Corticosteroids can produce reversible hypothalamic- pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression with the potential for corticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment. Adrenocortical insufficiency may result from too rapid withdrawal of corticosteroids and may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for up to 12 months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. If the patient is receiving steroids already, dosage may have to be increased.
The good news is that this side effect of weight gain tends to reverse when the dosage of prednisone is taken below 10 mg/day. The fluid retention and increased appetite will also decrease as the prednisone is tapered down and discontinued. Any weight gain that happened while taking prednisone, however, will not automatically reverse itself right away. Sticking to a healthful eating plan and getting regular exercise will be needed to take off the pounds. It will be easier to do both of these things when the health problem that led to the prednisone being prescribed is either resolved or under good control.
Prednisone can interact with a number of different drugs, including OTC and some herbal preparations. Let your doctor know about all the medications you take. The most common interactions are with NSAIDs , anti-infectives (such as ciprofloxacin , some HIV medicines ), immune suppressants , diuretics ("water” pills), and anticoagulants (blood thinners), 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 .