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Prednisone is a corticosteroid that can be useful in the treatment of many diseases. It might be prescribed for long term use if people suffer from certain conditions like Crohn’s disease or lupus because it helps to reduce immune response and inflammation. The drug can also aid in treating short-term conditions like rashes or it can reduce swelling caused by things like concussion.
Unfortunately, there are many prednisone side effects. These can be felt initially or develop as the medication is used for longer periods of time. Most of these side effects will not be experienced by all users, but there are some common ones that tend to affect most people who use the medication. There are also rare and dangerous side effects, which people should be aware of when they take this drug.
Some of the more common prednisone side effects include lowering of resistance to disease or even commonplace viruses, since prednisone reduces immune response. People may also have weight gain when they take this medication, water retention, and swelling, especially around the face and cheeks. Mood changes are common and some people become irritated or restless when they take prednisone. Some also note an increase in appetite while taking this medication, and some prednisone users also observe an increase in facial acne or development of stretch marks.
There are other side effects of prednisone that are less common and usually associated with use over a longer period of time, and these can include stomach upset, disruption or changes in menstrual cycle, insomnia, and excess hair growth in women, particularly on the face and arms. Some people taking this medication may feel tired or have achy muscles, and others develop migraines or have mood disorders. It’s also possible to develop osteoporosis when on prednisone for long periods of time, and the medication has been shown to cause poor growth or stunted growth in kids who are on it long-term.
There are certain prednisone side effects that indicate potentially serious problems. Sometimes people will develop very high blood pressure, which can be life threatening. Blurring of the vision should definitely be reported to doctors. Though rare, prednisone may occasionally cause a dangerous inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis, which is felt as severe pain in the upper stomach and chest, often accompanied by nausea or vomiting, and is a medically urgent condition. People should also watch for the presence of stools that look black or tarry, since these can indicate intestinal bleeding.