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Can Prednisone Cause Insomnia

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Surprised By Prednisone Side Effects:

Q. I was prescribed prednisone for sinusitis. It was a nightmare.

I gained weight and my face puffed up. I had strange dreams when I could sleep, which was rare. I became irritable and aggressive. Things that wouldn’t normally bother me made me want to scream.

I wish my doctor had warned me about these prednisone side effects in advance so I would have been better prepared.

A. Prednisone is a corticosteroid used to ease a variety of inflammatory conditions ranging from asthma and severe poison ivy to arthritis and lupus.

As useful as it can be for serious health conditions, there is a long list of troublesome side effects. Some of the most common include fluid retention , insomnia, irritability, mood swings, disorientation, high blood pressure, loss of potassium, headache and swollen face.

Long-term complications may include muscle weakness, osteoporosis, cataracts, glaucoma and ulcers. Prescribers and pharmacist should warn patients what to expect in the way of prednisone side effects so they do not suffer in the dark as you did.

When You Can’t Sleep Because You’re Too ‘hyped Up’ From Prednisone

I can’t sleep! I am taking a high dose of steroids, prednisone, for my severe asthma… again! I try my very best to control this illness but it just doesn’t happen.

So far this year I have had prednisone for over 50 days! I wish my lungs would settle down and not constantly become inflamed. I religiously follow the medical advice. I never forget my preventer medications! I am not game! I have had too many ambulance rides and hospital admissions to dare miss my medication.

As for exercising! During those 50 prednisone days along with the six days in the hospital so far this year, exercise definitely didn’t and couldn’t happen. It’s a real catch 22! You need to exercise to keep your lungs working and to get rid of all the mucus that collects in them and to prevent the development of pneumonia. But how on earth can you do this when you can’t walk 50 meters without being breathless? Let alone that I also have a shortage of oxygen in my body that makes me lack energy.

Tonight is the third night of sitting up all night with my head being on full alert. I have spent the hours doing things I have been putting off for ages: writing some letters, sewing and reading and doing puzzles. There are lots of other noisy things I’d like to do, e.g. cleaning out some cupboards, something that usually has no appeal whatsoever. Noisy, really active things will just make things worse.

Getty Image by fizkes

Altered Response To Physical Stress

If you take corticosteroids for more than two weeks — even if you then wean yourself off the medication — your adrenal glands may become sluggish, and your body may not be able to respond normally to physical stress. This is called adrenal insufficiency, and it may last up to a year after you stop the medication. It’s potentially life-threatening because you’re not able to respond normally to a serious illness, surgery or an injury. Solution: If you’re taking corticosteroids or have taken them in the past year, be sure to tell your dentist, doctor and any providers treating you in any emergency or during surgery. In such cases, your doctor’s likely to give you supplemental or “stress steroids” to make up for any adrenal insufficiency.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Hyperactivity disorder is a mental sickness of the neurodevelopment type. A person struck with this disorder face problems like excessive activity, or difficulty in controlling behavior which is not appropriate for a person’s age. This kind of serious disorder can be the result of excessive Prednisone; this is one of the serious issues of prednisone side effects in men.

How To Deal With Prednisone

Methylprednisolone insomnia

Prednisone is a corticosteroid available under many different brand names all over the world. The applications of Prednisone are numerous. Its uses cover an impressive range of conditions and ailments, from asthma to cancer, lupus, arthritis, eye problems, skin conditions, multiple sclerosis, and others.

FTC Required Disclosure: I’m an Amazon Associate and an affiliate of eBay and other shopping sites. Any purchase through links in this post may earn me commissions at no extra cost to you.

The pharmacology of this medicine explains why it is useful for the treatment of such a wide range of conditions. It addresses inflammation, reducing it in a two-pronged manner. On the one hand, it attacks inflammation directly. On the other, it suppresses the immune system. Inflammation within the body results from the action of the immune system over a real or perceived infection. As such, it is unsurprising that Prednisone is highly effective against autoimmune conditions.

