When can I stop taking prednisone?

When you can stop taking the steroid prednisone depends on why you're taking it and how you respond to the drug. Prednisone can be prescribed for many conditions, and some may require long-term treatment with this drug. However, even if you're taking prednisone for a chronic condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, your doctor may have you discontinue the drug if you have a remission -- meaning that you stop having symptoms for a prolonged period.

Do not stop taking prednisone without talking to your doctor. If you've taken it for more than a few days, your doctor will probably want to taper your doses gradually. Stopping prednisone suddenly may cause a variety of side effects, such as extreme tiredness, weakness, slowed movements, upset stomach, weight loss, changes in skin color, sores in the mouth and a craving for salt.

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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.