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Readers Respond: Did Prednisone Cause You to Gain Weight? How Did You Deal With It?

Responses: 263

By

Updated July 15, 2009

Increased appetite and weight gain are two of the common side effects associated with prednisone use -- especially long-term or high-dose prednisone. While the amount of weight may vary, most patients taking prednisone will experience some weight gain.

Prednisone can cause a redistribution of body fat to the face, back of the neck, and abdomen. The weight gain and redistribution is undesirable, to say the least. Chronic use of oral corticosteroids or frequent IM injections can also increase adipose tissue (type of connective tissue that contains stored cellular fat). How did you deal with weight gain from prednisone?

prednisone and weight gain

I have graves disease and i am currently on prednisone for my inflammed eyes. It has been 30 days and i have gained 10 pounds. I am determined not to gain anymore. The biggest thing is to change my eating habits and exercise. I no what this steroid can do to my body....i have to exercise as much as i can without becoming stressed out about the situation. And the full moon face, well it will be there until my thyroid levels balance out. When u have lemons... make lemonade!!!!!
—Guest kisha

just started...

I have just been prescribed the steroid because I had bad headaches,,the hospital said it was temporal arteritis but didn't do any checks to confirm it.... I have actually felt worse since taking them,,and have only been on 30mg since Tuesday last week,,I have read everyones comments and am now worried about continuing with them..I felt better before I had them,,when is the soonest you can stop taking them,,and although I have only taken them since Tuesday,,will I have to wean off them over a period of time, I am now worried about continuing with them..........
—lynjw

Pmr

I have Polymyalgia. I was diagnosed just after Christmas 2013. I was put on 20mg of prednisolone. I gained weight very fast. My normal weight is 120lb but in 6 months have gone up to 144lb. May not seem a lot to heavier people but I am only 4'11'' so it really is very difficult. Never had to watch what I eat so finding it difficult being hungry all the time and gaining so much. Moon face fat neck at least 3 chins and a stomach bigger than when I carried any mof my 6 children. I am going down 1mg every 4 weeks and am now down to 8mg. I did have a relapse and had to go back to 15mg when the pain kicked in so I'm hopeful that this time I can get a lot lower. I have started taking Berocca, it's full of the vitamins needed to stay healthy and although it doesn't work for everyone it's working for me. My energy level and get up n go are gradually coming back so hopefully I can start to exercise again. Polymyalgia affects every muscle in the body with excrutiating pain so exercise is needed.
—Guest terri

Organ Transplant 5yrs ago Wgt problems

I have been on pred for 5 years and will be on for life. I have gained @30 pounds and cannot get it off. I have had a personal trainer for 4 years now( 2xwk) no weight loss. It is hard to keep motivated, but I would be far heavier. I have the weight all around the mid section and lower belly fat, also in my upper arms. It is very embarrassing to go to the gym and people look at me like I must eat like a pig, because I should be less for how much I work out. I am only 48 years old and hate to look in the mirror. I used to be @ 135 at 5'2 there is nowhere to hide the chubbies. Well I am healthy and very fortunate to be alive, but it certainly makes you feel just terrible about yourself. Especially at weddings, and social gatherings. It is difficult and no the doctors do not tell you to expect that, only after you have the weight gain and other lovely things. Well, chin up and celebrate life somehow. Find the beauty each day.
—Guest Daisy

Took prednisolone for 3 months

I was put on 50mgs of prednisolone for 3 months and I gained over 3 stone that was 2 years ago I'm no longer taking the drug but I can't lose the weight either despite the diets n exercise it isn't budging I'm 32 n have acne because of it I'm so depressed and the damn doctors won't help me at
—Guest Tracy

Ms.

I have gained 50 lbs on prednisone,what can I do to shed these pounds? Nothing has worked for me!
—Guest Velvie Adams

Ms.

