Prednisone is a highly effective and very potent medication, there’s no doubt about that. It is used to address a wide range of conditions that are associated with inflammation and auto-immune reactions including psoriasis, asthma, Crohn’s disease, leukemia and many others. At higher doses Prednisone can even be used to practically “shut down” the immune system, which may be required after an organ transplant surgery to prevent abruption. And it’s not surprising that a medication with such an immense potential is associated with a wide range of side effects. It’s not a rule that the side-effects will always take place, but if they actually do you may want to be prepared and take measures to relieve them without disrupting your Prednisone treatment. The following is a run-down of the most common Prednisone side effects and tips on how to avoid the discomfort associated with them:
Bloating and swelling in the abdomen is one of the most common side-effects associated with the use of Prednisone. Although it may seem harmless on paper, in reality it can be very disturbing and even painful, especially if you are going through a lengthy course of Prednisone. The best solution for this problem is eating a lot of foods that are rich with natural fiber. This will help to prevent bloating and reduce the risk of another common side effect.
This is another common side effect reported by many Prednisone users, even those who have never had any weight gain problems. People often find themselves 20-40 pounds heavier over the course of several months while taking the drug and experiencing very unpleasant sensations like bloating. This side effect implies radical dietary changes that will prevent weight gain. Apart from eating mostly fiber-rich foods you will also have eliminate sweets, salty foods, junk food, pastry and switch over to a fruit-and-vegetable rich diet.
Prednisone is known to be very heavy on the liver and kidneys, and there can be even symptoms of toxicity experienced as the stuff builds up in the organs and the bloodstream. That’s why it is very important to drink a lot of water and maybe even consult with your doctor about using diuretics in order to evacuate the stuff from your body on a timely basis. Sure, it may be inconvenient to run off to the toilet every now and then but it’s certainly better than being intoxicated.
High blood pressure
Many people with normal blood pressure find themselves experiencing hypertension symptoms after they start using Prednisone. And those who had high pressure before will have even more serious problems. That’s why it is crucial to eliminate any sources of blood pressure while taking Prednisone, which include coffee and caffeinated drinks, cigarettes and salty foods.
Heartburn can take place while taking Prednisone, especially if you’re going through a lengthy course of the drug. And it can range from mild to very severe if left unaddressed. The best way to overcome this discomfort is keeping antacid tablets within reach all the time and yet again keep eating foods that are rich with natural fiber in order to reduce the risk of reflux.
Prednisone can make you very moody, swinging between easily irritable to depressed and anxious. So it is very important to warn your family and co-workers about this potential side effect, since it will be easier for them to cope with the potential mood swings. And also find ways to keep yourself relaxed such as reading good books, watching movies, listening to favorite music or even indulging in such stress-management techniques as yoga or chi-gong.
Many patients report having sleepless nights while taking Prednisone. The problem can get worse because some sedatives might actually be risky to use together with Prednisone. So the best tip for fighting Prednisone-related insomnia is having a good book around all the time, which will relieve your restlessness during the night and will carry you off to sleep.