Why I HATE Prednisone

Hate is a strong word. I reserve it for a few people, places and things. Prednisone is on that short list. Let me say first, that I have to take it at least 3 times a year for major asthma flare ups and sinus infections. It’s been a lifelong love/hate relationship. Prednisone is a miracle drug when you need it. The side effects are horrible!!!

For those of you who have taken it, you know. The doctors and pharmacists will typically warn you that it can cause mood swings, irritability, excessive hunger, bloating, increased blood sugar levels and to definitely take it in the morning because it increases your energy level. Great list of side effects, right?!

When you’re in significant pain or can’t breathe the side effects are well worth it…. until the symptoms go away and you’re still on the taper for a few more days and all the side effects kick in.

My allergist told me he got so frustrated while taking prednisone that he threw his car keys and broke the fob. Yeah…. a $200 fix for a medication side effect. This man is the epitome of patient and gentle.

Now let’s talk about me. I just listed the side effects a minute ago. Don’t those sound an awful lot like mania? Yup! They sure do. Prednisone is notorious for bringing on a manic episode in a person with bipolar disorder. Sure ’nuff… every fucking time I take it I have at least one anger outburst that’s totally outside of the norm along with a few days of excessive energy.

The hardest part about it all… is it’s totally out of my control. Prednisone is a steriod which is naturally occurring in the body which is at least tripled in order to have therapeutic benefits. We’ve all heard the stories about athletes taking steroids and their out of control behavior.

It’s really sucky!!! I work really hard to stay in balance and keep things in check. With the prednisone on board, there is nothing I can do to stop the effects or control them. I have to ride it out and clean up the messes as they occur. I have to warn everyone around me that I’m starting the medication so they know ahead of time that I may be really mean or have an emotional meltdown totally out of nowhere.

I think it would be hard for anyone to need to do this. What makes it especially hard is that I already have a mood disorder which causes all of these same behaviors and I work to manage the symptoms and my life to reduce the effects. Having a medical condition which requires me to put myself intentionally into a mental state where I’m going to be out of control for a while is why I hate the medication.

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