Prednisone boobs

They should add “boob growth” to the warning label on Prednisone.  It can’t just be me.

This is just plain wrong.  Our society seems to think that women should aspire to have the largest breasts possible, but that’s just absurd.  I will never understand why women get risky plastic surgery just to get bigger boobs.  And why is there so much pressure on a part of our body that we can’t control naturally?  It makes no sense at all.

When I was in high school, my bra size was a very natural 34B .  This worked for me.  I could go bra-less if I really wanted to, and I could easily wear a strapless.  This was good.  Near the end of high school, my period got so heavy that one day I passed out from the loss of blood.  The doctors put me on birth control pills to regulate it.  Of course, if they had tested me they would have discovered that I had PCOS, but I had a crappy 1990s HMO that didn’t bother with silly things like thoroughness.  But that’s a story for another day.

Suddenly, because of the Pill, my size went up to a 34C.  This was surprising, but not too bad.  I knew that I was too large for my petite frame, and I felt awkward about it, but what could it do?  Eventually I got used to it and I stayed a 34 C for many years.

Then several years ago I went on Prednisone.  I’d been on it before, but this time, for the first time, I gained weight.  I grew in my stomach, my ass, my thighs…. and my boobs.  I flew past 34D so fast that I almost missed it, then landed on 34DD.  Well, that was weird.  It was also uncomfortable.  I was annoyed, but glad that I hadn’t gotten any bigger.  I was shocked to find this size laid out on store racks when I was in London around that time; over here it’s much harder to find.  Still, there are some stores that sell it for prices that won’t break the bank, and occasionally I can even find one that isn’t black, white, or beige (though I still miss my collection of pretty colors, lace, and satin from back in the days of 34C.)

After a lot of hard work, I managed to lose most of the Prednisone weight, but my boobs didn’t shrink.  When I went on Prednisone again earlier this year, I gained back all of the weight and them some!  I’m too fatigued to exercise, so I’m not losing it at all now.  Still, I had accepted the temporary (I hope!) weight gain for what it was, and I was ok with it, until my bra size changed again.  I thought 34DD was difficult, but now I’m a 34F!  That is just wrong, so very very wrong.

They’re heavy, really heavy.  My bras are huge.  The straps pull on my shoulders.  Shirts are hard to fit (because of our society’s ideal of big boobs, shirts are designed to make small women look bigger, not to make big women look smaller.)  The bigger they are, the more they sag.  If you’re big, you know about boob sweat.  If you’re small, be glad you don’t know about it.  (A smaller friend of mine thought I was making it up, until she got pregnant.  She immediately told me she was grateful for the smaller boobs she’d always complained about, and was glad when they returned.)  And then there’s sleeping.  They really get in the way when I’m trying to sleep.  I wake up during the night sometimes, because I’ve rolled over and my boobs have gotten in the way.  It’s harder to breathe (though that could be the extra weight in other areas too.)  Men stare at them more, and those probably aren’t the men that I want attention from.  And then there’s sex.  With others or by myself, it is just wrong when a boob is too big to fit in a person’s hand.  Boobs are an important part of foreplay and sex (at least, they are for me) and it’s much harder to do what I want to be done when they’re so big that they can’t fit in a hand!

Now I’ll be honest, if I manage to lose the Prednisone weight, losing it in my boobs wouldn’t be my first choice.  I’d like to lose it in my stomach first.  But boobs come second, even before my ass and thighs.  Those may not look good now, but big boobs are just inconvenient and annoying!  Damn you Prednisone!


If any of this sounds familiar, if you can relate, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc. This blog is new, and it would be great to share it.

And if you’d like to get these posts emailed to you for free, simply click the “Sign me up!” button in the top right corner.

46 Responses to Prednisone boobs

  1. jess says:

    what dosages did your doctor have you on, to cause such a massive response? I’m on a low-med dose but haven’t noticed these effects.

    • chronicrants says:

      Everyone’s body responds so differently. The first couple times I was on Prednisone, I had emotional swings and memory gaps, and that was it. Those times I was on 20mg. We’ve learned I can’t handle that. The breast growth and weight gain happened on 10-15 mg dosages. Even 10mg can have a big effect on me. Go figure. I’m glad you’re not having a lot of side effects!

  2. Summer says:

    I’ve been taking prednisone 10mg, increasing to 15mg a week ago. It’s definitely caused my breasts to grow and become more sensitive. On 15mg my appetite has increased as well.

    • chronicrants says:

      Ah yes, the Prednisone appetite. I know it well. Good luck with that! And with the breast stuff, too. That drug has so many side effects that the doctors never mention or seem to know about.

      • Pam says:

        I have also had the enlarged breasts on 20 mg if prednisone. I have been on this med twice before with only moderate weight gain, but at this dose the weight gain is outrageous. I am tapering off of the steroid, but with my doctor’s help. It is very slow and the weight gain and change in my looks is very depressing.

