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Prednisone 40 mg

Prednisone 40 mg

Your doctor prescribed Prednisone 40 milligrams. I’ve taken that much before and I’m here to discuss all about prednisone 40 milligrams. Whether you’re prescribed three days, five days or more. I’m gonna explain what it’s used for, common side effects, and whether or not you need to taper and at the end I have a free gift for you.

Watch now!

Transcription autogenerated from the video above so some errors are possible.

First of all, is prednisone 40 milligrams a high dose? Yes. Generally, prednisone 40 milligrams is considered a high dose compared to your body’s normal equivalent of 2.5 milligrams of cortisol that you naturally secrete per day. 40 milligrams is really high.

How to take Prednisone 40 mg?

Prednisone 40 milligrams, you can’t have one single tablet to get you to 40 milligrams. You can either take a 10 milligram tablet or a 20 milligram tablet or it would be really hard. Generally you take two 20 milligram tablets to get to your 40 milligram dose of the day. Then you could also take four 10 milligram tablets, so either two 20 milligram or four 10 milligram tablets.

And often you are given the same dose every day for five days. So that would be two 20 milligram tablets to take first thing in the morning every day for five days. And you can take it with water or with food if you would like, and that’s usually enough.

Do you need to taper after just five days of prednisone?

Generally, you don’t. Most people do not need to tap taper after only five days of prednisone, but some people do. If you’re feeling exhausted, weak, and awful after taking prednisone, then talk to your doctor about it and you might need a taper if you’re taking prednisone 40 milligrams for longer than five days.

When do you need a taper?

After 10 to 14 days of taking prednisone, you would need to taper. If you’re taking less time than that, you probably don’t need to taper. You’re probably just fine.

What is prednisone 40 milligrams used for?

This high dose is used for something that’s got a lot of inflammation or a lot of immune system issues. It could be pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, (ITP) Immune thrombocytopenia, that’s what I took it for. It could be giant cell arteritis where people’s arteries could be causing their eyes to go blind. There are many, many things that your doctor could prescribe it for. That’s just a small possible list.

What side effects might you expect?

If you’re only taking it for about five days, you might get insomnia because you’re taking such a high dose, it might interfere with your sleep. Even one dose is enough to interfere with your normal sleep-wake cycle.

Other things you might notice are mood changes. This could be as simple as just feeling great, like feeling 30 years younger with lots of energy or it could be psychosis or depression. It’s more common to have a great feeling than depression and psychosis, but any mood changes are possible.

Brain fog is a possibility, but it’s more common the longer you take it. If you are taking prednisone 40 milligrams longer term, you might notice fluid retention. You might have swelling in your knees or your feet, maybe your hands or even your face. If you take it more than two to three weeks, you might notice fat redistribution as well on your face called moon face on your belly or even a buffalo hump on your neck.

Even one dose of prednisone, 40 milligrams can cause high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. If you didn’t have blood sugar issues before you took prednisone, you might notice higher blood sugars. If you have diabetes or other high blood sugar issues, you might need a higher dose of insulin or diabetes medications while you’re taking prednisone 40 milligrams.

Related to fluid retention, you might have high blood pressure. If you didn’t need a blood pressure medication before, you may need it. If you’re taking prednisone 40 milligrams for longer than two weeks, it’s possible to have heart side effects such as your body’s having to squeeze a lot harder because there’s more fluid.

You might have rhythm changes and it might skip a beat or it might cause a fatal arrhythmia, what those are called, and it’s possible to have a heart attack or a stroke. But that’s not very likely. It’s very rare, but it is a possibility at that high of a dose.

Finally, because we’re taking prednisone 40 milligrams often for an immune system problem, prednisone is causing immunosuppression. It’s possible that you might get an infection where you wouldn’t normally get one. Infections such as pneumonia or sepsis are a possibility, but not that likely. It is possible, but it’s not a humongous risk. It’s just more likely than it would’ve been otherwise.

Manage Prednisone Side effects

If you’re worried about any of these side effects and you’d like to find out ways to prevent them,
I created a Prednisone checklist. It includes the top side effects of prednisone and what you can do about them. Plus my top tips for how to counteract prednisone side effects.

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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