Are there any similarities between Prednisone side effects and PMS?

A question for Dopers who have experienced both the side effects of Prednisone and also PMS: Do you find any similarities between the two experiences? For people who have only experienced one of these things, does it provide any way to imagine the other?

Prednisone is a hormone typically prescribed to reduce overaction of immune responses like inflammatory illnesses, but it is notorious for having many side effects including ones influencing mood. The particular side effects I’m thinking of include feeling uncharacteristically impatient, easily irritated, edgy, and otherwise uncomfortable. There are other side effects such as being hungry or having trouble sleeping that for all I know might be similar. Of course people have a wide range of experiences.

So, is there anything here?

I’ve taken Prednisone and had PMS. For me they are totally unrelated experiences.

I get no side effects whatsoever from Prednisone other than a euphoric feeling.

PMS is more physical–bloating and cramps. I don’t feel edgy or uncomfortable, even if I’m a bit short-tempered.

Anecdotes aren’t data.

Prednisone yes – PMS never. (I’m a male.)

Didn’t experience any of these. When it was prescribed to me, I was told to adhere to a very strict tapering schedule. It was something like 5 pills a day for the first 5 days, then 4 for next 4 days, 3 for the next 3 and so on. I followed the schedule exactly as directed but the medication had absolutely zero effect for my condition which happens to be with me still.

From what I’ve heard - never taken it, only had patients who did (IANAD/N, I worked on a research study involving it) - the mood effects tend to be more pronounced if you’re on it for long periods of time. I had a patient who was a nurse so she knew all too well what the effects are, but ended up calling our office after she’d been on about 60 mg of prednisone for a month or two, saying she understood it was a side effect but the moodiness was affecting her enough that she was having difficulty coping, and even though she was trying her best to act calm, a couple of her coworkers outright told her they could tell she was suffering from it as she was beginning to crack around the edges, so to speak. (Our doctor started tapering her off while adding in another medication to help treat the underlying disease that she was taking the prednisone for.)

Well, hormones tend to affect mood. Beyond that, it’s impossible to say because the exact same hormones affect different people’s moods differently. Read any thread on any board asking opinions on any particular birth control formulation–you’ll hear horror stories about how it makes you blow up like a blimp, cycle between homicidal rage and suicidal depression every 20 minutes, and bleed three weeks out of the month, and you’ll also hear rhapsodies about how it completely stops cramps, practically eliminates periods, and improves mood, sex drive, and ability to orgasm.

Fwiw, how you’re describing your pred side effects is very similar to my lighter months of PMS–just being sort of edgy and cranky and uncomfortable. How my husband’s aunt describes long-term pred side effects is very similar to my worse months–so on edge you feel like you’re about to crawl out of your skin. Plus I tend to have appetite changes, sleep changes, and regularity changes.

I take different corticosteroids and have too much damned experience of PMS. The drug creates unsettledness, I feel racy, impatient, quick tempered and I accidentally say things that hurt others. Being still is incredibly uncomfortable. I have learned to hit the gym after a dose to wear it off or I feel ready to explode all day long. It is closer to the dark mania a lot of people with bipolar report.

PMS is slower, more sad than angry, it is easy to hurt me. More depressive.

They both cause the fluid in my body to do very odd things (suddenly thighs feel like water bags have been attached) and I can overeat easily on both, on the drugs it is more seeking anaesthesia than comfort. A good dose of saturated fat can slow everything down for a while. With PMS I just want sugar, I think to energise me.

I was given Prednisone in an emergency room for bacterial bronchitis. No history was taken so they and I didn’t know that there would be serious affects. I was clinically depressed at the time and that caused me to react to Prednisone by losing the ability to remember my own name within 48 hrs. After I got back to normal, I researched it on my own and found that it can induce psychosis in a person who is depressed.

It also increases blood sugar and should be avoided by diabetics.

I have pretty strong reactions to Prednisone, but I don’t think I ever had true PMS symptoms.

With Prednisone, I am incredibly short tempered and snappy. I also have trouble sleeping, with 2 or 3 hours at a time common in the early days of it. I also will wake up to eat. It’s the only time in my life that I’ve felt that I must eat right now, or I will tear the house apart.

I experienced severe eye pain the first time I took it. Apparently some people get elevated eye pressures from prednisone, like in glaucoma. I have to use eye drops to treat it if I take Prednisone. I’m glad I didn’t ignore it, as the eye doctor said its damaging.

The only time I was on Prednisone I had terrible mood swings and ridiculously high energy. The energy part really made me see why people get addicted - if I had been a gym rat at the time, I could have easily pushed my body way, way too far. The mood swings were also incredibly irrational - one day I was at my desk at work, and one of my employees asked me a question he probably should have known the answer to. My first thought was to throw him out the window. I did recognize that it was irrational and gave myself the rest of the day off. It sucked, and I will avoid it in the future. However, I was coming off of antibiotic number two for the sinus infection that just wouldn’t die, and we needed to add something else to the mix.

PMS has never been like that for me. First of all, I get fatigued, not manic. Second, the mood swings are in a much, much lower range. I might get excessively annoyed at something dumb, but we’re talking about being too annoyed - not seriously wanting to throw someone out a window.