In this overview, we take a close look at what Prednisone is, how it works and what side effects it produces.

  • The pharmacology of Prednisone explains its effects and side-effects.
  • What are Prednisone’s most significant side-effects?
  • Does Prednisone in particular and corticosteroids in general cause insomnia?
  • What can you do against Prednisone-triggered insomnia.
  • How do users rate the efficacy of this drug for various conditions?

Prednisone Side Effects: Deal With The Devil

Prednisone can be a life saving drug. It saved my sanity when I developed sudden hearing loss in one ear. That was a really scary experience for someone who depends on hearing to be able to do live radio. Being deaf in one ear was incredibly disorienting.

The ear, nose and throat specialist diagnosed my deafness as “idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.” In other words, he didn’t have a clue what caused it. He prescribed high doses of prednisone for a short time and within a few days my hearing returned.

Prednisone Increases Your Risk Of Infection

Infections are more common in people taking prednisone because it suppresses your immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight off infection. In some circumstances, prednisone can help pre-existing infections, particularly those caused by yeasts or fungi, to spread.

Symptoms of an infection may also not be as obvious or typical while you are on prednisone. While you are taking prednisone, you should take common-sense precautions to reduce your risk of infection – such as washing your hands often and avoiding people who are sick, especially those with viral illnesses such as or .

Tell your doctor straight away if you develop any sort of infection, including eye infections or candida infections, while you are taking prednisone.

Stopping The Steroid Abuse Cycle

Steroid abuse is also a challenging cycle. It can be hard to get away from steroids, even though you believe that it is better for your fitness. You can recur and raise your risk of disease or poisoning without medication. There is absolutely no worth the dangers of steroid abuse for the remainder of your life.

Don’t risk your health any longer; contact us today for help finding resources and assistance with security and logistical assistance. Reach out to use on  and get support on steroid abuse.

How To Discontinue Prednisone

Care must be taken when lessening the dosage of prednisone—a patient should not stop taking it suddenly.?? The body stops or decreases its own production of cortisol, and slowly tapering the amount of prednisone taken daily allows the body to begin producing it again on its own.

Tapering the dose of prednisone means lowering the dose by a certain amount every few days or every week. The length of time to taper will depend on the starting dosage, and the amount of time the prednisone has been taken. At higher dosages taken for a long period of time, it may take months to taper down. A short course can be tapered down relatively quickly.

Steroid Psychosis From Prednisone Prescribed For Sinusitis:

Q. I am in very good health except for recurrent sinus infections. Recently, my internist put me on a 12-day tapered course of prednisone.

Within days I thought I was going crazy. I became extremely agitated and irritable and the least little thing set me off. I didn’t sleep for three days, even with sleeping pills. I couldn’t concentrate. My blood pressure soared and I became very fearful.

My doctor never warned me about any of this. Are these normal side effects of prednisone and what will I do if I have to take this drug again?

A. Prednisone and other corticosteroids relieve symptoms from a variety of conditions, including sinusitis. Many people experience severe psychological reactions to high doses of such drugs, however.

Steroid psychosis can cause anxiety, agitation, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes and even serious depression. Some patients may experience memory problems or hallucinations.

Let your doctor know you are susceptible to this kind of reaction. If you ever have to take more than 40 mg of prednisone at a time, you may need medication to counteract the psychiatric side effects.

How Effective Is Prednisone For Various Ailments

One way to subjectively assess the effectiveness of drugs is through patient reviews. What do people say about Prednisone, in the context of various ailments?

Inflammatory conditions represent the primary focus of the drug. At 115 people have provided feedback on Prednisone. The resulting score is a solid 7.5 out of 10.

Based on the reviews, the drug acts quickly for most patients. Those who have only taken it in the short-term do not complain of side effects.

