Harvard Heart Letter

Ask the doctor: Does prednisone increase blood pressure?

Q. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and my doctor wants me to take prednisone for it. Will this drug be bad for my blood pressure, which is already high?

A. Prednisone raises blood pressure in many people who take it. One reason is that prednisone and other corticosteroids cause the body to retain fluid. Extra fluid in the circulation can cause an increase in blood pressure.

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