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Prednisone and Weight Loss Not Gain

Hi All,
I've read a bit up on prednisone after having been on it for awhile in the past. I'm back on it due to a flare and I seem to be having the same side-effects as before in terms of losing weight and appetite rather than the opposite which most others seem to experience. I do exercise regularly (3-4 days a week for 1-1.5 hours) and find that I need to force myself to eat even after a good workout. Has anyone else experienced this on prednisone? Just curious. Thanks.


Super Moderator
My son had complications, fistula and abscess x2, and when he was on oral Pred it did not increase his appetite and weight loss continued. In fact he had none of the expected side effects, except when he was on his third round of IV Hydrocortisone. It was then that he developed an increase in appetite and a slight moon face. Outside of that the oral Pred and the first two rounds of IV did not produce side effects.

Dusty. xxx
Yes I had exactly this! You can read my thread a bit below this in this forum "prednisone without side effects?" The thread goes a bit off topic, but I basically started it because I had needed to gain weight, and thought prednisone would make doing so easy. But it hasn't! I haven'' had any increase in appetite increase, and nor have I puffed up or retained water or got a moon face (not that that's healthy weight gain, but I thought it odd it hasn't happened either, it's like I'm resistant to any weight gain or something :frown: ).

I 've actually lost weight while on prednisone, and I've been wondering whether that's coincidence or if it's a side effect of the medication. I'm not sure on this one. I have read that prednisone can make you lose muscle mass. I though that might be because it turns it to fat, (makes you more likely to put on fat, as in its Cushing's effects) but perhaps you can just lose it as well. I would think that could only happen with long term use, though - months or weeks at least.

Anything seems possible with this drug. I have learned the side effects are very unpredictable. They vary from person to person, over time of use, dosage, and even for the same person when they take it a second or successive time. The lists of official side effects and other people's experiences are only possiblities.

But yes, weight gain definitely isn't a given. It hasn't happened for me. What's a shame is so many people experience weight gain with it and don't want it!

And of course if you have other medical issues going on, that could override any effect of the prednisone on your weight or appetite, so that may be something to think about. Are you're malabsorping nutrition, experiencing severe diarrhoea or vomitting, or have other issues that could cause you to lose your appetite?
Hi, I never had any of the side effects of prednisone either. Well, other than the not being able to sleep. It wasn't until my colon was removed that prednisone did what it was supposed to do. For one month after my surgery I was on it. The first week home from the hospital I gained 11 pounds and ate just about everything in sight. I never had "moon-face" but again, was only on it a month after surgery. Before surgery I was on it for two years. My weight steadily declined from my normal 180 pounds to 120 pounds which is when the decision to have surgery was made.
Thank you all for sharing your insight and experiences. It definitely goes to show you how unpredictable this drug really is. The side-effects I have experienced are definitely the trouble sleeping/wired effect and mood swings (mostly irritability). Sometimes I do get the bursts of hunger, but then that goes away the next day. Overeating just makes me feel bloated and uncomfortable and can lead to some rather unpleasant bathroom time.

Right now my problem is definitely malabsorption. I am bleeding again but I've been trying to maintain nutrients through a daily load of vitamins for some time now and doing relatively ok. I start to gain some weight, but then in a single day I can lose 3-4 pounds if things aren't going well. The gym helps A LOT in keeping my appetite up, so I try to keep up on that. Otherwise I could not eat at all and be fine with it.

Before I was diagnosed, I was a 6'2" guy with good muscle mass at 180 pounds. After huge flare when I learned I had Crohn's I ended up in the hospital for a week and lost 20 pounds. While my height hasn't changed, I've since spent nearly a year trying to get back to that but I'm only at 170. It's nice to able to eat desserts every night to keep my weight up, lol, but I wish I could put mass on a little more easily without using crazy gym supplements and such. I can't say I want the water weight from prednisone either though. Still trying to learn how to deal with this disease. It is definitely a pain...
Forgot about the irritability. It was funny because at the end I was 120 pounds (I'm 6'1") and would just go into rages especially while driving. It turned me into the Incredible Hulk. A 120 pound no muscles Incredible Hulk.

I weigh around 161 right now. I lift 3 times a week and swim 3 times a week. Before getting sick I could bench press 225 lbs 5 times with no spot. Currently I'm up to 205 lbs about 3 times if I'm feeling particularly well. I picked up some Soy protein stuff this week to try and keep building muscles. I drank it once and now in the midst of some slight hiccup. Not saying it was the drink. Not sure what it was. I'm back to having bad night sweats which I can't stand. Pretty sure I lost two pounds last night just sweating.

This disease is incredibly frustrating. Hope you get your meds figured out.
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Well-known member
South Northants
I certainly never put on weight. I too lost weight with pred. No moon face either, was on it for around 9 years ago, because that was bog standard treatment. I came off of it cos i just wasn't sleeping and was incredibly moody and entirely paranoid!!! If anyone said anything it was definitely about me, no matter who it was or where they were, it was definitely all about me. thats no way to be when you're awake 22 hours a day, lol.
Yes, I have lost 9lbs since being on Prednisone, and while that may not be that significant to some people, I'm not that big to begin with and my size zero jeans are falling off my scrawny arse. It's pathetic.
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Certainly. When I was first diagnosed I got very sick in a short time, hospitalized three months after surgery with entire colon and rectum affected. Lost lots of weight. When I got home I tapered off Pred, but never did gain all the weight back. In short, if the flare up is pretty tough you can certainly lose weight and appetite while taking Pred. I'm currently at the other end of things- my flare up is being controlled but gained a ton in the process. Hope to control things without Pred soon and then I expect the extra weight to really come off.
I have absolutely lost weight during the past 8 days on Predisone. Totally unpredictable. No other changes in diet. Just do not understand.