Home » Drug Addiction » Prednisone Detox: What to Expect and How to Kickstart Your Recovery
Prednisone is prescribed to treat many conditions related to immune system overactivity and inflammation. As such, it is not the type of medication typically associated with withdrawal.
Regrettably, if you have been using this medication long-term, abruptly discontinuing use can trigger intensely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This guide outlines how to counteract prednisone side effects with a tapered reduction in dosage.
Prednisone is a corticosteroid, a cortisone-like medication that acts on the immune system. The medication helps to reduce itching, redness, swelling, and allergic reactions. Prednisone is prescribed for individuals with low levels of cortisol, a hormone that occurs naturally in the body.
The prescription medication is available in these formulations:
All forms of prednisone should be taken orally after eating.
Immediate-release tablets of prednisone are available in generic form in the United States. Delayed-release tablets are available in generic or branded form (Rayos).
Prednisone has a mechanism of action that impacts the immune system, triggering the presentation of many potential side effects. The drug reduces inflammation and can be used as either an anti-inflammatory agent or an immunosuppressive agent.
Prednisone in delayed-release form is approved by the FDA to treat various conditions, including:
This medication is sometimes prescribed to alleviate organ rejection after a kidney transplant. Prednisone can reduce immune system response to the transplanted kidney.
Although it is not a controlled substance, prednisone is not available in the U.S. without a supporting prescription.
Most of the common side effects triggered by prednisone are mild, especially when small doses of the medication are used short-term. Side effects may last a few days, or they may persist for a few weeks. If the side effects do not dissipate after a few weeks, or if they worsen, consult your prescribing physician.
Women and more likely than men to experience side effects after taking prednisone.
The most reported prednisone side effects are:
Don’t Let Prednisone Addiction Hold You Back
The most serious side effects typically occur if prednisone is taken in larger doses, or if the medication is taken long-term. These include:
Prednisone withdrawal differs from withdrawal from addictive drugs. Detoxing from the medication does not cause psychological cravings, but it is disruptive to physical functioning.
The most common symptoms of prednisone withdrawal include:
Symptoms may vary in intensity and duration, lasting from a few days to a few months after discontinuing use. The duration and severity of prednisone withdrawal symptoms typically correlate with the dose and duration of prednisone use. If you’re concerned about how to manage prednisone withdrawal, reaching out to a qualified detox center will provide you with the resources and support to help you withdraw comfortably.
Prednisone is classified as a glucocorticoid, a synthetic steroid that is similar to cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that is sometimes referred to as the stress hormone.
In addition to managing stress, cortisol is also used by the body to regulate blood pressure and heart rate.
In the absence of medication, your body will maintain consistent levels of cortisol. If you take a medication like prednisone, though – especially when taken long-term – your body will cut back on cortisol production to compensate. When you stop taking the medication, your body will be unable to produce enough cortisol for days or even weeks after discontinuing use. During this period, you will be suffering from adrenal insufficiency.
Prednisone’s half-life (amount of time before half the drug leaves your body) is about 2-3 hours. However, it may take a few days or more for the drug to completely leave your system.
While most prednisone side effects typically go away on their own after stopping the drug, it’s essential to reach out to a doctor if you continue to experience symptoms after discontinuing use.
Taking prednisone can be hard on the body because of it’s immune-suppressing effects. While the drug can be extremely helpful as a treatment, it’s also important that your doctor monitors your health as the risk of infection and illness increases while on the drug.
While prednisone withdrawal is not as severe as withdrawal from opioids, benzos, or stimulants, symptoms can still be distressing. Some of the most effective strategies for recovering safely from prednisone withdrawal include:
If you have been using prednisone for less than three weeks, your prescribing physician may advise that a tapered reduction in dosage is unnecessary. Those who have been taking prednisone for a year, by contrast, may require a taper that takes two months or more.
A tapered withdrawal is not something to be conducted without medical supervision. While withdrawing from prednisone, you need to give your adrenal glands time to recalibrate and increase production of cortisol.
By engaging with a supervised medical detoxification at a licensed medical detox center, you can initiate a prednisone detox under optimum conditions. We can help you get through prednisone side effects of detox safely and comfortably at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California.
By heading to Gratitude Lodge in Southern California to kickstart your recovery from prednisone, you can benefit from a supervised medical detox in a luxury beachside setting. Your treatment team can conduct a tapered reduction in your dosage, prescribing medications to mitigate withdrawal symptoms.
Once you have detoxed, you can transition into an ongoing inpatient or outpatient treatment program. If you have developed substance use issues or mental health issues while using prednisone, you can address these in one of the following programs:
Your treatment team will help you to unpack all your issues with mental health and addiction through a personalized array of the following interventions:
When you are ready to withdraw from prednisone safely and comfortably, reach out for professional help by calling Gratitude Lodge at 888-861-1658.
Drug and alcohol detox should be accessible to everyone. At Gratitude Lodge,we work with most insurance plans to cover the costs of treatment.
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