      • chronicrants says:

        Pam, I am so sorry to hear that. It’s frustrating and discouraging to see these changes. It look a long time for me to lose the weight, but I eventually did for the most part (and some of what remains could be the Predinose or it could be age. Or, frankly, it could be cookies and ice cream.) Unfortunately, my breasts never went back to their former size. I hope you are able to lose the weight, too! Good luck!

  3. Natalie says:

    Nice to know it isn’t just me! I’m a small woman – 5ft. 0in. I took prednisone for a year and a half starting when I was 16. I was barely an A cup when I started it and I was a C by the time I stopped taking it. (I was taking 45mg/daily for most of that time.) Now at 30, I’m really overweight, but my breasts still seem to grow much more than the rest of me when I gain. I’m now a DD!! Tonight after yoga I asked the instructor about possible modifications for a pose I couldn’t do because my boobs were in the way and one of the other women lectured me about being “grateful” for being so “well-endowed”. Ugh.

    • chronicrants says:

      I’m sorry to hear you’re going through the same thing! And as for the comments, I guess what we don’t have always looks better – they don’t know the difficulties of having large breasts! I’ve heard those kinds of comments so many times, and when I try to explain, they never seem to believe me. *sigh*

  4. Marion says:

    I have now been on Pred since September last year starting at 60mg. This was being reduced over November/December, when my condition relapsed again and was put back on 60mg – I have responded to the treatment again and am now being weaned off, currently on 40mg at present. My boobs have become the bane of my life, having gone from a 34DD to a 36E and put on 3 stone (42lbs)…Nothing fits and when it does it’s normally in t-shirt material so makes them look even bigger. Just been told that I can begin exercise so hopefully will start to lose the excess weight and I’m hoping that it will be from my boobs first!

    • chronicrants says:

      Congratulations on being able to start exercising! And good luck with the weight loss! I hope you lose weight in your boobs, too. Let me know how it goes!

  5. escharae says:

    No boobs or weight gain for me when I took prednisone. I’m as flat as a board, but after reading your post I’m actually glad I didn’t have any major side effects. I hope you are able to get rid of some of those “extras” soon.

  6. Patty Carlson says:

    I’ve been off of Prednisone for a year now……still struggling to lose the belly fat and reduce the size of my breasts. It’s uncomfortable… that’s my main complaint, besides not being able to button pants or blouses……what can I say??? When I complained to my doctor about my enlarged breasts, he told me that most women wouldn’t complain about that. I told him that I just wanted to go back to going without a bra when I wanted to. Exercise and diet aren’t working. It’s frustrating!!!

    • chronicrants says:

      It sounds like you need to fire your doctor! How insensitive! I’ve gotten those kinds of comments, too – including from a smaller-chested female friend. Then that friend got pregnant and found out that what I’d been saying all along was true about the discomfort and inconvenience. Just because society sets a certain standard of beauty doesn’t mean every person wants that, and we need to get our doctors to understand that! I wish you a lot of luck – hopefully you’ll be able to return to your old size!

  7. wlerch says:

    Thank you so much – I don’t know what possessed me to google search prednisone and boob size but I am so glad I did. I have just been diagnosed with … (Chronic illness) and was on a high dose steroid at the hospital through IV for 3 days, then 2 days of 1250mg pills at home, then weened off for 14 days … NASTY NASTY – and the last couple days I’ve been noticing that my boobs are HUGE – now – I have always been big, and that’s where I gain weight first, and I had a reduction several years ago and am still a G – when I’m able to watch my weight I can get down to an F and it’s like glorious freedom – so I completely understand what difference a cup size makes!!! It’s a BIG deal – and yes I have also gained weight due to the prednisone and 6 weeks in bed – starting to get back on my feet – bit a bit ticked that I have to lose this weight AGAIN … (I also think they should add “increased chin whiskers” on the prednisone side effects) – sheesh – will I ever feel attractive again?

    • chronicrants says:

      Oh wow, wlerch, that’s a very high dose! I’m sorry you’ve had to go through that. It’s especially hard when you’ve just been diagnosed so you’re dealing with all of the emotional pain in addition to the physical pain. Be sure to give yourself some time to adjust to it all.

      Losing the prednisone weight is tough, but you’ve lost weight before, so remember that as motivation! And I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that you can reduce your cup size again 🙂 I was so pissed when I went up to a G the last time around, and relieved to get back to a DD afterwards.

      Good luck!!

    • Michelle says:

      Chin and upper lip hair too!

  8. Heide says:

    I’ve been on high doses intermittently for the past few years and a few months ago my breasts suddenly went up a cup size. I had no idea what was causing it especially since I had lost a little weight at the time. I’m really glad to know what’s causing this. I wish it was reversible, though.

