems (acne, dryness)
    • Bruising
    • Sweating
    • Slow healing of wounds
    • Dizziness
    • Feeling bloated
    • Change in the placement of fat in the body

    Although this is a very long list of side effects, it doesn't necessarily mean that people taking this medication will experience these effects. Some people have taken this medication with no adverse reactions what so ever, while other have reported some level of discomfort. A person on prednisone should keep in close contact with their health care provider if they feel any discomfort or have any concerns during their duration of time on this medicine. You should also remember to look at the pros and cons of prednisone before taking or declining to take this prescription. In most cases concerning treatment of health conditions, the treatment will far outweigh the risks involved.

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    References

    U.S National Library of Medicine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000091

    Drug information online: http://www.drugs.com/prednisone.html

    Drug information portal: http://www.druglib.com/druginfo/prednisone/side-effects_adverse-reactions/