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Can Prednisone Make Asthma Worse

Ask The Doctor: Does Prednisone Increase Blood Pressure

Understanding Your Asthma Part 5: Prednisone

Q. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and my doctor wants me to take prednisone for it. Will prednisone be bad for my blood pressure, which is already high?

A. Prednisone raises blood pressure in many people who take it. One reason is that prednisone and other corticosteroids cause the body to retain fluid. Extra fluid in the circulation can cause an increase in blood pressure.

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In Summary How Do I Handle Extreme Temperatures

The right balance in core body temperature of between 36 oC and 38 oC is essential for helping to balance the lung functionality. Once the temperature drops below or above these core temperatures, then it may result in coughing as the body tries to remove the irritants which are causing the airway walls to become dried out and agitated. Sadly, this is either the hot dry air, or the cold dry air which we are breathing, and it may result in consistent coughing.

The best way to handle this to breath through the nose and/or have a barrier like a clothing which can help hydrate and heat or cool the air before it enters the lungs.

Which Side Effects Are Worse On Prednisone 20 Mg Tablets

If your doctor prescribed a prednisone 20 mg tablet or higher, then youve been given a high dose. So which prednisone side effects get worse the higher the dose? In this article, I will share the side effects to expect at higher doses of prednisone according to the five most comprehensive pharmacy databases.

My High Dose Prednisone Experience

First, I want to share my personal experience taking high doses of prednisone and other steroids. Because my immune system killed off so many of my blood platelets, doctors worried I could bleed to death. In the hospital they started with prednisone 60 mg, given as three prednisone 20 mg tablets. That only worked for a week to boost my platelets until they started to crash again.

Prednisone Failed

So the hematologist prescribed another steroid, dexamethasone. I took #10 of the highest strength dexamethasone tablets each day for three days. The dose of dexamethasone I took equals approximately 267 mg of prednisone. Eventually, that failed as well, so my doctor started me on a slow taper down from prednisone 60 mg.

Tapering Roller Coaster

They pricked my arm each week to check my platelet level and decide whether I could continue tapering or whether I needed to go back up to a higher dose. I rode that roller coaster of blood draws for six months before they eventually resorted to chemotherapy which cured my problem, at least for now. Then I finished tapering off prednisone after nine months of high-to-low doses of prednisone.

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What Is The Difference Between Prednisone And Prednisolone

Both prednisone and prednisolone are man-made glucocorticoids. They are used to treat similar conditions and are generally considered equally effective. However, in people with liver disease, prednisolone is usually preferred. This is because prednisone needs to be converted by liver enzymes into prednisolone before it can work.

Price wise, prednisone is usually much cheaper than prednisolone.

Treatments That Can Affect Sleep

Steroids for COPD: Do they work and how?

The following treatments have the potential to affect sleep.


You may be taking steroids as part of your cancer treatment. Steroids cause sleep disturbance. It can help if you take them in the morning.

Anti sickness drugs

Some anti sickness drugs can make you feel restless. If this happens, tell your doctor as you might be able to have a different type.

Cancer drugs

Some cancer treatments such as targeted cancer drugs can cause insomnia. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if the drug you are taking can affect your sleep.

Hormone treatment

If cancer or its treatment has affected your hormone levels, or you are taking certain hormone drugs, then you may experience hot flushes and sweats. These can interfere with your sleep. Talk with your doctor if hot flushes are a problem for you.

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Whats The Connection Between Cold Weather And Asthma

When you have your airways swell up and become inflamed in response to certain . Swollen airways are narrower and cant take in as much air. Thats why people with asthma often have trouble catching their breath.

Winter is an especially hard time for people with asthma. A Chinese study from 2014 found that hospital admissions for asthma increased during the winter months. And in the cold climate of the north of Finland, up to 82 percent of people with asthma experienced shortness of breath when they exercised in cold weather.

When you work out, your body needs more oxygen, so your breathing speeds up. Often, you breathe through your mouth to take in more air. While your nose has blood vessels that warm and humidify the air before it reaches your lungs, air that travels directly through your mouth remains cold and dry.

Exercising outdoors in cold weather delivers cold air rapidly to your airways. It also appears to increase your likelihood of having an asthma attack. What is it about the cold air that triggers asthma symptoms?

Cold air is hard on asthma symptoms for several reasons.

Steroid Psychosis From Prednisone Prescribed For Sinusitis:

Q. I am in very good health except for recurrent sinus infections. Recently, my internist put me on a 12-day tapered course of prednisone.

Within days I thought I was going crazy. I became extremely agitated and irritable and the least little thing set me off. I didnt sleep for three days, even with sleeping pills. I couldnt concentrate. My blood pressure soared and I became very fearful.

My doctor never warned me about any of this. Are these normal side effects of prednisone and what will I do if I have to take this drug again?

A. Prednisone and other corticosteroids relieve symptoms from a variety of conditions, including sinusitis. Many people experience severe psychological reactions to high doses of such drugs, however.

Steroid psychosis can cause anxiety, agitation, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes and even serious depression. Some patients may experience memory problems or hallucinations.