    • chronicrants says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that! I wrote this a while ago. Later, I went on Prednisone again and my boobs grew even more! When I lost the weight, they went back down to the size they were when I wrote this. I don’t think they’ll ever go back to their pre-Prednisone size, but at least they didn’t stay at the new, larger size, either. So I’ll keep my fingers crossed that yours return to their smaller size like mine sort of did!

  9. Yeame says:

    Did anyone’s sag because of this? I’ve been on over 7mg for over 8 years. I will be on them for the rest of my life. I went from a 36c to a 44dd. Now they have just went saggy and I don’t know what to do.s

    • chronicrants says:

      I’m sorry to hear that Yeame. I really don’t have an answer for you. Mine became very saggy, but I don’t know if that’s the Prednisone, my age, or something else. Maybe it’s a combination of things. I’m not thrilled about it, but I don’t know what causes it. Good luck to you!

  10. Michelle says:

    I just finished prednisone for the second time (had been almost eight years in between) and my boobs are huge! I had lost a lot of weight because of the Crohn’s but the boobs returned to my 34DD (and possibly even bigger). They also hurt a lot. Sucks.

  11. fizzstah says:

    OMG I’m so happy I’ve seen the post I’ve actually put on like 40 pounds and about 2 cup sizes. I’ve always had small boobs so I’m grateful for the change but I’m happy to hear that i’m not the only one who has had this experience!

    • chronicrants says:

      You’re definitely not the only one, Fizzstah! I’ve gotten so many messages from others who say the same thing. They should really add it to the side effects on the medication insert!

  12. Jodi says:

    I was in the D section when I was about 14. Went on 500mg prednisone and over the course of 11 years ended up in a 42K. After my reduction, I’m back down to a manageable DDD. Working on losing the weight. I had my DNA tested and found my genes say I have average sized boobs. So, I went searching for prednisone and boob growth and here you are. There is nothing normal about this. I would rather die than ever touch prednisone again.

    • chronicrants says:

      Jodi, I’m so sorry to hear about that. How terrible! I haven’t seen any official research on this, but based on the very unexpected response I’ve gotten to this post, they should really be doing some!

  13. I have been off Prednisone now for five months but the weight just won’t go. I exercise, I did a 16 day detox massage herb and acupuncture treatment, limited loss. My boobs are huge and I can’t stand the aching legs and feet which have been left from my bout with this toxic horrible drug. Nothing fits, my stomach, thighs and butt are so big. The moon face has gone a bit as has the back hump but every bit of me feels squishy. I am still tired and find it so hard when I exercise. I used to exercise six times a week, now it is like dragging myself around all day. People should really be told about all this. When I asked how can I lose it the nurse just laughed and said regular exercise and diet. The doctor said the fat would melt away. No chance guys. The doctor said oh well collateral damage! I would like to see some of these medical people go through the garbage that patients have to and see how flippant they are in their responses then!

  14. none says:

    I did not take prednisone it was cortef. I went from a very small C to a huge 38 Double D. the worst part? And I don’t know if anybody has mentioned this but humongous areolas (5″? More?)with nipples so big, it looks like they have two far apart tips through the shirt. Freakish! does anyone else have this problem? It’s been 10 years and I do not know how to reduce, I have lost weight everywhere except their.

    • chronicrants says:

      Yikes! I hope others will comment if they’ve had this same experience. I do have large areolas, but nothing like what you’re describing. I did have the same issue with losing weight, though – I lost it everywhere but my boobs. They stayed huge. I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with this too.

  15. Brianna says:

    Hi, my doctor put me on Prednisone yesterday for strep throat to reduce swelling and help with the pain in my throat. How long at a time did you take prednisone and how many milligrams that it made your boobs grow so much? I’m only going to be on it for 5 days I’m supposed to take it twice a day they are 20mg. I would love for my boobs to grow a size bigger I’m a 32B but I’ve always wanted to be a C cup. My boobs grow every month before my period into a C cup and stay like that for a few days and I love them at that size I really wish it was permanent. Do you think me taking Prednisone for such a short period of time would have any effect? I doubt it right? Also with boobs growing comes weight gain so I’m sure other areas on my body have to grow first in order for my boobs to grow. I really want to eat and a lot too but I can’t swallow because this is so painful so I’ve barely been eating these last couple of days so I don’t think weight gain is gonna happen for me lol

    • chronicrants says:

      Brianna, my guess is that you won’t see a change. 5 days is just a quick dose to get you past your bug, whereas most changes are seen with long term use for ongoing conditions. I noticed the change after I was on it for 6 months. And yes, you’re right that it involves other growth, too – my butt, stomach, and thighs definitely grew before my boobs did. The good news for you is that you’re unlikely to have to deal with weight gain or any of the other side effects and risks of long term prednisone use, like mood swings, memory loss, osteoporsis, vision problems, cancer risks, etc. I hope you feel better soon!