I have gained 50 lbs on prednisone,what can I do to shed these pounds? Nothing has worked for me!
—Guest Velvie Adams

Asthma

100 pounds overweight and arthritis in my knees so I am NOT able to exercise. I be in pain every day -- need help bad if someone can help me. I am very depressed because I'm not able to do the things I like to do.
—Guest Regina Bradley

Pain I can take, not this

I was put on Prednisone for rheumatoid arthritis, and was 158, priding myself I was losing weight (I'd been at 165 for years). I gained 10 lbs in the first month! I kept reducing what I ate (though I felt hungry all the time) and trying to exercise, but still bloated up. I felt nauseous all the time, bloated, etc. Self-tapered even though my rheumatologist told me I should stay on it for "the rest of your life." Heh, I've had bone and joint issues all my life. I can deal with pain. What I can't deal with is not being able to tie my shoes without a struggle. I finally got down to 2.5 Mg a day and kicked it after 6 months, at 189 lbs. Withdrawal was the worst 24 hours of my life. Every bone in my body hurt, all my muscles contracted and I was in agony. I have NEVER been in such pain! And for the next 3 days, I could barely lift a coffee cup. It was a major act of will to go to the bathroom. I will NEVER go on Prednisone again! Ever! I'm now taking 20 Mg of Astaxanthin a day, feel great!
—Guest Jilara

Gained 15 lbs. and Triglycerides doubled

I have been on the prednisone roller-coaster since 2010. Irecenly went thru 2 rounds of it for different things. I have gained 10-15 lbs. My triglycerides have jumped from 76 to 132. It has done wonders for my ear nose and throat , and hay fever. I want to know when the side effects will subside.
—Guest Theodora

Age and weight

I have been on and off prednisone for 5 years in that time, I have gained 60 pounds. I watch what I eat work out like crazy lose maybe 10 - 15 pounds, just in time to need another round of prednisone which causes me to gain the weight I lost plus more. The constant hunger is unbearable. No matter how hard I try I end up giving in by the 8th day. I try to tell people the frustration of the weight in areas I have never had fat before. It's like I threw on a fat coat. I am athletic people are always amazed at my strength because the weight makes me look like I never work out. I think in my case between premenopause and high stress levels causing cortisol levels to increase, I have a triple whammy working against me. I try to eat healthy, I take brewers yeast to help with sodium intake. Has anyone besides the clean eaters found a way to keep the weight off?
—kyall99

Alive and Kicking Part 2

Hi again. Just to update my progress with NMO; all is well. Dr still tapering pred' so happy to be slowly ridding it out of my system. But honestly, without it I wouldn't be here chatting to you guys. I would be paralyzed or blind or both or dead. Anyway he's weaning me off it. I'm on 30/15/30 at the moment (in the meantime I'm on hold at 30/15/30; I'll explain later) Then I go to 30/10/30, then 30/5/30, then 30 miss a day 30. Weird huh. Anyway, last time I spoke I was 100kg then I put on another 4kg (what a hippo) and now yippee I'm down to 98kg. I'm not eating like a cavewoman anymore BUT still have to take care what goes in mouth. I'm on Imuran as well but had to temporarily cease, as my liver was struggling a tad. So my next visit to the GP if my liver enzymes have settled she will resume the Imuran and can resume my taper, woohoo!! I've recently returned to work fulltime; done me the world of good. I'm not thinking about my weight as much. Oh, that dreaded buffalo hump it's GONE
—Guest Vicki

Neva again!

I was on prednisone 40 mg for almost five months. Never Again! I'm putting that in a living will. The drug made me feel like I was on my death bed. My Crohn's disease took a major toll on me. But that prednisone ... It made me feel so awful.... I never realized the true extent of how bad it was until I stopped it. I gained roughly 35 lbs as well. And most of it was in my upper torso, including my face and neck. My face looked like a puffer fish. That medicine is worse than dealing with my disease. I'm now going for biologic infusion treatments and having no side effects. On prednisone I had almost every side effect on the bad long - term use side effect list. My neck is so huge I wonder if it will ever look normal again?? I look in the mirror and cry sometimes. A person in chronic pain doesn't need MORE depression.
—Guest Dmarie26

Polymyalgia

I have polymyalgia and have been on prednisone for a year so far, down from 20 mg. to 4 mg. Have put on 34 lbs. but feel this was a miracle drug for me. Have no appetite and eat very little and am hoping my weight come off or down. Told to drink lots of water and exercise. This is hard because I have other medical problems plus being in my 80s. Am waiting. Up from 135 to 154.
—Guest Sophie

Prednisone

Prednisone, every time I've taken it, has made me gain weight. Granted, I'm sure this is partially due to the severe increase in my appetite...very frustrating. I have just tried to workout, but most days I feel/ felt like I couldn't workout enough to compensate for the food that I was intaking. An extremely frustrating vicious circle that comes with the all too well known Prednisone.
—Guest salcedo

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