Let your doctor know you are susceptible to this kind of reaction. If you ever have to take more than 40 mg of prednisone at a time, you may need medication to counteract the psychiatric side effects.

Read Also: How Long Does An Asthma Attack Last

Poorly Recognised Adverse Effects Of Inhaled Corticosteroids

This article is more than five years old. Some content may no longer be current.

Prescriber Update 16: 1619July 1998

Dr Sonya Havill, Dermatology Registrar and Dr Marius Rademaker, Dermatologist, Health Waikato, Hamilton

Inhaled corticosteroids are increasingly being used for the first line management of asthma. Adverse effects such as adrenal suppression and osteoporosis are well documented. Less well recognised adverse effects include glaucoma, skin fragility, acne vulgaris and hirsutism. Be aware of the cumulative effect if co-prescribing various dose forms of corticosteroids such as inhaled, intranasal, oral and topical preparations. The lowest dose necessary to achieve optimal disease control should always be prescribed. Consider monitoring intraocular pressure if prescribing > 1500µg/day inhaled beclomethasone .

Inhaled corticosteroids have been used in the management of asthma for more than 20 years. Treatment is now being advocated earlier in the course of the disease which has led to a considerable increase in the use of inhaled corticosteroids, particularly at higher dosages.1,2Topical corticosteroids are generally preferred to systemic steroids because of enhanced control of local disease and a potential reduction in adverse effects.

How Should I Give It

Side effects and long-term effects of taking Advair/Prednisone/Steroids for Asthma

The dose of this medicine varies for each person. Follow the doctor’s directions exactly. Too much or too little of this medicine can be harmful.

Your child should be awake and alert when taking any medicine. Follow the checked instructions below:

___ If using the liquid form, draw up the correct amount in the medicine dropper or oral syringe. Give a small squirt of the medicine inside the cheek. To avoid choking, let your child swallow each squirt before giving more.

___ For babies, you may want to mix the medicine with a small amount of formula or breast milk and give it with a bottle nipple before a feeding. Do not add medicine to a whole bottle because if your baby does not finish it, you will not know how much of the medicine was taken.

___ If the prescription is a tablet and your child cannot swallow pills, crush it between 2 spoons or inside a plastic bag or folded paper. Mix with a small amount of soft food such as applesauce, yogurt, ice cream, jelly, or chocolate syrup. It does not taste good, so give it quickly and follow with something to drink right away.

Other instructions:

  • rifampin
  • troleandomycin

Check with the doctor, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist before giving any other prescription or non-prescription medicines, herbs, or vitamins.

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Changes In Blood Sugar Levels

You might have regular blood and urine tests to check this. Some people develop diabetes. You might need to have blood sugar lowering treatment. But your sugar levels usually go back to normal shortly after you stop taking steroids.

If you have diabetes already, you might need to check your blood sugar levels more often than usual.

How Steroid Inhalers Work

Steroids are a man-made version of hormones normally produced by the adrenal glands, which are 2 small glands found above the kidneys.

When they’re inhaled, steroids reduce swelling in your airways.

This can help reduce symptoms of asthma and COPD, such as wheezing and shortness of breath.

Steroid inhalers are different to the anabolic steroids that some people use illegally to increase their muscle mass.

Page last reviewed: 15 January 2020 Next review due: 15 January 2023

Read Also: How To Make A Homemade Inhaler For Asthma

I Got Heart Palpitations From Prednisone How Can I Treat That

MakeMeCoffee349376 over a year ago

Hey guys. So a few months ago I started to use one more medicine Prednisone. Doctor prescribed it to me because I had some weird allergic attacks and he told me that this medicine is safe and that I can use it without any fear that this will cancel the effects of the other medications that Iâm taking.

But guess what when I went to a control on regular bases, he told me that I have heart palpitations that is probably caused by using Prednisone.

Well, so much about that how this medication is going to be safe for me.

Can you tell me what I should do now? How to treat that?

Thank you!

The Big Z349328 over a year ago

Hey MakeMeCoffe I am really sorry to hear this. But you are not the only one. My friend was prescribed prednisone for inflammation and he was drinking 50 mg per day. He was feeling OK in the first four or five days but one night he woke up and he noticed that his heart rate is increased. He was feeling really bad and he went to the ER and he had heart palpitations as well. I believe that he told me that doctor gave him antihistamine for this and that he was feeling much better after taking it.

Good luck.

Why Asthma Can Be Worse In Winter And Steps To Manage Attacks

My Love/Hate Relationship With Prednisone

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects nearly 25 million people in America. Its a respiratory disease that makes breathing difficult and often comes with lung spasms, wheezing, and chest tightness.

Your lungs are made of bronchi that transport air to and from your lungs. If you have asthma, your airways are easily inflamed. Inflamed airways swell, closing your breathing passages and making it hard for air to reach your lungs.

Changes in your environment like weather, dust, and smoke can make your lungs extra sensitive. For many asthmatics, winter weather brings more frequent asthma attacks. The doctors at Wasatch Peak Family Practice can help you find an asthma treatment plan that works with your lifestyle.