  16. Emang says:

    Thank you Lord! Dammit I thought I was the only one.I took it for 3 weeks I’ve gone a cup size up. Now I’m wondering if I can lose it all.😢😢😢😢

  17. EnGee says:

    I am currently going through this right now. I’ve been on very high doses of prednisone over the past few years when I get lupus flares. Just recently I was on 60mg a day for about 3 weeks then the tapering off took an additional 3 weeks. I hate the weight gain associated with prednisone. It took FOREVER to lose 10 pounds and once I felt fantastic and comfortable in a size 4 BAM flare. :/ My husband told me if I lose everywhere else and keep the boobs that would be awesome. I went up to 34DD. As if we have the ability to choose where to take the weight off. Normally I am a size 4. Right now in a size 4 top to me it looks sloppy and too tight. I cant’ wait to get back to normal

    • chronicrants says:

      Ugh, I’m so sorry to hear that, EnGee. It’s so like a guy (or a flat-chested woman, too) to say that keeping the big boobs would be great. Because they don’t know how awkward and sometimes uncomfortable or even painful they can be! I hope you are able to go back down to your previous size. Good luck! And please come back and let me know how it goes for you.

  18. Huguette Keating says:

    I was relieved to hear this story bc I mention annoying breast increase to doctors and they look at you like, surely you must greater concerns in your life. Not all of us can carry these massive appendages especially if you were once a 34b!
    This is a real! It is awful!
    What I didn’t like about the review is that it appears after steroid intake you are stuck with these breasts! I didn’t see any treatment to reduce, is it simply adipose tissue or fluid retention?
    Surely, surgical reduction cannot be the only answer!
    Beware of steroids; they affect every part of your body and some are not reversible.
    I despise the Doctors that prescribe them unless there aren’t any other options.
    Personally I would rather die than go back on steroids!
    This generation is in for a real shock!

    • chronicrants says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this too, Huguette. It’s so frustrating. I wish I could offer you some tips, but I haven’t found any, and I’m not a doctor – just someone who had this experience herself. I wish more doctors knew about these side effects. It’s amazing that I had to be the one to tell *them* about it!

  19. Danielle says:

    Hey, your not alone. My boobs have gotten bigger too and I don’t know what to do . And I definitely don’t like it .how to I get rid of this . The 1time I was on prednisone my boobs did not get bigger but now it’s ridiculous. HELP! Anyone with advice

  20. I could cry for all of you. My mother had huge boobs and hated it. I heard from an early age “ What ever you do don’t get big boobs!”
    Well, I didn’t and was called Nancy triple A in college. Or “ Why is Nancy like an aircraft carrier?” “ They both have flat tops!” I will be praying you all to loose the excess. What a terrible burden.

  21. Sarah says:

    I’ve been googling this forever and haven’t been able to find any information. Couldn’t seem to figure out where the growth was coming from! I kept wondering if it was prednisones but I couldn’t find any information on it so I assumed I was wrong. I was beginning to think it was a rare disease :-). I was on 10 to 15 mg of prednisone for lupus and I had the same breast growth you did. Thank you so much for sharing I feel a lot more normal now! Just knowing the cause help so much! I too wish someone had told me but thank you again!!!

    • chronicrants says:

      Sarah, I’m so sorry you had to go through that confusion, too 😦 It’s terrible that the doctors don’t seem to know about this, and no one discusses it! I’m so glad, though, that I was able to put your mind at ease, at least a bit. This is why it’s so important that we patients all share this kind of info with each other! Good luck with everything.

  22. Lou says:

    I read an interesting article on macromastia induced by corticosteroids ( There’s an enzyme involved, 11β-HSD, that is inactivated by estrogen. If there is a disruption in estrogen, then 11β-HSD is upregulated and converts the corticosteroid into its active form.

    Of the women who experienced prednisone-induced breast growth, did any of you suffer hormonal abnormalities affecting your estrogen levels (i.e. PCOS, hysterectomy, etc.)? Also, what was your body type prior to ever taking prednisone (apple, banana, pear)?

    If there is a link between estrogen disruption and breast growth, I wonder if a solution could be as simple as being prescribed additional estrogen while taking the prednisone?

    • chronicrants says:

      How interesting! Thanks so much for sharing this Lou. I have PCOS and was on estrogen birth control pills for many years, and for some of that time I also took progesterone. Now I’m wondering if I was taking birth control the times that I didn’t gain weight/have boob growth with prednisone and maybe I wasn’t taking hormones when I did have the growth? I would have to go through records, since this was a long time ago now. Interesting idea, though! Thanks again.

  23. […] side effects so much. It messed with my memory, made me very emotional, gave me severe brain fog, caused me to gain a lot of weight, and more. But the energy was […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: