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Before you Google “Prednisone Side Effects”

Before you Google “Prednisone Side Effects”

When you go on Google, do you expect to find inaccurate information? Or do you expect to find the right information? Well, that’s not what happens when you go on to Google and search for “prednisone side effects!”

Drug Information Websites

It’s fascinating. Let me show you a little bit of what I found when I typed “prednisone side effects” into the Google search bar!

prednisone side effects

Oncology Nurse Advisor

Here on Oncology nurse advisor check out this list of adverse reactions to prednisone. Does any of it make sense to you? Because this one just kills me!

“Psychic disorders?!”

Adverse reaction of prednisone

What are “psychic disorders”? Is prednisone suddenly going to allow you to read my mind or predict the future? …or otherwise make you psychic? I don’t think so.

Prednisone doesn’t do that! “Psychic disorders” is not a side effect! Maybe they missed an “O” and a “T” and it’s supposed to say “psychotic” but no, “psychic” is not a side effect!


Okay, how about we go to RxList.com and see what they say about prednisone. All right, so look at this list. Do you know what any of these diseases mean?

“Edematous States”

Prednisone Side effects

No. I don’t what they mean either. Moving on to the next section of their website:

What are side effects of prednisone?

Side effects of prednisone

Nope. Actually, no. This is totally wrong! These are not side effects of prednisone! Did you know that people take prednisone to prevent nausea and vomiting? Yeah, that is why they’re taking it is for nausea and vomiting. If they had typed, “what is prednisone used for” then that would be an appropriate answer.

So, no. Totally wrong!


What about drugs.com? You’d think with a name like Drugs.com it would be completely accurate, right?

What do they say? Here are the “more common” side effects that they list. Actually, they are saying you should “check with your doctor immediately” for these “more common” things!

But it makes it look like these are actually more common side effects. And NO!

These are not common side effects.

Shortness of breath?

People take prednisone for shortness of breath!

Mood Changes?

What I do like is that they have aggression, agitation, mood changes and irritability on here because those are true things that do happen.

The “more common” side effect listed here is an increased appetite. That’s the only one they’re giving us that is not requiring immediate attention. There’s also list down here that they labeled as “Incidence not known”.

Abnormal fat deposits

Like moon face and abnormal fat deposits on your neck and your trunk.  “We don’t know how often that happens” …except we do!

In most people, actually. Moon face happens when there is a high enough dose; almost everybody gets moon face.

Dry scalp

This is surprising that they’re listing dry scalp. I haven’t seen this really anywhere else because people often take prednisone for dry scalp; it’s called psoriasis. Surprising!

That’s it! That’s all they have as far as normal, simple words. Then they get into these fancy medical terms.

What I’m really concerned about is do they have the word “insomnia” listed anywhere on this page?

Insomnia Caused by Prednisone

If you scroll way down deep into the technical, medical terms section, you can finally find the word “insomnia.”

That really doesn’t reflect what prednisone feels like, when people are tweeting about insomnia on prednisone all the time. Insomnia is the #1 tweeted side effect of prednisone. And yet it’s not listed until 3/4 of the way down the page.

Insomnia while on Prednisone

That far down the page (3/4 of the way!) is when you finally see insomnia listed and buried in there along with all these other weird words. Raise your hand if you know what paresthesia means (and you didn’t go to medical school!).

Mayo Clinic

Then let’s go to the Mayo Clinic. They should be pretty awesome, shouldn’t they? As one of, if not the most respected medical institutions in the United States, if not the world, what they have on their website should be the best, right?

On Mayo Clinic’s Prednisone Side Effects page, we finally find the “more common” side effect increase appetite, but it’s buried way down at the very bottom of the page. You have to scroll all the way down to find out what that “more common” side effect is.

Do you see how that’s exactly the same inaccurate information as the list on Drugs.com? They don’t even tell you any side effects until way down and then these are still the ones where you’re supposed to check with your doctor immediately.

prednisone side effects - mayo clinic

They never in this entire page give you a list of the most commonly expected side effects. No where. The only thing they are calling common is appetite.

They don’t ever mention insomnia.