One of the best things you can do to prevent and manage asthma attacks in winter is to understand your triggers and know your treatment plan. Let us help you understand your asthma and how to control it.

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How To Search The Ultimate List Of Prednisone Side Effects

First, I pulled up the Ultimate List of Prednisone Side Effects at this Link.

Next, I scrolled down to the Search bar, highlighted in yellow below.

I typed in the Search bar the first few letters of the word, Anemia. This narrowed down the list from 128 down to 50 possibilities with an in the entry. This is what it looked like:

After typing all the letters in the whole word, Anemia, it narrowed the list of 128 Common Names of prednisone side effects down to just one, Showing 1 to 1 of 1 entries .

Just The Tip Of The Corticosteroid Iceberg:

These are just a few of the messages that have been posted to our website. At last count there were over 800 comments in the feedback section of this post. Feel free to add your story or comment below.

We find it astonishing that some prescribers do not warn patients about the possibility of psychological side effects brought on by prednisone and friends. Even a short-course of high-dose steroid can precipitate symptoms. And not telling patients about gradual tapering borders on bad medicine. To protect yourself and your loved ones from such medical mistakes we suggest our latest book, Top Screw-ups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them.

Psychological reactions such as insomnia and irritability are common, but they are certainly not the only prednisone side effects. Some of these adverse consequences, such as osteopenia, diabetes or glaucoma, appear only after long-term use of the drug. Others, such as confusion, high blood pressure or a drop in potassium, can occur on a shorter time frame. The most serious prednisone side effects that may happen within a week or two of use are dangerous blood clots , ulcers and infections.

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Prednisone As Asthma Treatment

Prednisone isn’t normally used on a daily basis, but it can help control asthma symptoms when they flare up. There are benefits and risks to consider when taking prednisone, including side effects.

Most people with asthma take daily medications to keep symptoms under control, but this isnt always enough to prevent an asthma attack. Thats when you may need a stronger drug, such as prednisone, a corticosteroid. However, helpful as it is, this asthma treatment is not without side effects.

Prednisone is an oral corticosteroid drug used to treat an asthma attack it is not used as a preventive medication. This asthma treatment works by reducing inflammation in the airways that cause the bronchi to constrict and make breathing difficult.

Are you doing everything you can to manage your asthma? Find out with our interactive checkup.

Prednisone is effective in people with asthma who are having a lot more difficulty controlling their asthma symptoms, whose symptoms have become more varied and frequent, and who have decreased lung function, explains Jonathan Bernstein, MD, an immunologist and professor at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.

The Pros of Using Prednisone for Asthma Treatment

Prednisone can be a huge help for people like Carmen Spence, 30, of Louisville, Ky., who can’t always get relief from frequent-use medications.

The Cons of Using Prednisone for Asthma Treatment

Even in the short term, however, you may experience:

  • Anxiety

Surprised By Prednisone Side Effects:

Prednisone Dose – Normal dose for rheumatoid arthritis? Asthma?

Q. I was prescribed prednisone for sinusitis. It was a nightmare.

I gained weight and my face puffed up. I had strange dreams when I could sleep, which was rare. I became irritable and aggressive. Things that wouldnt normally bother me made me want to scream.

I wish my doctor had warned me about these prednisone side effects in advance so I would have been better prepared.

A. Prednisone is a corticosteroid used to ease a variety of inflammatory conditions ranging from asthma and severe poison ivy to arthritis and lupus.

As useful as it can be for serious health conditions, there is a long list of troublesome side effects. Some of the most common include fluid retention , insomnia, irritability, mood swings, disorientation, high blood pressure, loss of potassium, headache and swollen face.

Long-term complications may include muscle weakness, osteoporosis, cataracts, glaucoma and ulcers. Prescribers and pharmacist should warn patients what to expect in the way of prednisone side effects so they do not suffer in the dark as you did.

Read Also: What’s An Asthma Attack Feel Like

Does Prednisone Have Any Relation To Anemia

I received this email message today and realized that people need to know how to use my Ultimate List of Prednisone Side Effects for themselves!

Hi Dr. Megan,

Curious if Prednisone has any relation to anemia? I havent found anything written about this but curious if you think there is any relation. Ive been on high doses, low doses, high doses etc. of prednisone and currently tapering down . Over the past two months my bloodwork is showing very low iron due to really heavy periods. Im wondering if this could be a side affect of the prednisone. Curious to hear what your thoughts may be on that!

Thank you,

I read her message and wondered myself. I didnt actually know off the top of my head whether or not prednisone had a relation to anemia.

To answer her question, I pulled up the Ultimate List of Prednisone Side Effects. I compiled this from five separate sources, making it the most complete, thorough, and comprehensive list of prednisone side effects out there. I dont have this entire list memorized! Thats why I wasnt sure, off the top of my head, whether or not prednisone had any relation to anemia.

Instead, I rely on this tool I created to help me figure out whether or not anemia is a true prednisone side effect.


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