Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory drug that is often used to treat autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. It is also commonly prescribed to reduce the inflammation caused by allergies or breathing disorders. Prednisone is one of the most popular oral drugs in the world as of 2019, with annual sales of over $18 billion.
While many people experience noticeable improvements with their health while on steroids, there are some serious side effects that you should be aware of. Fortunately, most of these side effects are rare but serious. Here’s a closer look at how does prednisone make you lose weight and what you need to know about the drug.
Weight Loss Is One Of The Most Common Side Effects
According to a 2017 report from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approximately 8 out of 10 people taking prednisone experience some kind of weight loss. This weight loss can be mild (up to 5 lbs, or 2.3 kg) or severe (more than 10 lbs, or 4.6 kg), though most people experience only the first. While this side effect is relatively common, it is still considered relatively mild. If you experience dizziness or headaches while on steroids, you should consult your doctor so that he can adjust your dosage or prescribe you a different medication.
It Can Be Hazardous To Your Health
As a result of its potent anti-inflammatory effects, prednisone can be quite useful for treating a variety of inflammatory conditions. This includes rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, and multiple sclerosis. In fact, it is often the only treatment available for these conditions. Nevertheless, there are some people for whom prednisone is not the best option, primarily due to the serious side effects that they may experience. Some of these side effects include nausea, vomiting, nervousness, weakness, insomnia, and weight loss. If you experience any of these while on steroids, it is extremely important to consult your doctor so that he can adjust your dosage or prescribe you a different medication.
The Biggest Cause Of Death In People Who Take Prednisone
It is important to note that not all cases of weight loss in people who take steroids are a direct result of prednisone. There are several other factors involved, including decreased appetite and a reduced ability to absorb nutrients. Nevertheless, when taken in combination, these factors often contribute to a decreased body mass index (BMI) in people who take prednisone. In other words, they look and feel thinner even though they may actually be gaining weight.
The risk of death for people taking prednisone is not entirely clear, though it is estimated to be somewhere between 1 and 4.8 percent. This is primarily due to the fact that the drug has been around for over 70 years and large randomized control trials have not yet been performed. One thing is certain – the side effects of prednisone are not worth the risk of living in vain, especially since there are other options available that are equally as effective and have fewer side effects. Of course, your doctor will have to make the ultimate decision as to whether or not you are a suitable candidate for prednisone therapy based on your particular case.
The Drugs May Pose A Higher Risk Of Heart Failure
According to a 2018 report from the FDA, patients taking prednisone for over a year had an overall threefold increased risk of developing heart failure. This is a very serious side effect, particularly for people already at a high risk of heart disease. If you are already taking other medications for heart disease, such as diuretics or beta-blockers, then you should discuss this risk with your doctor so that he can monitor your progress more closely.
Other Risks That May Be Attendant
Aside from heart failure, people taking steroids for over a year had an increased risk of several other serious conditions. This includes osteoporosis, liver disease, diabetes mellitus, and infection. Your doctor will need to monitor you for these conditions more closely as well.
While many people experience enormous benefits from taking steroids, there are some serious risks that you should be aware of. If you are already at a high risk of heart disease or some of the other conditions listed above, then you should consult your doctor so that he can determine if steroids are right for you.