What your doctor WON’T tell you about prednisone. Dr. Megan here! And I’m going to tell you how much doctors aren’t telling people, how unprepared people are to start taking prednisone, how many questions does people still have after they’ve been on it for a long time?
Well, it’s been a surprise to me because I thought my profession of pharmacist and medical doctors are doing a good job helping people know what to do when they take prednisone. But there’s a gap, there’s a problem. So, I’m going to share with you what your doctor won’t tell you about prednisone but the thing is they’re not hiding it from you. They just don’t know because guess what? No one knows, no one has an idea why prednisone is causing these problems and no one has a great list of what to actually expect.
Why would that be?
Prednisone is an old drug. The thing that is, no one had to do testing before like the new drugs had in order to find out what to expect, which side effects are common that no one knows!
So, I’m going to share with you what you should expect. I did a survey in 2019 to people to find out what are their biggest challenges while on prednisone and I was surprised that 52% said that
Neither of their doctors or pharmacist informed them or preparing them to take prednisone the #1 weight gain causing drugs. So, a study shows that 70% of people who take prednisone gain weight. Those people who are taking lower doses like around 5-10 mg for 2 years gain around 4%-8% of their weight. The higher the dose or the longer you’re on it the more likely you’re gaining more. If you are on prednisone and don’t gain weight, consider yourself lucky!
Moon Face is dose-dependent. Same with weight the higher the dose the more you’re having a bigger moon face, the lower the more likely is to go away.
Weight Gain Leads to Risks!
Weight Gain surely has consequences and you must be alert in order to lower your chances of having it.
- 4 times greater risk of developing diabetes.
- 4 times greater risk of developing high blood pressure.
- 2.56 times greater risk of heart diseases like heart attack and stroke.
Prednisone Wastes Away
Prednisone wastes away your bone that leads to joint pain. Number 1 people with joint pain are the people with Rheumatoid Arthritis and they take it to make the pain go away. So, this is a really strange relationship because some people take it to minimize the pain while others are experiencing those pain as one of the side effects!
Another will be osteoporosis. Osteoporosis leads to broken bones. It is the #1 drug cause of osteoporosis to people who do not take prednisone.
What does insomnia mean? It means you can’t sleep! It’s the #1 tweeted side effect of prednisone
Another thing that you might not be prepared for is your personality changes becoming anxious or irritable.
Everything listed above is horrible and makes you feel old even if you just have a chronic illness. And the worst thing that could happen is you could die if you stop taking it suddenly. That could KILL you! Do not stop taking it suddenly if you don’t want to go cold-turkey.
What can I do about it?
Never stop taking prednisone suddenly–always follow your doctor’s instructions to slowly stop taking it.
Eating a whole-food, plant-based diet with enough protein is vital for adequate nutrition while on it.
You can follow the recommendation of the experts: The American College of Rheumatology, the doctors who prescribe prednisone the most, created a guideline for people taking prednisone. They say, “All adults taking it at a dose of greater than or equal to 2.5 mg per day for 3 months or more:
- Optimize calcium intake (1,000-1,200 mg/day) and
- Vitamin D intake (600-800 IU/day) and
- Lifestyle modifications:
- balanced diet
- maintaining weight in the recommended range
- smoking cessation
- regular weight-bearing or resistance training exercise
- limiting alcohol intake to 1-2 alcoholic beverages per day”
Source: Clinical Pharmacology, the most complete drug information reference available today.
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