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Prednisone Therapy and Side Effects

What your doctor WON’T tell you about Prednisone…

What your doctor WON’T tell you about Prednisone…

Prednisone is a powerful drug that can save lives, but it also comes with risks and side effects. Your doctor may not have fully explained the potential dangers of taking prednisone.

Like all drugs, taking prednisone is a question of balancing the risks and the benefits to make sure it is right for you. Sometimes you don’t know enough about the risks to decide.

Here’s what you need to know:

Prednisone Benefits

Prednisone Benefits: Prednisone is prescribed for various conditions, such as ITP, rheumatoid arthritis, and COPD. It can help manage symptoms and prevent further complications.

Hopefully your doctor announces his decision to prescribe prednisone something like this:

“Hello, I’m Dr. [SoandSo], your [specialty] doctor. You have a condition called [diagnosis]. There is no cure. It can be fatal if not treated. Luckily there is a drug that can make you feel better. It is called prednisone.”

My doctor said,

“Hello, I’m Dr. Whatshisname, your hematologist. You have a condition called ITP. There is no cure. It can be fatal if not treated. You could bleed to death. Luckily there is a drug that may make your platelets grow back so you won’t bleed. It’s called prednisone.”

Maybe your doctor said,

Hello, I’m Dr. SoandSo, your rheumatologist. You have a condition called rheumatoid arthritis. There is no cure. Your joints will get worse until you can’t move any more. Luckily there is a drug that can slow down the painful process of joint damage. It’s called prednisone.”

Or maybe your doctor said,

“Hello, I’m Dr. SoandSo, your pulmonologist. You have a condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, COPD. There is no cure. It can be fatal because your lungs will stop stretching enough and you will no longer be able to breathe. Luckily there is a drug that can help you breathe. It’s called prednisone.”

Prednisone Risks

If your doctor started out that way, then hopefully he continued by explaining the risks. Maybe he warned you about some of these side effects:

  • peptic ulcer disease
  • risk of infection
  • mood swings
  • appetite increase
  • retain water

The Real Risks of Prednisone: What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

Prednisone Risks: While your doctor may have mentioned some side effects like mood swings and increased appetite, there are other risks you should be aware of. Prednisone is a leading cause of osteoporosis and can increase your risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Suddenly stopping prednisone can be life-threatening. Other surprising side effects include insomnia, weight gain, muscle and joint pain, changes in appearance, and memory impairment. According to Clinical Pharmacology,

  • Prednisone is the #1 drug cause of osteoporosis.
  • Compared to people who do not take prednisone,
    • You have a 4 times greater risk of developing diabetes.
    • You have a 4 times greater risk of developing high blood pressure.
    • You have a 2.56 times greater risk of heart disease like heart attack and stroke.
  • You cannot stop taking prednisone “cold turkey” or you could die.
  • The #1 tweeted side effect of prednisone is insomnia.
  • The average weight gain while on prednisone is 10% of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds when you start prednisone, you will gain 12 pounds.
  • Prednisone wastes away your muscles, leading to muscle pain.
  • Prednisone wastes away your bones, leading to joint pain, osteoporosis, and broken bones.
  • Prednisone moves around your fat, leading to “moon face,” “buffalo hump,” and a belly.
  • Other surprising side effects:
    • Hair loss
    • Memory impairment
    • Hot flashes and red flushing
    • Blurred vision
    • Personality changes

And what about this? Prednisone Nutrient Depletion

Prednisone can deplete essential nutrients from your body, including calcium, vitamin D, chromium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and melatonin. This can have serious consequences for your overall health.

  • Prednisone steals these nutrients from your body:
    • Calcium
    • Vitamin D
    • Chromium
    • Magnesium
    • Zinc
    • Potassium
    • Folic acid
    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin C
    • Melatonin

What can I do about it?

What Can You Do: It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to taking prednisone. Never stop taking it suddenly. Additionally, adopting a whole food diet with adequate protein can help support your nutrition while on prednisone.

  • Never stop taking prednisone suddenly–always follow your doctor’s instructions to slowly stop taking it.
  • Eating a whole food diet with enough protein is vital for adequate nutrition while on prednisone.

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. The American College of Rheumatology recommends optimizing calcium and vitamin D intake, following a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, engaging in weight-bearing or resistance training exercise, and limiting alcohol intake.

They say, “All adults taking prednisone 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”

It’s crucial to be informed about the risks and take steps to mitigate them. By understanding the potential dangers of prednisone and taking care of your overall health, you can better manage your condition and support your well-being.

Introducing Nutranize Zone

An easy way to get the calcium and vitamin D that you need, plus all the other nutrients that this steroid steals, is to take the first and only supplement for people on prednisone. It reduces your suffering by replenishing the nutrients so that you can recover from taking prednisone. Get Nutranize Zone today!

Nutranize Zone

Want to learn more about the effects of prednisone?

Meet Dr. Megan the Prednisone Pharmacist


A pharmacist who would rather not take prescription drugs?

Even though she is a pharmacist, Dr. Megan would rather not take prescription drugs. Why? Because she knows too much about the harmful consequences.

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