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How long after stopping prednisone will moon face go away?

Hello everyone! I was diagnosed with RA in January after a severe flare-up affecting all of the joints in my hands, shoulders, and big toes. I just finished a 40-day course of prednisone, which, in addition to hydroxychloroquine, has definitely reduced the swelling.

However, I am struggling with the weight gain and accepting the distribution of fat to my face. I hardly recognize myself.

Has anyone here experienced moon face? And if so, how long did it take to go away? Or, did it permanently change the appearance of your face?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and insight.
~Julie the Chipmunk

  1. Hi, (Julie)!

    I know moon face is a very unwelcome side effect of prednisone. And it can really do a number on a person's self esteem. I know at least a few of our members and contributors have shared about dealing with moon face, so you are not alone in this. I thought you might appreciate this article on the topic -- As far as how long it takes for your face to lose the puffiness? Well. It can take anywhere from weeks to months. I searched and that was the consistent answer I found time and again. You think they could narrow the time span down just a bit, but apparently not.

    I do hope you find yourself on the weeks end and start seeing a decrease in the puffiness very soon!

    Best, Erin, Team Member.

    1. I have been overweight prednisone is the only medicine that work for me they denied my medication the second effect are really bad from cancer to nerve pain fungus I have all they abandoned me no help , to metrotraxi well

      1. I'm sorry your medication was denied. Are you able to see if your doctor can prescribe another brand or generic form that your insurance would approve? -Effie, team member

      2. If you are having issues with insurance paying for medication you can also go through the appeals process, I'm not sure what country you are in or what insurance you have, but they mostly all have some sort of appeals process that your doctor can help you with, up to a point. If you have something like Medicare, you can even appeal to the state or local government, which I had to do once and won the case. It is a lot of work and tedious, but it can be worth it in the end when you get the meds. If you need any help with that please let us know! Keep on keepin' on, DPM

    2. Hi Julie, thank you for taking the time to submit this question and for sharing your experience. I had dealt with moon face but not with prednisone so much. More so Enbrel when I took that biologic over a decade. I felt the same as you, but when I sought the help of an integrative doctor who was able to provide me with extra support to combat the side effects of the medication things improved. You may want to bring this up to the prescribing doctor as well and see if they can offer up additional solutions. As Erin mentioned above, it is depends on each person and from what I know how our bodies absorb/metabolize the medication. There's a great article written here you may find helpful if you're not doing this already: -Effie, team member

      1. I was on heavy prednisone for two years and it more or less ruined my body. It took me almost a decade to get things back into some sort of shape, so I totally get it. Not only that but it destroyed my teeth and bones. Most rheumatologists will do anything they can to help get you off prednisone as fast as possible, and as Effie said, if this doctor isn't helping you do that it may be time to think about seeing another one. Prednisone is not a long term medication at all, and it can do much more harm then good when used in higher dosages for longer periods. If you need any help constructing what to say to your doctor or finding and alternative please let us know! Keep on keepin' on, DPM

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