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Can One Pill of Prednisone Cause Side Effects?

Can One Pill of Prednisone Cause Side Effects?

Does One Pill of Prednisone Cause Side Effects?

A prednisone warrior wondered if one pill of prednisone can actually cause prednisone side effects. She said:“I talked to a person who took one dose of prednisone and it ruined her life. She felt horrible was losing weight muscle loss hair loss. Everywhere she looked she could find no information on what one dose of prednisone would do to her. So that’s why I’m writing this. Is one pill of prednisone enough to cause side effects?”

Yes it is. Just one dose of prednisone can cause many side effects. It can be enough to change your sleep cycle, affect your metabolism and thyroid, or your sleep and mood.

Watch Now!

One Dose of Prednisone Side Effects Evidence

Scientists did a study to find out whether this was true or not. After giving healthy young men just one dose–only one pill–of dexamethasone (prednisone’s sister steroid), they measured what it did to their metabolism. They measured 214 different things in each young man for 3 days before taking the dose and for 3 days after.

This study shows a “…Tremendous impact of dexamethasone on the metabolome with 150 of 214 metabolites being significantly deregulated on at least one time point after treatment. The clearly visible circadian rhythm prior to treatment was almost completely suppressed and deregulated by dexamethasone. The results draw a holistic picture of the severe metabolic deregulation induced by single-dose, short-term glucocorticoid application.”

One Pill of Prednisone on Exercise

Another study tested what prednisolone (a similar steroid to prednisone), if given in a single dose, did to high-performing athletes.

They concluded: “Acute prednisolone treatment impairs high-intensity interval cycling performance and alters metabolic and hematological parameters in healthy young men.”

One Dose of Prednisone on Mental Health

Many prednisone warriors have told me that they were stunned at how awful the side effects of prednisone were after just one or two doses.

Read the story of Kyle, who “only lasted 3 days“.

One study discovered that 39% of people experienced a mood side effect within one week of starting prednisone.

Key Takeaway: One Pill of Prednisone is Enough to Cause Side Effects

Prednisone is a powerful medication that is used to treat a range of conditions, however, it can produce a number of side effects which can be severe. These side effects include weight loss, muscle loss, hair loss, and metabolic disruption to the body. Prednisone use can also lead to mental illnesses such as anxiety, mania, depression, and steroid psychosis.

What Can You Do?

Before using this drug, it is important to speak to a doctor to discuss the potential risks and benefits. Download the Prednisone Checklist to become aware of the possible side effects. Individuals should consider strategies to reduce the chance of these effects being experienced.

Check out these other articles about the Short-term Side Effects of Prednisone:

Free Prednisone Checklist

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  1. Bordag, N. et al. Glucocorticoid (dexamethasone)-induced metabolome changes in healthy males suggest prediction of response and side effects. Sci Rep. 2015;5:15954. DOI10.1038/srep15954.
  2. Tacey A, et al. Single-dose prednisolone alters endocrine and haematologic responses and exercise performance in men. Endocrine Connections. 2019;8(2):111-119.
  3. Judd LL, Schettler PJ, Brown ES, et al. Adverse Consequences of Glucocorticoid Medication: Psychological, Cognitive, Behavioral EffectsAm J Psychiatry. 2014;171(10):1045-51.

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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