Can You Take Prednisone On An Empty Stomach?

Prednisone falls into a class of drugs known as corticosteroids, or steroids for short, as per the Mayo Clinic. They are typically prescribed to treat inflammatory conditions in the body, including rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and asthma. Since inflammation is usually caused by the immune system attacking the body, prednisone works to suppress this response and relieve symptoms. The drug requires a doctor's prescription and may be taken short- or long-term.

Unfortunately, this steroid is known to have a host of side effects, including nausea, heartburn, insomnia, high blood sugar, and loss of appetite, according to WebMD. Some people may experience more severe side effects ranging from stomach and intestinal bleeding to blurred vision and mood changes.

One common complaint from those who take prednisone is digestive system distress, which can be aggravated depending on the mode of delivery. Since prednisone can be taken in various ways depending on the condition it's treating, you may take it topically, via inhaler, by injection, or by mouth (per Mayo Clinic). If you've been prescribed prednisone orally, you may be wondering if you can take it on an empty stomach.

Get something in your stomach before taking prednisone

Whenever you take prednisone, it's important to eat first in order to protect the lining of your stomach from the harsh chemical make-up of the drug, explains Without a stomach full of food to counteract this effect, you may suffer from stomach pains and ulcers, especially if you take prednisone with anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen. Some people may also experience stomach discomfort, even after taking prednisone with food. In this case, an antacid can help.

The Mayo Clinic provides additional tips for ensuring your stomach stays calm after taking prednisone. You should always swallow the tablet or pill whole — breaking or crushing it first will destroy the gastro-protective coating. If the prednisone comes in liquid rather than pill form, you should also measure the correct dose with the accompanying dropper or a proper measuring tool. If you find that you continue to experience stomach upset after following these tips, you should always consult with your doctor before abruptly stopping the course of treatment.

UCSF Health points out that you'll want to make sure you're incorporating certain foods into your diet when taking prednisone to counteract some of the unpleasant side effects. Consider choosing fruits and vegetables rather than simple carbohydrates to avoid blood sugar spikes. Since prednisone is also known to deplete calcium stores, you'll want to up your dietary calcium intake, too.