Prednisone, a drug used to treat several diseases, can also lead to side effects and dependency. Cushing's syndrome is one of the most severe long-term side effects.
Prednisone is a corticosteroid used to treat a variety of diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, adrenal cortex insufficiency, rheumatoid arthritis, skin rashes, thyroid gland diseases, ulcerative colitis, allergies, psoriasis, blood disorders, multiple sclerosis, etc. As there are numerous benefits, it is one of the most popular and widely used drugs. However, there are also several side effects associated with this drug.
Side Effects Observed in Men
Headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, indigestion, etc., are some of the common side effects of corticosteroids and antibiotics. Steroid induced osteoporosis is one of the most significant side effects of prednisone. Steroids decrease the calcium absorption capacity of the body which results in bone fractures and diseases like osteoporosis.
Minor Side Effects
- Increase or loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Increased excitement
- Excessive sweating
- Weight gain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Bulging of eyes
- Abdominal distension
- Abnormal heart rate
- Reddening of face
- Fluid retention
- Enlarged liver
- Inflammation of esophagus
- Muscle weakness / pain
- Abnormal heart rate
- Peptic ulcer
- Inflammation of the pancreas
Another consequence of taking prednisone for long time is dependency. Due to prolonged use of this drug, the body may not produce cortisol naturally, leading to dependency. In that case, when the person stops taking the drug, he may even suffer from withdrawal symptoms.
It is essential to note here that not all of these symptoms will be observed on taking prednisone. As mentioned, these are only the potential side effects that can be possibly observed, depending on the duration of drug usage. There may even be a case that you observe only the minor symptoms, or observe no side effects at all. On the other hand, this list is not exhaustive and some people may also observe different symptoms than those mentioned above.
What To Do
✔ Firstly, you should NEVER stop taking the drug abruptly. The withdrawal effects can be as severe as side effects. Therefore, one of the safest way is to consult the doctor immediately and inform him about any side effects observed at any period, during the course of the treatment. The doctor will either change the prescribed drug or will reduce the dosage to ease the side effects.
✔ It is also advisable to avoid taking any steroids without a prescription, as it can lead to overdose, which can be dangerous.
✔ Steroids are meant for short-term use only. They should be taken in prescribed amounts with proper consultation.
Benefits of prednisone are often greater than the hazards of side effects. Also, people may not even experience a single side effect, and the drug can help in getting rid of the disease. But, it is only wise to consult the doctor and keep him informed about all the effects of the drug in order to prevent serious complications. Take care!
Disclaimer: This information is meant for educational purposes only. It is not to be substituted for medical consultation.