Anyone on Prednisolone tablets ?: Just been prescribed... - NRAS


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Anyone on Prednisolone tablets ?

Shyandretiring profile image

Just been prescribed Prednisolone steroid tablets.

The side effects look horrendous plus weight gain !

Do they work for the pain ?

57 Replies

Yes if you are steroid responsive they will reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation. For me the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages in the short term. But I do mean short-term! It doesn't reduce the long term effects of having Rheumatoid Disease and the possible other effects are not good.

Yes they work very well for me and I could not have managed without them whilst we were trying to find the right long term RA treatment for me.

They reduce inflammation, pain and fatigue and should make you feel a lot better very quickly. But yes there are side effects and weight gain can be one of them. But if you’re in agony, and can hardly move, as I was, you don’t really have any choice! You have to come off them again very slowly so follow your Rheumy’s advice.

Be sure to get a blue Steroid warning card to keep in your purse or put on your phone screen that you take steroids.

Hi,I ,ive been on oral steroids for two a day half years.they are for a chronic lung disease,probably caused by autoimmune conditions,including rheumatoid athritis.

It helps keep my lung disease under control,along with other medications. I think it helps the auto immune conditions as well.

I haven’t put on weight,rather have lost it,but I don’t know why ?

Have you tried over the counter pain relief for your pain ? If it doesn’t work,perhaps you could ask your GP for something which would help you..

It’s frightening reading drug leaflets about side effects.they have to put every possible side effects in the leaflet.

You have to weigh up the Risks and benefits of medication. Ie will it help?

Will it make me feel any better?

I really used to worry about the steroids,now after 2 trials of reducing them,which have both failed,I accept that I have to keep taking them to stay as well as possible.

I hope you get some relief from the pain .

ks1966 profile image
ks1966 in reply to Oshgosh

Hello. Do you mind sharing the dose with me? And is it brochiectasis? Thanks

Oshgosh profile image
Oshgosh in reply to ks1966

It’s 10 mgm daily,when it returns to normal. Next week.My diagnoses are Interstitial. Lung. Disease,also auto immune conditions.

Apparently when they try to reduce my steroids below 10 mgm daily.

It affects the gas exchange badly,making me more breathless

I really hope it all goes well for you, you poor thing .X

I was on these as a short-term measure while waiting for diagnosis and they were great. I had no side effects other than feeling very upbeat. My GP did say that they could affect mood either positively or negatively so I was one of the lucky ones! When I was waiting for my DMARDS to kick in, my rheumy gave me a steroid injection rather than tablets so I only had the one short course of tablets.

Thanks BLI think I will give these a miss and secif the MX eventually kicks in.

I had a steroid injection at the start of all this and I had horrendous nightmares and night sweats so maybe steroids are not for me.

Kind regards


Yes I am, about 8 years now. Mostly though, due to side more serious effects at higher doses in the long term, they are prescribed acutely in RD, to bring inflammation & pain down rapidly. The first time I had them was when I was diagnosed, as a bridging med whilst waiting for my DMARD to work. That was deflazacort but for the past 6 years or so (when I was tapering the dose) I've been taking prednisolone. Nowadays it's only a maintenance dose, low by comparison. I don't have, or ever had, any side effects from them though I am prescribed a prophylactic calcium/Vitamin D med & have DEXA scans to keep an eye on my bone density/estimated fracture risk. In common with any other med it's not always a given you'll have any side effects, but I always read the patient information leaflet before starting any, just so I’m prepared should I have an adverse reaction to it.

The way they work is by reducing inflammation, which in turn reduces pain. So if you respond well you should notice an improvement in pain pretty quickly, certainly within a week, often it's within a day or so.

Thanks you nmhNot convinced just yet !


You're on a low dose for a short time so there's less chance of having issues with them. Remember though, no different to any med we take for RD it is very individual. It's when you're taking corticosteroids for a lengthy amount of time or at high doses that it tends to alter your metabolism making you feel unnaturally hungry. It also changes how you produce glucose & salt so it helps to avoid sugary foods & carbohydrates, again only necessary if you notice you're adding some pounds. That said some people lose weight, so you see it can have the opposite effect. In all the time I’ve taken it I’ve put very little weight on, & what I have I put down to being post menopause.

I know it can be difficult, you're relatively newly diagnosed & if you've never had the need for regular meds it's always going to be a consideration when a new one is prescribed but it is only for a short time. Prednisolone is intended to being down inflammation, & pain, & to help minimise joint destruction & make you more comfortable. So please, don't let the thought of side effects you may not have stop you from taking a med that will give positive results. 😊

Thank youI started taking them yesterday ! Here goes ...

If you can bite the bullet & cope without will be very glad in the long run.But sometimes steroids are unavoidable in the short term...the trouble is if you get relief from pain quickly with no side effects is only human nature to keep on taking the Pred.

