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Prednisone Long-Term Side Effects You Should Know About

Prednisone Long-Term Side Effects You Should Know About

Prednisone Long-Term Side Effects are one of the things that a prednisone warrior should know about to prevent further complications in the future.

Are you on prednisone for more than 3 weeks? or not more than 3 months? Depending on the articles that you have been on prednisone for the long-term.

And that is what we’re going to talk about today. What Prednisone Long-Term Side Effects you’re going to expect and what to look for the important thing that you can do to combat that!

Watch now!


Prednisone Long-Term Side Effects List


Long-Term Prednisone Side Effects

First, we’re going to start with the head. We are going to start with your brain or your mood. What can you expect as far as long-term side effects.

Long-term Prednisone Side Effects on your Mood

The longer you’re on it, the more likely that instead of feeling anxiety or euphoria. You’re more likely to feel depression the longer you’re on prednisone. It is messing with your mood and your personality and ways that are hard to predict but most likely is depression.

In addition, it can affect your memory. One article said that:

You can have memory impairment within 3 months and 1% of people have severe steroid dementia.

They can’t remember who they are or what’s going on!

That can happen about 1% of the time and hopefully, that’s not you. So, long term you get memory impairment and depression.

Moon Face

Long-Term Prednisone Side Effect

Now, moving on to the face. “Cushingoid features:” what does it mean? It means the Moon Face!

It means puffy cheeks, your neck and back fat: the buffalo-hump! Or your belly can get really big and you may look pregnant.  Those things can start within 3 months.

61% of those people have at least one side-effect of those in 3 months and 12 months, 71% of people are suffering moon face, weight gain or the big belly.

I definitely had it and it was no fun! I couldn’t even recognize myself in the mirror. Neither could Apple’s recognition software.

So, here’s a quote from a pharmacy reference and big words that aren’t normal words. It says:

“Long term administration can lead to adrenal cortical atrophy”

Which means your adrenal cortex on top of your kidney it’s gonna waste away because they’re not being used because prednisone is replacing it. That leads to Adrenal Suppression that you can’t just suddenly stop taking it. You just slowly taper off and you allow it to go back up.

Protein Depletion

Long-Term Prednisone Side Effect

One of prednisone long-term side effects is protein depletion. It means your body is wasting away your muscles. It’s taking off the protein of your muscles and your arm and legs get thinner and even your hand might get thinner! And that happens over the long term.

Muscle pain, muscle weakness even joint pain can be related to that and can be nostalgia.


Long-Term Prednisone Side Effect

Next is your bone matrix, all the connections that make your bones strong. They’re breaking down or falling away because prednisone is stealing calcium from your bone matrix. That can leads to osteopenia which is just thinning bones or osteoporosis which is the bone is so thin that it reaches a level of osteoporosis.

That leads to de fracture like the T-broke compression in your spine. They can just smash and set themselves and you can see people hunch a little bit. You can normally see it on old people but the young ones are not an exception.

And you can’t just really feel it. It slowly takes away your height. Like my grandma, she used to be 5’6 and when she died she was only 5’3. She had so many compression fractures and the worst are the fractures of your long bones like legs or in your arms.

The worst would be vascular necrosis. It’s where your either your shoulder or hip bones or maybe others. That ball is inserting which is located in those areas actually dies.  The bone or tip of it is dead and you need to replace it. This can happen to people even in their 30s.

It’s very rare but very horrible. It’s very horrible because it can put people into wheelchairs so the longer you’re on it the more likely it is to happen. And the higher the dose!

Weight Gain

Long-Term Prednisone Side Effect

They did a survey of over 2,000 people on prednisone and they were long-term users. Their number 1 concern is Weight Gain.

Kind of already covered with that but it’s kind of your whole body weight gain is. That’s what people complain about the most and the longer you’re on it the more likely you’ll gain weight.


Long-Term Prednisone Side Effect

Prednisone causes lots of side effects one of them is cataracts. The longer you’re on it is more likely you’ll get cataracts. Another one is glaucoma and that’s the swelling of  the high pressure in your eye or both. This can lead to blindness so for sure be taking precautions getting your eyes checked routinely if you’re on prednisone long-term.


how prednisone affects our heart

Another prednisone long-term side effects is cardiovascular diseases. These are prone to those people who are taking prednisone for a long time or taking higher doses.

Hypertension is high blood pressure that leads to downstream complications like heart attacks and strokes and arrhythmias that’s where your heart beats kinda weird which can lead to death.

So, you need to be careful and get your blood pressure checked and just be really paying attention to your heart.

What can you do about it?

That is the main question if there’s a long term consequence of taking prednisone. Is there anything you can do to fight back?

and the answer is yes! I’ve mentioned a few already as we’ve gone through of things that you can do to make sure you don’t need to pay the rest of your life!

I have a prednisone checklist and it goes all of the steps that you need to take the doctor visits you need to schedule. The things that you need to be monitoring and make sure that you’re still healthy while on prednisone.

I created this base on guidelines and doctors. Base on all research that I have found, guidelines from Doctor and you can get it by signing up below!

Free Prednisone Checklist

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Read more about 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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