Skip to content
pparker1213 pparker1213

is rash and itching a prednisone withdrawal sympton?

I hvae rteached 2.5mg/day of prednisone after 2 1/2 year of following the dead slow method. Thank you to all who coontributed to that method. I have now moved to 2 mg/day but during this move I started having random spots of itching mainly hands  and feet with no signs of a rash. No signs of PMR pain. Then went to my regular DR. and she did all the blood tests and everything came back normal. ( No liver, kidney or other disorder signs.) She suggested taking benadryl. The itching has lessened a little but now I break out in weird rashes in random spots on my body. Sometimes lines and sometimes small or large splotches like hives. They usually don't itch and go away within 30 minutes.

It is driving me crazy and I wonder about an allergy but also attribute anything weird to the prednisone . Has anyone else experienced anything like this as a prednisone withdrawal sympton.



15 Replies

  • 3party pparker1213

    Not as a withdrawal sympton, but as a prednisone symptom.  My rash developed into seboria, and my reading tells me that that is usually an overactive immune response (as is PMR).  That is why I have related it to prednisone.

    {as is PMR)

  • claudia75644 pparker1213

    i have had PMR for several years, and almost died from prednisone....My stomach blew a hole in it, and they  did emergency surgery on me..   the surgeon told me NEVER TO TAKE PREDNISONE again.........anyway, he put me on MEDROL AND I have been on that for several years now with no mishaps/,,,ask your dr. about maybe putting you on medrol....I only take 2mg a day.....good luck..

    • claudia75644 EileenH

      Eileen I guess by what I was told, is that the FULL PREDISONE had something there I was allergic to, so they changed it to the medrol, which i was not as strong as the regular predisone.  sorry you had trouble with the medrol....guess different meds act differently on different people, sorry you had problems with it.

    • EileenH claudia75644

      Most doctors regard medrol as stronger than the non-methylated versions. The methyl group that is the difference in the structure is claimed to make it more effective/stronger - which usually also means it develops worse side effects. But it really shows how differently different people react to the various versions of corticosteroids.

      What top gastro research people believe is that it isn't actually the pred that leads to the gastric problems but that it masks the symptoms of something developing until it is too late and there is a perforation. You are the second person on the forums in the last few months who had had a similar problem. Not nice - hope it never happens again!

    • Buffi claudia75644

      My colon ripped due to Prednisone use age as well. I went septic and nearly died. I ended up with a  Colostomy which won’t be reversed because they are afraid I’ll ‘come apart at the seams’ so to speak. I’m on a slow taper now. Dangerous stuff that Prednisone 😞

  • EileenH pparker1213

    Prednisone is a power anti-allergy drug - it is possible that you have an allergic reaction of some sort that was masked by the higher doses of pred and is now emerging as you get to really low doses. Or it may be coincidence and the skin side effects of pred due to fragile capillaries in the skin are only now developing.

  • MrsO-UK Surrey pparker1213

    Dave, whereas I have come across a few people who experience itching and a rash on starting Pred, I haven't come across anyone suddenly experiencing this side effect when they reach the very low doses where you are now.  In some cases where Pred has been the culprit when on the starting dose, we have known people to be allergic to the coating on the enteric coated pill and rinsing this off has proved successful.  However, at 2mg, you are unlikely to be on a coated pill. 

    You aren't by any chance taking medication for high blood pressure are you?  I ask because I have been experiencing a 24 hour itch for a few months to the point where my scratching has resulted in blood being on my sheets in the morning.  Even strong prescription antihistamine hasn't been much help.  However, a skin biopsy has now pointed to one of my blood pressure medications, and possibly the one I have been taking without any problem for 2-3 years until now.  

    If it should be the Pred in your case, then I'm wondering if it could possibly be connected to all your hormones trying to re-balance themselves after being disrupted by long term Pred.  Just a couple of thoughts which might help.   

    • pparker1213 MrsO-UK Surrey

      Actuallly I am on metoprolol and  Crestor. I did read that metoproplol can cause the symptons and I quit taking that a few days ago. The reactions have lessened so maybe that was the issue. I had been taking since about May without any major issues.

      I'm sure my cardiologist will probably scold me for quiting but actually I haven't really got a cardiologist I like yet. LOL. I am monitoring my blood pressure daily and it is fine. I think they put me on Crestor and the metoprolol automatically after I had a minor heart attack? in late April. They discovered a small blockage and decided to treat with medication. I have never had high blood pressure.


    • MrsO-UK Surrey pparker1213

      Dave, I don't think you should stop taking Metroprolol suddenly like that.  At least, it's what I was told when on another Beta Blocker (Atenolol) some years ago.  Plus if it was prescribed for a specific reason connected to your heart other than high BP - a fast heart rate for example -  you could be putting yourself at risk.  Do please check this out with your GP.  If it is thought to have caused the itching, then you can be prescribed another Beta Blocker which may not have the same effect.  Do let us know how you get on.

  • dave20475 pparker1213

    I started a course of Prednisone, 25mg per day tapering-off over 2 weeks to clear my sinuses prior to a CT scan. The day after my first dose I got out of the shower with an itchy back, and again the next day, when I had my partner check she said it looked like i'd been attacked by fleas. I finished the course over a month ago and still experience welts and 'bites' every time I shower, sweat or swim. This is causing more discomfort than the orignial condition I saw the ENT specialist for. Any advice appreciated.

    • Anhaga dave20475

      I think you've had an allergic reaction to prednisone which should have been reported to your doctor.  Also it is well known that there can be a rebound effect after discontinuing cortisone therapy.  I've experienced this myself after using cortisone for a skin condition.  I suggest you consult with a pharmacist if your doctor is not helpful.

  • Dugan60492 pparker1213

    Yes, I have had something similar.  I believe it’s a withdrawal symptom.  I know this post is older but I wanted to post in case anyone comes across it in the future.

    I’ve been on and off (mostly on) Prednisone for the last 2 ½ years (and sporadically since the age of 13, I’m now 43).  I’ve weaned/tapered several times.  Highest doses around 150mgs, average dose 60-80 mgs.  I’ve done many tapers down to zero.  Most of the time my tapers are around 3 months long. 

    When I get down to approximately 10 mgs to zero I do get white pustule/pimple looking bumps on my face and neck.  They look like a zit the first day, then fill with almost like clear fluid, and then they start itching.  They itch until they go away; usually taking about 5 days for each to appear and go away completely. 

    I’ve asked my dermatologist and pulmonologist about them.  I was told it’s my body waking up again and my immune system going into overdrive, from being suppressed for so long.  It’s a rebound effect. 

    I don’t get this withdrawal symptom every time I wean, the slower I go the less likely I am to get it.  I do have it right now.  This withdrawal symptom just started again a few days ago, which I was a week into 5 mgs when they first appeared this time, just today went down to 2.5 mgs.  As long as I don’t have headaches and lightheadedness I keep on my wean and ignore this for the most part.  

    I will say in the beginning (the first 1 ½ years) of weaning off I never experienced it.  I think after being on it so long the side effects and withdrawal symptoms have gotten way worse and come on a lot faster. 

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.