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Week 10, 2013


Prednisone and Sleep Apnea  


North Branford, CT. 3/10/2013. This article explains why Prednisone could cause sleep apnea.

Prednisone is one kind of steroids. It is often used to treat joint inflammation, skin rashes, allergies, ulcers, arthritis, etc.

Prednisone reduces the immune system and suspends the release of substances in the body that cause allergies, inflammations, rashes, etc.

Prednisone is widely used because it can quickly control the symptom. However the side effects are significant for long term usage. Prednisone weakens the immune system. During the period of the use of prednisone, try to stay away from public areas to prevent from infections.

Prednisone also lowers bone density for long term use even small doses. Make sure take enough calcium and Fosamax and have bone density check every other year.

The worst side effect is gaining weight rapidly. You may notice your body shape changes within several days of use of prednisone. Especially the face, neck, tongue and tonsils gain the higher percentage.

Bigger neck will make the throat narrower. Which causes breathing air flow moves faster in the throat (Same amount of air flow moves faster in a narrower area than a wider area in a same period of time: A1 x V1 = A2 x V2). So you feel your breathe heavier.

Larger tonsils squeeze tongue into throat area and reduce breathing passage area which further accelerates the breathing air.

A larger fatty tongue intends to occupy some of the space in throat and makes breathing area even smaller in the throat.

When you fall asleep, all the muscles adjacent to the throat area are relaxed, the soft tissues such as the tongue, tonsils, wall of throat claps into throat without muscles’ control. This could severely restrict or even block the breathing air flow through the throat. When the breathing air is blocked the breathe is suspended, apnea occurs.

Many long term prednisone users found themselves developed sleep apnea. Generally stop use of prednisone may help you back to normal weight but tongue and tonsils may be not necessarily reduce to normal sizes. Therefore sleep apnea could be permanent.

Some other side effects of prednisone are not covered here.


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