Prednisone is a steroidal medicine (corticosteroid) that is prescribed to patients suffering from inflammatory diseases, severe allergic attacks, autoimmune diseases, severe asthma, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, kidney disorders, cancer, headaches, cankersores, and multiple sclerosis, among others.
If you or a a loved one is on this medication, side effects are expected to show. Some common prednisone side effects include the following:
You may notice an increase in weight when you take prednisone. This is because this medication makes you absorb and retain more water. When this happens, the water content in your tissues adds to your weight prior to taking prednisone. Another cause of weight gain is the fact that prednisone stimulates your appetite.
Swelling of Extremities and the Face
As earlier stated, prednisone attracts water. This causes the tissues to hold water, resulting in edema that could be seen on the face and on the upper or lower extremities.
Prednisone could also make your blood pressure elevate. This is because it can retain water in your blood vessels, increasing blood volume. The elevated blood pressure could also cause an increase in intracranial pressure, leading to headaches or migraines.
Mood swings, Depression and Irritability
Prednisone may also produce these mood disorders. When these side effects kick in, personal relationships and self image are greatly affected. It takes a great amount of emotional support, understanding, and patience to deal with these abrupt changes that prednisone takers undergo.
Management of Weight Gain, Swelling and Hypertension
These side effects of prednisone could be managed well if you really understand why these happen in the first place. Getting to know prednisone could really help you adapt to these bodily changes.
Since prednisone retains water, the best thing to do is to dramatically decrease or avoid sodium in your diet. As you know, sodium also holds water, so lessening or avoiding it would do you so much good. Telling your doctor about these side effects will also help a lot especially with hypertension. Your doctor may prescribe hypertension maintenance medications to help you deal with it better. Having your blood pressure monitored everyday will help as well.
Management of Mood Swings, Depression and Irritability
Dealing with mood swings, depression and irritability is one of the greatest hurdles that you have to face when you take prednisone. If a loved one is on prednisone, you should understand that there will be sudden moods changes, tears and outbursts. You have to constantly open communication lines and never be afraid to ask how he/she feels. This is the only effective way to deal with mood swings, depression and irritability.
Prednisone is a highly potent drug that could truly help you or your loved one, but it can also be a cause of further aggravations. If you effectively prevent and manage the side effects, you will be able to live with prednisone.