The Ups and Downs of Prednisone

Prednisone happens to be one of the anti-rejection medications I have to take, regardless of the side effects (see below). I may not have to take it for the rest of my life, some people are able to wean off of it completely and some have to stay on a very low dose for the rest of their lives. Prednisone helps with the cellular rejection of the new heart. Right now I take a moderately high dose and the higher the dose the more side effects you have. For me, what I notice the most are the mood swings, and the swelling in my face, of course, but I have some of the others as well.

Google says Prednisone is used for conditions such as arthritis, blood disorders, breathing problems, severe allergies, skin diseases, cancer, eye problems, and immune system disorders. And it belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. I find it ironic that some of the things it’s suppose to treat is causes. Regardless, of all the medications I have to take it’s by far the worst of the bunch, in regards to haw it makes me feel. I’m hoping in the future I will be able to wean off of it completely or be on the lowest dose possible.

Common side effects of Prednisone include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Inappropriate happiness
  • Severe mood swings
  • Personality change
  • Bulging eyes
  • Acne
  • Thin, fragile skin
  • Red or purple blotches or lines under the skin
  • Slowed healing of cuts and bruises
  • Increased body hair growth
  • Changes in the way fat is distributed in the body
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Weak muscles
  • Irregular or absent menstrual periods
  • Low sex drive
  • Heartburn
  • Unusual sweating

Serious side effects can also occur. If you have any of these side effects, stop taking Prednisone and call your doctor right away:

  • Vision problems
  • Eye pain, redness, or tearing
  • Signs of infection, such as sore throat, fever, chills, and cough
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Loss of contact with reality
  • Confusion
  • Muscle twitching or tightening
  • Involuntary hand shaking
  • Numbness, burning, or tingling in the face, arms, legs, feet, or hands
  • Upset stomach or vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Shortness of breath, particularly at night
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Swelling or pain in the stomach
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching


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