  • One person says his/her neck swelling and pain subsided within two days on Prednisone. This patient did not report any side effects.
  • Another person, who took the drug for optic neuritis, complained of splitting headaches. He/she also listed insomnia, acne, weight loss, dry skin, sinus problems and frequent urination among the side-effects. This patient ended up giving a rating of 1/10 to Prednisone and calling it “an awful drug.”
  • A patient who took Prednisone for droopy eyelid, had stubborn dermatitis clear up as a result of the medication. She paid for it through a bevy of awful side- effects, such as anxiety, acne, headaches, etc.

For Rheumatoid Arthritis, Prednisone obtained a rating of 7.9 out of 10 from users.

  • One patient who took 20mg of Prednisone per day, for advanced RA in the shoulders, wrists, and fingers, noted significant improvement. He/she also reported a series of side effects, including moon face and weight gain.

In regards to asthma, 53 people rated Prednisone 7.0 out of 10.

Side Effects Of Sleeping Tablets

Sleeping tablets can make you feel groggy the next day. Some people describe it as feeling hungover, like after a night of drinking too much alcohol. This feeling should wear off. Other side effects can include: 

  • dizziness, feeling light headed or sleepy
  • finding it hard to concentrate – ‘foggy feeling’
  • clumsiness

You shouldn’t drive or operate machinery if you feel tired, dizzy or unable to concentrate. 

It’s possible to develop a tolerance to sleeping tablets or become dependent on them. 

Tolerance to a drug is when the effects of the drug don’t seem to work anymore, and it feels like it is no longer helping. You may need a higher dose to get the same effect. After a while the higher dose of the drug will start to have less effect, although the side effects of the drug can get worse. 

Dependence on a drug is when you get withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it. Withdrawal symptoms can include: 

  • feeling anxious
  • inability to sleep
  • a jittery, restless feeling

Your doctor will only prescribe a small amount of sleeping tablets and then review how you are feeling. 

Treatments That Can Affect Sleep

Crohnshumor Prednisone: Devil Drug t

The following treatments have the potential to affect sleep.


You may be taking steroids as part of your cancer treatment. Steroids cause sleep disturbance. It can help if you take them in the morning.

Anti sickness drugs 

Some anti sickness drugs can make you feel restless. If this happens, tell your doctor as you might be able to have a different type.

Cancer drugs

Some cancer treatments such as targeted cancer drugs can cause insomnia. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if the drug you are taking can affect your sleep.

Hormone treatment

If cancer or its treatment has affected your hormone levels, or you are taking certain hormone drugs, then you may experience hot flushes and sweats. These can interfere with your sleep. Talk with your doctor if hot flushes are a problem for you.

What Are Other Possible Serious Side Effects And Adverse Events

Other possible serious side effects of .

Prednisone and : Prednisone is associated with new onset or manifestations of latent , and worsening of . Diabetics may require higher doses of diabetes medications while taking prednisone.

Allergic reaction: Some people may develop a severe allergic reaction to prednisone that includes swelling of the airways that may result in shortness of breath or blockage.

Immune suppression: Prednisone suppresses the immune system and, therefore, increases the frequency or severity of infections and decreases the effectiveness of and antibiotics.

: Prednisone may cause that results in of bones. Patients taking long-term prednisone often receive of calcium and vitamin D to counteract the effects on bones. Calcium and vitamin D probably are not enough, however, and treatment with bisphosphonates such as and may be necessary. also is effective. The development of and the need for treatment can be monitored using bone density scans.

Adrenal insufficiency and weaning off prednisone: Prolonged use of prednisone and other causes the adrenal glands to atrophy and stop producing the body’s natural , cortisol.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire prednisone consumer monograph

  • trouble .

Read the entire consumer prednisone drug information

Who Can And Can’t Take Prednisolone

Prednisolone can be taken by adults and children.

Prednisolone isn’t suitable for some people.

Tell your doctor before starting the medicine if you:

  • have had an allergic reaction to prednisolone or any other medicine
  • have an infection
  • are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or you are breastfeeding
  • have recently been in contact with someone with , or
  • have recently had, or are about to have, any vaccinations

Make sure your doctor is aware if you have:

  • had liver problems

What Should You Know About Prednisone Side Effects

There are some key questions you should ask whenever you are handed a prescription. You should know what the drug is and why you are taking it. Find out how to take it and how long to take it. Ask how to stop taking it, as that information is often left out of the discussion and it can be very important.