Thankfully I didn’t have to make the choice....the side effects caused central nervous system my rheumy stopped prescribing them....& all those years ago I thought no more of it.....& I’m still standing...just!

Good for you !I will take for 6 weeks and then see if it has any effect.

Day 2 now and nothing yet !

Never read side effects lol! Joking xx But steroids are anti inflammatory drugs so cut down the inflammation from RA and other illnesses. Therefore you get less pain and swelling which is most helpful when you are waiting on starting new drugs to control your ra long term.

I think weight gain is as you feel hungrier on the drugs, to just watch your portions and also if you are in pain you tend to move around less thus gaining weight. So steroids help you move around.

For me they are always a miracle , i take them when prescribed, happily !

Thanks allanahReally is that where the weight gain thing comes from, interesting ...

As you know we are not doctors on here but its what i personally blame x

How long a course have you got? If it’s just a short course, I wouldn’t worry too much x

Deeb1764 profile image
Deeb1764 in reply to LoneEra

I agree with this as you need something to assist you and the pain and short term is worth it! I am reducing from 30mg long term as so many adverse reactions and yes weight gain BUT this was high doses and long term and now following a WW plan. But I need the steroids for RA and asthma I could not have got thro it all without. Now down to 7mg

Hi Deeb1764I am taking 15 mg for 2 weeks

10mg for 2 weeks & 5 mg for the final 2 weeks. = 6 weeks.

Kind regards


Not too bad !! Hope they help xx

Thank you allanah xx

Hi LoneEra6 weeks, which seems short now I am writing it down !

Ah, not too bad! Just see how it goes. I’d recommend keeping a little diary of any symptoms and chatting with your GP if you’re not happy about anything. Really hope they help you xx

Yes good idea.I actually do keep a diary !

Yes you have been prescribed a short course to tide you over until the MTX is working fully, and it can take 6 weeks. So do take them and you will feel so much better. Just be careful to not give in to the munchies if you get them!!

Ha haEasier said than done !!!

It’s odd how people react. I have taken courses of oral pred when things are bad and it’s magic re the pain, but messed up my head and gave me nightmares and night sweats (never take it in the evening!). But injected it is completely different for me with no negative side effects.

The oral and injectable forms are slightly different steroids so yiu may not react to one the way you do to another.

Thank you HH

I had high dose for AKI and saw the Renal dietician he said that its not what you eat that puts on the weight with steroids but the way they alter the bodies way of metabolising food. I'm not sure what that meant but was told try not to worry it does come off. And it did and I'm talking about 100 mg a day for 6 months so had moon face etc. For RA I've always had injections which were great including on a cruise ship when an ankle blew up like a ballon.

Thank you Medway-ladyOk you have put me at ease over the weight issue.

How does it come off after steroids ?

Knip profile image
Knip in reply to Shyandretiring

You generally speaking, feel much more energetic on them and they will reduce the pain in almost all cases. They have helped me in the past. Sometimes the weight gain is due to fluid retention. My youngest son has just started a six week course to calm down his symptoms so he is currently having them alongside his which he has been on for many years.

Shyandretiring profile image
Shyandretiring in reply to Knip

Thank you KnipSorry to hear about your youngest son though, how old is he ?

ks1966 profile image
ks1966 in reply to medway-lady

Hi. Is it 100mg a day or 10? Thanks

medway-lady profile image
medway-lady in reply to ks1966

I had 100mg so ten tablets daily so it was a high dose but it was not for RA but an Acute Kidney Injury. It was reduced over time so 60mg daily after a month then down by 10's to 10mg daily over months then 5mg a day for a month until going down by 1mg a day till Zero. It was hard for me to come off so could only do slowly but to be honest your not taking that amount so may not happen to you at all. Less time on I think means less time to come down. I was so ill it didn't really matter and I had to take them. Ones I've taken for RA had far less affects and were not such a large dose or for as long. I'd take them again if needed.

ks1966 profile image
ks1966 in reply to medway-lady

Tks 🙏

You just go back to eating carefully and less and like any diet it comes off but when taking them make sure you don't overload on fries, donuts etc as that will make it harder.

Thank you M-LVery much appreciated.

Will do .

Prednisilone has been my saviour over the past few years, it has given me back a degree of mobility and pain relief with no side effects. Having been a healthy weight pre diagnosis , I gained 5 and a half stone when I became unwell and have taken it all off again when on prednisolone.

It has worked for me when nothing else has.

All medications have side effects, not just prednisilone. There really is no need to be afraid.

