Can prednisone raise blood pressure

Treatment for autoimmune diseases, allergic reactions, and certain inflammatory conditions involves the use of glucocorticoids. Prednisone is one among the more commonly recommended synthetic corticosteroid belonging to the class of glucocorticoids. The drug possesses potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties that lends its effectiveness.  Patients are known to raise a question regarding the drug – can prednisone raise blood pressure? Here is a detailed look at the medication, its effects, and mechanism of action to help understand the possible effect on blood pressure levels.

Overview of prednisone

Available in various formulations, such as oral tablets, liquid solutions, and injectable forms Prednisone is typically prescribed for short-term use at the lowest effective dose for shorter durations. Prednisone has both anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects, which help to reduce inflammation, swelling, redness, and pain associated with various conditions. The drug is used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, dermatologic conditions, allergic reactions, and certain types of cancers. Prednisone mimics the action of corticosteroid hormones that are naturally produced by the adrenal glands in the body.

Mechanism of action of prednisone

The mechanism of action of the anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agent involves binding to intracellular glucocorticoid receptors, resulting in a wide range of outcomes, outlined below:

Prednisone dampens the inflammatory response and immune system activity, alleviating symptoms of various inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. By virtue of its broad range of effects on different body systems, the prescription medication is to be used only as directed by a specialist.

Side effects of prednisone

Corticosteroids are known to be responsible for a wide range of possible side effects, and Prednisone is no exception. The severity and frequency of undesirable outcomes depend on the dosage, duration of use, and the patient. Commonly reported side effects of prednisone include the following:

Can prednisone raise blood pressure?

Prednisone has the potential to raise blood pressure, as corticosteroid medications typically have various effects on the body, including fluid retention, altered metabolism, and changes in the cardiovascular system. These effects are known to contribute to an increase in blood pressure, particularly when prednisone is used at high doses or for prolonged periods of time.

As a result of fluid retention, an increase in blood volume may occur, and subsequently elevate blood pressure. The drug is also known to cause increased appetite and weight gain, that in turn contributes to an increase in blood pressure. The impact on the metabolism of carbohydrates, also results in increased blood sugar levels, indirectly resulting in elevated blood pressure. Additionally, the drug’s effects on the cardiovascular system, such as increased heart rate, increased cardiac output, and increased sensitivity to catecholamines contribute to increased blood pressure levels.

The risk of increased blood pressure from prednisone may vary, and depends on several factors such as the dose, duration of use, individual patient characteristics, and other risk factors for hypertension.

How to prevent and manage increase in blood pressure due to prednisone?

Several steps help prevent and manage the possible outcome of increased blood pressure levels, as listed below:

Whenever necessary, dosage may be modified by the treating specialist, or additional medications may also be prescribed to manage blood pressure levels.

Leave a Reply