Can prednisone worsen my high blood pressure?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
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.

Anyone who takes prednisone should have his or her blood pressure monitored regularly. That is especially true for folks like you with high blood pressure. While it is certainly a good idea to have your doctor do this, now might be a good time to buy a blood pressure monitor and use it to check your pressure at home. You should also be aware of the symptoms of dangerously high blood pressure— severe headache, blurred vision, or confusion—and seek medical attention right away if you notice one of them. Fortunately, severe elevations of blood pressure related to prednisone are rare.

If prednisone does boost your blood pressure, your doctor may adjust your blood pressure medications. Cutting back on salt in your diet and exercising more can help, too. Finally, reducing the amount of prednisone you take to the lowest dose that controls your symptoms can also help bring your blood pressure back to where it was before you started taking this medication.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.