It's my magic drug. Gave me my life back. About weight gain... Just be careful. Stay away from fried foods, carbs, sugar, and especially salt bc you'll retain water and blow up. I already have a big appetite so this increasing my appetite has made it harder for me to control my eating but still... It has been a life saver for me and prefer it over any other RA drugs bc I experience the least amount of side effects. There's no reason to fear this one as most people do well and the difference in pain is so significant with it. Just my humble opinion

Thank you JesnaskahI will watch what I eat as we travel along this road, but if the pain stops or subsides then it is worth taking a chance on it.

Thank you


You are so welcome. Best wishes!!

It's not uncommon to be prescribed them periodically to help when RA gets quite 'angry' it just calms thing down quickly until things get back on track during a flare up. I'm always hesitant when I've been given them but soon benefit after a few days but I've only ever been given them for short periods at a time.

Thank you Gladders

Hi ..I was also like you very wary ,(I am wary of all drugs to be honest) however I became so unwell and swollen last year out of the blue I had little choice but to take steroids as nothing else was getting the swelling down..

I was put on a low-ish dose short course 15mg and I was shocked at how much better I felt miraculously (though far from recovered) very quickly ..within hours in fact.

What did happen was that I struggled to come off them and ended up having to go back on a very low dose 5mg and repeated taper attempts from that for 8 months..However,I never had any real adverse affects from them at all.They made me smell a bit weird for some reason?👀 lol but that was it.I also lost over a stone and a half during that ttime.we are all different and react differently to things but in my case,I wouldn't be scared to take a low dose course again if I really had to.

And like I said I don't like meds.x

Knip profile image
Knip in reply to bonsgirl78

I've never heard of anyone smelling through them before, so hope it didn't put off your friends...but the googly eyes you posted with your answer made me chuckle! You obviously have a good sense of humour. Take care.

bonsgirl78 profile image
bonsgirl78 in reply to Knip

Haha we have to have a sense of humour don't we when we live with so many difficulties.

The smell was just a weird pungent chemical smell that came out in my sweat ..I've had it before with other things too.A general anasthetic i had once made me stink for months 😂 my body is very sensitive to drugs what can I say 🤷‍♀️😁

Knip profile image
Knip in reply to bonsgirl78

I'm in stitches now bonsgirl78! What can you say? I shouldn't think you'd have anyone near enough to say anything to them! Keep on seeing the funny side. Laughter really does help us to cope. Hope you get it all sorted out soon. God Bless.😄 Take care and stay safe.

Thank you bonsgirl78I hope they work aas well for me, but without the weird smell I hope, but how did you know ?

^^^^^ 🙂

WowThank you for the heads up, at least I am aware now.

Kind regards



I've been on prednisolone for 40 yrs now, and now on a low dose of 3 mg a day, but I couldn't have done without them, yes all drugs have side effects, I tend not to read them 😁 as for the weight gain if your on a large dose they make you very hungry, but not on a small dose, best wishes Sarah

I’ve been taking it for many years and have tried to get off it about 5 times without success because of horrendous problems. It can be wonderful when first taken with me I had no side effects, but I wish I had stopped taking it the first time I tried. I had no known problems with weight, but a sister-in-law did. I would if known of the future problems have taken it for 1/2 years then reduce slowly to nil. I blame the consultants and doctors for not pointing out the long term effects. Now I’m in 24/7 pain and can’t do without it.

bonsgirl78 profile image
bonsgirl78 in reply to ATSF

Totally agree with you ,get off it as quick as possible.It took me some attempts as well but I got there.x

Hi Shyandretiring

You've had lots of excellent insights and replies from various members, and I can only really echo what's been said.

I've been on Prednisolone continuously now for 28 years - since I was 24. My original rheumatologist wanted to put me on them at 15 as nothing was working, but I was adamant I wouldn't! Eventually I developed serious eye complications so I didn't really have a choice.

For most people nowadays the docs seem to mainly use them as a short-term stop gap whilst waiting for something else to kick in. This seems reasonable as they really can help. A six week course (although understandably daunting for you), isn't a long-term dose so I imagine it's unlikely you will experience the long-term side effects. Yes, I do have some of these side effects by now, (stress fractures, thin skin, moon face, etc), but that's after a long time and it has been a case of the benefits outweighing the risks.

Allanah's description of the weight issues is the same as my experience. Just try not to eat too much if you do feel hungrier. It does tend to come off afterwards though. I've known people in the past to have two "wardrobes" an on steroid one, and an off steroid one!! Forward thinking, eh?!😁 Again, that was only people who were on and off them regularly not just on a short course.

I think I've come to terms with them being something of a necessary evil now - can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em!


I would see they are a miracle tablet , just don’t get fixed on them.

I’m on as needed 5mg tabs. I take one maybe once. a month as I try to not take them as well due to weight gain. I have no other side effects. It’s helpful when my Tylenol 1000mg does not cut it.

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