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Can You Drink Coffee While Taking Prednisone? What to Know

prednisone drug in prescription medication pills bottle

If you have any inflammatory, endocrine, or skin conditions, you may take prednisone to help with your immune system. Medications often have a long list of side effects,  and some can disrupt your diet. Prednisone’s side effects depend on how high your dosage is and how long you take the medication, but they can include weight gain, high blood sugar and blood pressure, and water retention in the body. The sad news is this: if you are on prednisone, you should avoid drinking caffeine. You may be wondering what this has to do with your ability to drink coffee, so let’s dive in.

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What is Prednisone?

Prednisone is used to reduce inflammation, typically as a treatment for inflammation or swelling, severe allergies, arthritis, asthma, and even skin conditions. Prednisone functions within the immune system to help relieve swelling, redness, itching, or other allergic reactions your body may be experiencing. Prednisone works on the body’s immune system, directly attacking inflammation and irritation, and how you take this medicine will depend on your doctor, your condition, and the overall severity.

pills and coffee beans
Image Credit: Microgen, Shutterstock

Prednisone and Caffeine

While taking the medication with food is recommended to avoid irritating your stomach, it is strongly advised not to have caffeine while using prednisone. Caffeine is a stimulant, which can not only worsen the insomnia side effect common with prednisone but can also increase the inflammation you are trying to counteract.

Because caffeine is a stimulant, it sends a shock through your nervous system that can worsen multiple side effects beyond insomnia and inflammation. Drinking caffeine regularly while on prednisone can increase your chances of experiencing side effects like anxiety, irregular heartbeats, and more headaches.

It is technically safe to consume prednisone and caffeine at the same time, which means you can still enjoy your daily coffee with your medication. If you are already experiencing insomnia or other side effects from taking prednisone or have problems sleeping, adding caffeine to the mixture will only worsen the symptoms.

Coffee, on average, can have anywhere from 70-140mg of caffeine per 8oz cup. The caffeine content in your morning coffee will vary depending on the coffee beans used, the roast of the beans, the type of coffee (espresso, instant, or regular brew), and your overall serving size.

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Caffeine on its own is already enough of a controversial issue, especially when you consider how much caffeine most of us drink per day. If you’re on medications like prednisone, drinking coffee will increase the risk of adverse side effects. Coffee is not the issue, but the mixture of caffeine and prednisone can increase your chances of anxiety, a disrupted sleep cycle, and even heart palpitations. Caffeine affects everyone differently, but consuming caffeine while on prednisone should either be heavily monitored or avoided entirely.

Featured Image Credit: luchschenF, Shutterstock


Samantha Reed

Samantha teaches middle school English language arts and has been a freelance writer since 2014. She has also worked at literary magazines and newspapers as an editor and as a writer. You could say that writing is her passion! She also enjoys a great cup of coffee and has a cat named Raven.

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