Is It Normal To Sweat More While On Prednisone?

Prednisone is a synthetic medication commonly used to treat various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, per the Cleveland Clinic. It belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids, which mimic the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal gland. Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune system, so they're helpful in treating conditions caused by a faulty immune response. Conditions that might be treated with prednisone include serious allergic reactions, arthritis, asthma, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and certain types of cancer, per Medline Plus

Prednisone is available in several forms, including tablets, capsules, and injections. The medication is typically taken orally, and the dosage and duration of treatment may vary depending on the individual's condition and response to the medication. While prednisone can be effective for treating these conditions, it can also cause a range of side effects, including indigestion, weight gain, insomnia, and mood changes. Interestingly, sweating has also been reported among these side effects. 

Why sweating occurs when taking prednisone

Although sweating is a normal bodily function that helps regulate body temperature, excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, can be a symptom of certain health conditions or medications including prednisone, according to the International Hyperhidrosis Society. The exact mechanism by which prednisone causes increased sweating is not well understood, and research is limited. However, it could be related to the medication's effects on the body's stress response system. Taking higher doses of prednisone can cause an increase in cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, says the Cleveland Clinic. High cortisol levels have been linked to conditions like Cushing's Disease where heavy sweating is reported as a symptom.

While increased sweating is a common side effect of prednisone, it is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing excessive sweating or other side effects while taking the medication. Your doctor may be able to adjust the dosage or recommend other treatments to help manage the side effects. In some cases, increased sweating may also be a symptom of an underlying health condition.

Other potential side effects of prednisone

One of prednisone's most common side effects is increased appetite and weight gain. A 2013 study published in the journal Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology found that up to 70% of patients taking prednisone experienced weight gain as a side effect. This is because corticosteroids change the body's water and electrolyte balance, which can stimulate the appetite, says the study.

Another common side effect of prednisone is insomnia or difficulty sleeping. This is because the medication can interfere with the body's natural sleep cycle. A 2020 study published in the journal Federal Practitioner found that up to 60% of patients taking prednisone experienced sleep disturbances as a side effect. Prednisone can also cause mood changes and restlessness, says the National Health Service. And in some cases, the side effects of prednisone can be severe if the medication is taken in higher doses. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as severe allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, or confusion while taking prednisone.