The most important information, however, is what side effects to expect. You have a right to know what side effects are most common. You might also want to ask about reactions that are rare but deserve immediate medical attention. This reader did not get any advance warning about prednisone side effects.

Morning Dosages Are Usually Best For Prednisone

If you take prednisone on a daily basis, for a long period of time, it can cause adrenal gland suppression. This is when your body stops producing cortisol by itself.

If you are on daily prednisone, experts recommend taking the dose in the morning, to reduce this risk. Taking prednisone too late in the evening can cause sleeplessness and insomnia, too. Make sure you also take your dose of prednisone with food, and just FYI, grapefruit juice has no effect on prednisone.

Prednisone has long-lasting effects and is usually prescribed once daily. Occasionally, people on higher dosages are instructed to take it twice a day for short periods of time before dropping down to just a single dose.

What Are Warnings And Precautions For Prednisone


This medication contains prednisone. Do not take Deltasone, Rayos, Prednisone Intensol, Sterapred, or Sterapred DS, if you are allergic to prednisone or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


  • Avoid use if there are untreated serious infections, documented hypersensitivity, or .
  • Administration of live or  live vaccine and American Academy of Family Physicians  state that administration of live   usually is not contraindicated in patients receiving   as short-term treatment, in low-to-moderate dosages, as long-term alternate-day treatment with short-acting preparations, or in the maintenance of  dosages, such as replacement therapy.

Effects of Drug Abuse

Natural Sleep Aids While Taking Prednisone

Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory drug available only by prescription. It is prescribed for conditions of inflammation such as severe arthritis or psoriasis or in acute conditions such as a respiratory infection. It works as a corticosteroid by blocking some of the body’s response to inflammation but can have side effects including insomnia. When faced with the inability to sleep, many will want to take a natural sleep aid. As with any other supplement or medication, tell your doctor about all medications you are taking before beginning a natural sleep aid.

Prednisone Dose Is Causing Lack Of Sleep

  • Dr. keith Roach

    Dear Dr. Roach • I have a medical condition that currently requires me to take 60 mg of prednisone per day, resulting in insomnia. I get approximately five hours of sleep per night. Sometimes I’m able to take a one-hour nap in the afternoon. Is there anything I can do to reduce the insomnia? — M.H.S.

    Answer • Prednisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-system suppressor that is used for many conditions. It can cause some degree of insomnia in 50 to 70 percent of those who take it, but the higher the dose, the more likely the insomnia.

    It sounds like crazy advice, but many of my patients have had luck following my recommendation to take the prednisone immediately before bedtime. Prednisone takes time to work, and some people are able to fall asleep before the effects of the medicine kick in.

    Unfortunately, others have medical conditions that require them to take prednisone twice daily. This is more effective, but it’s more likely to cause side effects, including insomnia.

    Dear Dr. Roach • I have never had shingles, nor chickenpox. I could find no record of it, even in my baby book. Do I need to have the shingles shot? I am over 70. — C.S.

    How To Cope With Side Effects

    Prednisone crushed $1.23 per tablet

    What to do about:

    • weight gain – try to eat well without increasing your portion sizes so you don’t gain too much weight. Regular exercise will also help to keep your weight stable.
    • indigestion – take prednisolone with food to reduce the chances of stomach problems. It may also help if you avoid rich or spicy food while you’re taking this medicine. If symptoms carry on, ask your doctor if you may benefit from taking an additional medicine to protect your stomach.
    • sleep problems – take prednisolone in the morning so the levels are the lowest at bedtime
    • restlessness – if you’re restless when you’re trying to sleep, take prednisolone in the morning so the levels are the lowest at bedtime
    • sweating a lot – try wearing loose clothing, use a strong anti-perspirant and keep cool with a fan. If this doesn’t help, talk to your doctor as you may be able to try a different medicine.

