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Can PREDNISOLONE cause weight gain, facial hair, fatty neck?

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My newish rheumotologist had me on prednisone from Nov. until now. I went as high as 20 what on 10 for a long time (1 or 2 months) and have finally tapered to 5. During that time I have had 3 back spasms, one when I forgot to take my prednisone sent me to physical therapy. I now have cataracts, which no one in my family has ever had and I have gained weight, facial hair and a fatty looking neck.

When I went to see my doc for my last check, he asked, "Why have you been on prednisone so long?" Also, at one point he asked me how much Arava, I was taking 10 or 20? I replied 20. Later, when the Arava started interacting negatively with my Amitiza, I asked if I could go down to 10. He acted like this was a crazy idea, if that is so why did he ask me at one point if I was on 10 or 20 when he is the prescriber?

What do you think of this situation, if this was your daughter? And, are any of these side effects reversable, I am especially concerned about my spine.

Category: Endocrinologist

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Category: Diabetologist
 27 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at
Steroids used for long term do cause these changes in bone, osteoporosis, muscle wasting, fat deposition, hair growth etc. BP and sugar levels may rise too. After stopping steroids, you need to check if you are producing enough cortisol or else you need supplement. Calcium and Vit D should be taken. Fat deposition will reduce, hair growth will improve but effect on bone persists to a great extent.
Feel free to discuss further.

Patient replied :

1. Since my back has had spasms on three ocassions coming off the prednisone do I need to be concerned?
2. How do I know if it was negligent to be on steroids so long, given my doctor said, "Why have we had you on steroids so long?"

Please get your bone density done.

Dr. J Muthukrishnan
Category: Diabetologist
1. 10th Asia-Pacific Pediatric Endocrine Society  Fellows meeting, Seoul, Korea, Oct 2008
2. Eighth ICMR Course on Genetics and Genetic Counseling – Jul 2008 – SGPGI, Lucknow
3. Annual Certificate Course on Endocrinological Laboratory Techniques at National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR) Hyderabad,India, ( Aug-Sep 2006) 
Fellowship: Endocrinology, Diplomate of National Board, National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, 2008, Medwin Hospital, Hyderabad
Senior Residency: Diplomate of National Board (General Medicine), National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, 2002
Residency: MD, General Medicine, 1997-2000, Armed Forces Medical College, 2nd position in University
Medical School: MBBS, Armed Forces Medical College, 1992
Dr. J Muthukrishnan and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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