Some bodybuilders take prednisone or prednisolone under the assumption that they will be able to gain muscle while using this drug. Although both drugs are referred to by the blanket term ‘steroids’, they are as different from each other as it is possible to be.
The kind of steroids that most people associate with bodybuilding are anabolic, which encourage growth in testosterone and muscle mass. However, prednisone and other related drugs are corticosteroids, and are some of our best anti-inflammatory medications. Many people believe this drug is a blessing and a curse because it relieves many illnesses like magic but then adds problems until it’s difficult to tell whether the cure is worse than the disease. These medications would not help build muscle in any way, and their side effects have the opposite result.
Corticosteroids like prednisone can cause extremely severe side effects, and will not produce the kind of result a bodybuilder is looking for. They can cause muscle atrophy, severe weight gain, water retention, moon face, hallucinations, psychosis, mood swings and a variety of other undesirable traits. Additionally, these drugs shut down the adrenal glands, making it extremely dangerous to stop taking them. Many users find themselves steroid-dependent after long-term use because the body shuts down the adrenal glands for good. This can cause the body to go into shock, particularly if a distressing event occurs because the adrenal glands are no longer working properly.
In short, neither type of steroid should be taken by people who are interested in building muscle. Prednisone will not help anyone build muscle, and it tends to add new problems that weren’t there in the first place. The weight gain alone, which is distributed in strange places around the body like the back of the neck or the face, make prednisone the kind of drug that will provide the exact opposite effect anyone health or body-conscious is looking for. Taking any kind of performance-enhancing drugs isn’t advised, but don’t be fooled by the word ‘steroids’ in relation to prednisone. Even those who have to take it for illness call it a deal with the devil. It can seem like a miracle cure at first, but the side effects often mean that long-term use creates problems worse than the original illness. For bodybuilders, the fact that prednisone can cause brittle bones should be enough to keep them far away from abusing this medicine.