    What Is The Difference Between Prednisone And Prednisolone

    Both prednisone and prednisolone are man-made glucocorticoids. They are used to treat similar conditions and are generally considered equally effective. However, in people with liver disease, prednisolone is usually preferred. This is because prednisone needs to be converted by liver enzymes into prednisolone before it can work.

    Price wise, prednisone is usually much cheaper than prednisolone.

    Increased Risk Of Infection

    Taking prednisone can increase a person’s chance of getting mild to serious, life-threatening infections. Larger doses increase the risk, especially doses for immunosuppression. Older age and taking other drugs that also suppress the immune system increase the risk. Doses of 10 mg or lower pose the least risk.

    Prednisone May Interact With Some Medicines

    Prednisone can interact with a number of different drugs, including OTC medicines and some herbal preparations. Let your doctor know about all the medications you take.

    The most common interactions are with , , immune suppressants, , and , but there are many more. If you are worried that some of your medicines may be interacting, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Alternatively, you can use our drug interaction checker.

    Cautions With Other Medicines

    There are many medicines that interfere with the way prednisolone works, or that increase the risk of side effects. It’s very important you check a medicine is safe to take with prednisolone before you start taking it.

    This includes some medicines that you buy over the counter like aspirin and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as .

    What Are Common Low Dose Prednisone Side Effects

  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Cataracts
  • Changes in Hair
  • I searched five sources of this data for prednisone lower dose side effects, including those prescription drug references pictured above and . All five sources would include the exact same list, right? I thought they would all say a certain side effect and on all of them. For example, I expected that they’d all say “weight gain,” or they’d all say “,” but that wasn’t true.

    Read more about how I discovered the data that’s missing!

    They didn’t have a consistent list. So when I say it’s from five sources, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every single person is going to have this side effect instead, it just means that for whatever reason, every single list includes this side effect.

    Moon Face

    So moon face is the one that they often had. All of them had five different sources and they had different ways of describing moon face.

    For instance, some of them called it hypercortisolism or they could have called it Cushing syndrome or Cushing’s disease or a cushingoid state and appearance. Another side effect that was listed on all five sources included side effects that have to do with your eyes. So there are the two main ones that we need to be worried about.

    What Is The Connection Between Prednisone And Depression

    Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory that can cause depression as a side effect.

    Prednisone and depression are connected because this anti-inflammatory medication can cause depressive feelings as a side effect. The medication can also lead to , which may be a precursor to depression. Additionally, discontinuing prednisone quickly may cause patients to feel down or without energy. Another possible connection between depression and prednisone is that depressive states may exist with conditions, like , that the steroid treats.

    Discontinuing prednisone quickly might cause patients to feel down or without energy.

    In general, prednisone is known for its action on moods. It can cause mania, rage, and sudden shifts into low moods. Some researchers suggest it can induce bipolar states, which can last as long as patients use the drug. Usually, short-term use of this steroid is more associated with rage, mania or hypomania than it is with low moods. Patients who take this medication for longer periods, such as for chronic conditions, may be more likely to directly experience the connection between prednisone and depression.

    In rare cases, the depressive effects of prednisone can include thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

    Psychological Reactions To Prednisone:

    Many people experience severe psychological reactions to high doses of such drugs. Steroid psychosis can cause anxiety, agitation, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes and even serious depression. Some may experience memory problems or hallucinations. Prednisone side effects can be especially problematic if you are not warned about them in advance!

    Let your doctor know you are susceptible to this kind of reaction. If you ever have to take more than 40 mg of prednisone at a time, you may need medication to counteract the psychiatric side effects.

    If sinusitis is caused by an infection, an antibiotic may be appropriate. Researchers are discovering that an old-fashioned, inexpensive drug such as amoxicillin may be a good choice. Here is an article for more details .

    Read more information and testimonials about how prednisone side effects can affect you at this link. And remember, to learn about medications that can cause insomnia, check out our eGuide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep and our suggestions. 

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