Steroid Use in MS

During my journey through MS, steroids worked wonders for me. My ON cleared rather quickly, my balance improved. I could swallow much better and my left side weakness improved by at least 50%. The relief was very welcomed, albeit temporary. Steroids don’t stop a relapse but can make parts of it more tolerable. That’s the good news. The bad news is that even oral prednisone can cause horrendous side effects.

Although I have all but recovered from MS/CCSVI symptoms, I have had to deal with permanent damage to:

  1. Pancreas
  2. Biliary system
  3. Skeletal system
  4. Reactive hypoglycemia to augment my diabetes.
  5. Osteoporosis is another gift from steroids. I had broken my jaw, shoulder, arm and fractured other less critical bones.
  6. Severe wound healing problems
  7. Cataracts
  8. Thin skin (My skin literally tears with little resistance)
  9. Abnormal Heart Rhythm
  10. Muscle Problems
  11. Dry Skin


My Temporary or transient effects:

  • Increase in appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Weight gain
  • Changes in mood
  • Increase blood glucose levels
  • Puffy Face
  • Staph infections
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Nausea
  • Bruising
  • Confusion
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness


Some of the more temporary side effects are :

  • Increase in appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Flushing (redness) of the face
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Weight gain due to increased water retention. Increase blood glucose levels
  • High blood pressure
  • People with glaucoma have an increase of the pressures within their eyes
  • Worsening of symptoms in people with congestive heart
  • Irregular Periods
  • Puffy Face from Water Retention

These side effects usually resolve after a few days once the steroids are stopped.

Long term effects include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • High-blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Acid reflux/GERD
  • Osteoporosis
  • Myopathy (Muscle weakness is the most frequent symptom of the myopathy. Wasting of the affected muscles is common. Weakness of muscles may lead to unbalanced forces on the joints, causing a restriction in their range of movement and consequent joint deformity. A lack of muscular support for the spine may cause spinal curvatures (scoliosis).

Other symptoms include pain, stiffness and cramping, or the inability to relax the muscles. There may be breakdown of muscle fibers, releasing into the blood a red pigment (myoglobin) which is then seen in the urine.

  • Increase in certain types of infections
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Bleeding of the Stomach or Intestines
  • Thin Fragile Skin      
  • Low Amount of Calcium in the Blood              
  • Small Red Skin Lesions caused by Dilated Blood Vessels
  • Dry Skin
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri (Pseudotumor cerebri occurs when the pressure inside your skull (intracranial pressure) increases for no obvious reason. Symptoms mimic those of a brain tumor, but no tumor is present. The increased intracranial pressure can cause swelling of the optic nerve and result in vision loss. Medications often can reduce this pressure, but in some cases, surgery is necessary.
  • Disease of the Nerves
  • Muscle Problems     
  • Cataracts
  • Injury of the Optic Nerve
  • Complete Stoppage of the Heart      
  • Slow Heartbeat       
  • Abnormal Heart Rhythm       
  • Chronic Heart Failure            
  • Obstruction of a Blood Vessel by a Blood Clot
  • Obstruction of Blood Vessel caused by a Fat Globule 
  • Vasculitis    
  • Fluid in the Lungs
  • Ulcers of Esophagus              
  • Acute Inflammation of the Pancreas
  • Lupus-Like Syndrome            
  • Rupture of a Tendon
  • Delirium     
  • Hallucination            
  • Seizures      
  • Trouble Breathing   
  • Enlarged Liver          
  • Abnormal Liver Function Tests
  • Impaired Wound Healing     
  • Kaposi’s      
  • Insufficiency of the Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland             
  • A Rupture in the Wall of the Stomach or Intestine      
  • Anemia       
  • Large Purple or Brown Skin Blotches
  • Decreased Neutrophils (Type of White Blood Cell)     
  • Mood Changes        
  • Paranoia    
  • Mental Disturbance
  • False Sense of Well-Being    
  • Extreme Sense of Well Being             
  • Depression
  • Blurred Vision          
  • Optic Disk Edema    
  • Hemorrhage of Blood Under the Skin             
  • Absence of Menstrual Periods           
  • Inflammation of Skin
  • Redness of Skin       
  • Skin Stretch Marks  
  • Excessive Hairiness 
  • Acne            
  • Hives
  • Joint Pain
  • Muscle Weakness   
  • Loss of Memory      
  • Feeling Faint             
  • Sensation of Spinning or Whirling     
  • Dizziness    
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Rash            
  • Visible Water Retention       
  • Scaling of Skin          
  • Head Pain  
  • Hiccups       
  • Swelling of the Abdomen     
  • Numbness and Tingling         
  • Overactive Thyroid Gland     
  • Underactive Thyroid              
  • Abnormal Fat Distribution