Prednisone Causing Joint Pain? Learn More Here

prednisone and joint pain

Can Prednisone Cause Joint Pain?

Prednisone is a well known prescription drug that comes in both tablet and liquid solution forms. Its intake method is only from your mouth. Prednisone tablet is further cut into two categories. It is available as immediate release tablet and delayed release tablet. The pharmacy name for delayed-release version of prednisone is “Rayos”, whereas the immediate release version is available only as a generic drug.

The basic purpose of prednisone is to decrease overall inflammation in your body. How is this done? Working of this drug is pretty straight forward; it reacts against the chemicals in your body that are causing inflammation.

Does the use of Prednisone cause joint pain? That’s the question we will be answering in this post today and we will start by looking at the drug’s side effects and then discussing them.

Side Effects of Prednisone:

Prednisone gets involved with certain chemicals in your blood stream to fight inflammation. Therefore, it also has side effects along with the positives. Few common side effects are mentioned here. These may disappear in a couple of days but you should consult your doctor if they bother you for an extended time period.

  • Swelling in ankles.
  • Necrosis of hip joints.
  • Difficulty in passing urine.
  • Increased thirst levels.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Swelling on lips or face.

Multiple side effects from this list are well known to cause joint pain. Here I’ll be explaining these causes in detail.

Swollen Ankles:

Ankles get swollen due to rise in inflammatory chemical levels. As a side effect of prednisone, swelling or stiffness is experienced quite often by people in their feet. Moreover, pain in the ankle joint is suffered by the patient for a few hours after taking the drug.

Necrosis of Hip Joints:

If you use prednisone in the long run, a condition called aseptic necrosis may occur to your hip joints. This is severe disease in which the hip bone starts to degenerate by itself. People suffering from this issue are mostly in pain and have problems walking or even sitting. If a case your aseptic necrosis gets serious, it can go as far as requiring surgery or replacement of the hip. This phenomenon can also occur in the knee joints. 4% to 5% of people that regularly consume prednisone have to face this condition afterwards.


Osteoporosis is a fatal disease which causes bones to fracture easily. This condition similar to the previous side effect occurs if a person takes prednisone as a long term medication. Doctors recommend calcium medicine along with prednisone to counter its dangerous effects. Bone density scans are used by doctors to monitor and stop the development of osteoporosis.

We hope this post gave you useful information about prednisone and its affect on joint pain. Feel free to leave your questions or suggestions in the comments section below.


Jeremy Clark has written 12 articles

Jeremy loves traveling around the world and has spent a couple of years in Africa, which he believes were transformative for him. He studied medicine for a few years before switching to law but still loves writing about medical issues and research.

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