Following a schedule can be vital to reduce prednisone side effects. Those who take the drug daily, for instance, are normally directed to take the drug at the same time every day so the body adjusts to it. Usually, if only one dose a day is prescribed, patients are directed to take the drug earlier in the day, which is thought to help reduce its ability to disturb sleep patterns. To avoid gastrointestinal irritation such as indigestion, users are also typically told to always take the medication after eating or with milk.
One of the most common side effects of prednisone is weight gain, which is caused by the drug's ability to increase appetite. As the body may feel hungry all the time, prednisone users cannot rely on their body as an accurate indication of when they should eat. Instead, users can adopt a schedule for eating and plan out well-balanced meals in advance. By sticking to diets low in cholesterol and fat while high in protein, users of prednisone may be able to avoid weight gain while also preventing atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, another potential concern with taking the medication.
Blood electrolyte balances can also be affected when taking prednisone. As a result, excess sodium is retained and potassium is depleted, causing fluid retention. This excess fluid can cause swelling in the face and extremities as well as lead to high blood pressure. The lack of potassium in the body can cause increased urination, queasiness, and muscle cramping. To reduce these particular side effects, a diet rich in potassium and low in sodium can be adopted. Low-sodium alternatives of soups, seasonings, and sauces are widely available. Foods rich in potassium, including tomatoes, oranges, and melons, are also generally easy to add into a healthy lifestyle.
To find the right nutritional balance when taking prednisone, patients may want to consult a dietitian and follow a personalized eating plan. Upping the duration and frequency of exercise can also help those who take the medication avoid packing on additional pounds. Additionally, weight-bearing exercises such as walking along with taking calcium supplements may be suggested to reduce prednisone side effects related to osteoporosis or bone thinning.
Prednisone is a corticosteroid, which is a type of steroid. Like any other steroid, stopping it suddenly can cause withdrawal side effects. These withdrawal symptoms can include vomiting, drowsiness, and joint pain. To reduce these prednisone side effects, the drug should normally not be stopped without warning. Instead, the prescribing physician will gradually taper down the dosage. A similar approach is also likely to be used in individuals taking the drug for an extended interlude to ensure the dose given effectively manages the pain but is also safe to take for the duration.
With prednisone, a number of patients may experience mood changes ranging from euphoria to depression and nervousness. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing may reduce stress and mood changes in some people. For others, counseling or an anxiety medication may be required to get these prednisone side effects under control.