Long term usage or high doses can lead to many side effects including weight gain, mood swings, increased hair growth, bone density loss, facial mooning, acne, night sweats, headaches, lower resistance to infections, increased eye pressure, depression, and many more too numerous to mention. Each of these can have profound psychological effects on patients who have no choice but to take prednisone for their inflammatory bowel disease.
Mood swings and depression are especially damaging to a patient with inflammatory bowel disease. Depression further alienates the patient who may already feel very much alone due to the illness which may affect treatment or the patient’s ability to get and remain on a treatment program. Mood swings can have devastating effects such as increased anger taken out unknowingly upon friends and loved ones at a time when a Crohn’s patient needs all the support available.
Bone density loss can lead to brittle bones subject to breaking more easily if not caught early or by using preventative measures such as taking calcium with vitamin D supplements. If not detected early, drugs like fosamax which help the body absorb calcium may be necessary. What young man or woman wants to worry about bones breaking?
Increased facial hair can have negative ramifications for women while acne can also damage the psyche in those who are prescribed prednisone. Prednisone users also must be wary of infections as the medication lowers the body’s resistance. Vigilant monitoring is necessary or a seemingly simple infection could lead to dire consequences.
Other side effects affecting the skin include thinning of the skin and the body bruising more easily. Many patients get large bruises on their body and have no idea how it happened. Prednisone can also lead to an increase in the eye pressure which may cause eye damage. Drugs like trusopt can help control eye pressure but this is just one more worry and drug to take for the patient.