Why Does Prednisone Make You Gain Weight?

Weight gain is normal when taking prednisone due to the drug's potential for causing salt retention, water retention and increased hunger. Prednisone weight gain can be combated by changing one's diet, exercising, and reducing the dosage taken, according to gihealth.com.

According to gihealth.com, one of the main side effects of steroid medications is weight gain. This is due to the increased hunger caused by the drug, along with the fact that it causes the body to retain both salt and water. Almost all patients will experience some weight gain, but the amount of weight a given person gains will vary. Most often, the weight gain will reverse when the prednisone is stopped.

Some people may see fat redistribute to other areas of their body while on prednisone. Fat sometimes gathers at the back of the neck, around the face, and around the abdomen. Exercise and dietary changes including a reduction in salt and simple carbohydrates may help reduce this effect, according to the Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center.

Prednisone is a steroid medication. Steroids are normally produced by the body in the adrenal glands, which are located atop the kidneys. Sometimes steroids are orally, topically, or by injection to help when the body has too much inflammation or is struggling with metabolic functions, immune system function, or salt or water imbalance.