What are the side effects of long-term prednisone use?

Side effects of long-term use of the steroid prednisone include an increased risk of eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma. Long-term use can also raise your risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which your bones become brittle and your risk of fractures increases.

If you use prednisone for a long time, you may notice abnormal hair growth, thinning of your skin, acne, a loss of muscle mass and a change in the way your body fat is distributed. If you drink alcohol along with using this medication for a long time, you have an increased risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding in the digestive tract.
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Common side effects of long-term prednisone use at higher dosage levels include: depression, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes and even psychotic behavior; high blood pressure; diabetes; peptic ulcers; acne; excessive facial hair in women; muscle cramps and weakness; thinning and weakening of the skin; osteoporosis; and susceptibility to the formation of blood clots. Unfortunately, every single one of prednisone's side effects, both short- and long-term, can occur in our bodies due to excessive cortisol secretion.

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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.