I checked Mayo Clinic’s entire page to search this term “insomnia.” I want you to see this in the image: “0/0” times does the Mayo Clinic use the term insomnia on the prednisone side effect list!

Zero out of zero. It is not listed at all even though it is the #1 tweeted side effect. Why?! That is so wrong.


What about WebMD? All right so the first thing they have is nausea and vomiting.


Nausea and vomiting?

As I said, this is why people use prednisone. Nausea and vomiting? This isn’t a side effect that people commonly experience. It’s definitely not the number one and number two!

Loss of Appetite?

What about loss of appetite? Did you remember what Mayo Clinic and Drugs.com said was the “most common”? Let’s check all the sites again for reference of this side effect. “Increased appetite” was the #1 on Mayo Clinic. We go over to WebMD and they’re saying that the #3  is loss of appetite.

That doesn’t make any sense! How could one say the most common is increased appetite and the other one is saying it’s loss of appetite? It’s just wrong!

That’s just wrong information, WebMD.

And then they’re saying heartburn.

Trouble sleeping!

Finally! They have trouble sleeping listed on the first line! All of these other side effect lists didn’t even bother to include insomnia. Amazing!

Then they have other these other side effects to “Tell your doctor right away.” But really, are you gonna tell your doctor right away if you have unusual weight gain?

Because about 70 percent of people who take prednisone have “unusual weight gain.”

“70 percent of people who take prednisone have unusual weight gain”

So everybody is supposed to say that to their doctor? This is such unhelpful information.

This finally is a helpful paragraph. This is my favorite paragraph from this article:

This medication may cause your blood sugar to rise, which can worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor…

Because there is help that you can get. They’re saying there are ways to help.

“This is not a complete list of side effects”

A truer statement could not have been made, “This is not a complete list of side effects.”

“This is not a complete list of side effects”

It’s just not it’s not a complete list.

Open Request to WebMD

WebMD: you get the #1 rank on Google search engine results page for “prednisone side effects” and what you have on your list is lacking. It is actually false, misleading and inaccurate. You need to improve! You need to fix it for people suffering. They are suffering so many prednisone side effects.

The True Prednisone Side Effects

In fact, people suffer more prednisone side effects than any other drug. But you wouldn’t be able to tell based on these lists because they’re so wrong. They’re so inaccurate. They’re so unhelpful, and contradictory.

So what can you do if you are personally suffering prednisone side effects? What I recommend is typing into the Google search bar, “Ultimate prednisone side effects”. Then you can get my list at prednisonepharmacist.com.

I include which side effects I personally experienced.

prednisone side effects illustration by Dr. Megan
Dr. Megan’s side effects to prednisone over her whole body.

This is what is more likely to happen to you if you’re taking prednisone:

Those are the real most likely, “more common” side effects that are actually going to happen if you take prednisone.

I created this list because I wanted to actually know what would happen when I had to take prednisone.

What you can do is find the Ultimate List of Prednisone Side Effects.

Searchable Prednisone Side Effect List

Check it out! You can search it. You can type in whatever thing you have.

You can search “bones.” That’s one that happens a lot. We’ve got osteopenia, osteoporosis. You can see we have bone thinning, bone loss, all these different ways of describing bone things.

You can search for the common name or the medical term or the category. I have it all here compiled from the top sources of information. I compiled it from paid databases, not these terrible free lists. These are expensive databases that cost a ton of money!

I have them all compiled here so that you can actually get the right information. You can see how many of those databases I included each side effect on their lists.

For example, five databases included “vertebral compression fracture.” All five included “osteoporosis” because it is super common and it can happen at all doses.

So check out the Ultimate List of Prednisone Side Effects by Googling “ultimate prednisone side effects” and you’ll go to prednisonepharmacist.com to get the help you need, because WebMD is wrong.

Free Prednisone Checklist

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Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP, is an award-winning clinical pharmacist board certified in the types of conditions people take prednisone for. Dr. Megan had to take prednisone herself for an autoimmune condition so understands what it feels like to suffer prednisone side effects and made it her mission to counteract them as the Prednisone Pharmacist.

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