Can You Take Turmeric / Curcumin with Prednisone (Immunosuppressant)

Yes, it is safe to take turmeric as a spice when you are on prednisone. Though no significant adverse interactions have been reported while taking turmeric with prednisone, it is recommended maintaining a time interval of 3-4 hours if taking turmeric or curcumin supplements or golden paste.

Turmeric and prednisone have similar therapeutic effects and adding turmeric to the diet may help one lower the dose and side effects of prednisone.

Let us explore a logical explanation of these statements.

Can you take turmeric along with prednisone treatment?

can you take turmeric with prednisone

Prednisone belongs to the family of synthetic corticosteroid drugs which are used for their anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-cancer and immunosuppressive effects.

They are most commonly used for treatment of cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.

Turmeric and its active compound curcumin have also been found to be beneficial in treating the conditions mentioned above. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-allergic, immunomodulatory and anti-cancer properties. [1] [2]

While prednisone treatment has been associated with severe adverse effects, turmeric is a natural agent, has been proven to be safe, well-tolerated and devoid of such serious side effects.

Thus, it has potential to be used in combination with prednisone therapy for assisting in treating several disorders. This may even help lower drug dosages and their possible side effects.

Some studies have also proved curcumin to have a better therapeutic effect than prednisone in treating inflammation, arthritis and pulmonary fibrosis. [3] [4]

The possibility of its use as an effective adjuvant to improve the effects of several chemotherapeutic drugs including prednisone in cancer treatment has also been explored. [5]

Is it safe to take turmeric together with prednisone?

Dietary turmeric is safe to consume along with prednisone. There are some studies which have used turmeric together with prednisone for treatment of disorders.

In one such study published in the Oncology journal, 26 patients with prostate cancer were given about 6g curcumin daily together with prednisone therapy.

Results reported curcumin to be effective, well-tolerated and accepted by the patients with the potential to aid in cancer treatment with standard drugs. [6]

In another study, curcumin taken in combination with chemotherapeutic agents like prednisone inhibited inflammation, angiogenesis and cancer progression in lymphoma patients. [7]

Turmeric taken with prednisone in cases of ulcerative colitis has also resulted in positive outcomes like the remission of the disease, decreased dosage or termination of the use of drugs. [8] [9]

Combinations containing turmeric and prednisone along with other agents have been formulated for pain relief in arthritis. [10]

Thus, adverse interactions between prednisone and turmeric are unlikely.

Turmeric is taken with black pepper, which contains piperine, a bioenhancer, to improve its bioavailability. [11]

However, some studies have cited concerns of turmeric or piperine use with drugs for the following reasons:

  • Turmeric inhibits drug metabolising enzymes like Cytochrome P450 in the intestines, which may result in reduced drug availability and therapeutic action. [12]
  • Turmeric and piperine inhibit P-glycoprotein (Pgp) which may alter the absorption and bioavailability of drugs. [13] [14]
  • Piperine enhances the absorption of certain drugs. Thus, if drugs are taken for a more extended period, it may also elevate the side effects of such medications. [15]

However, these are preliminary studies, and the direct effect of turmeric or piperine with prednisone need be further studied in detail.

Moreover, when the potential drug interactions of herbs like turmeric were examined against some commonly used drugs, it was found that turmeric with prednisone had no clinically significant interaction and was safe in the short term. [16] [17]

To be on the safer side, it is recommended to maintain a gap of 3-4 hours while taking prednisone with high doses of turmeric or curcumin or their supplements.

Depending on one’s health condition and type of disorder, it is advised to formulate a proper dosage of prednisone and turmeric by consulting with a physician.

In severe cases and complications, always inform your doctor before including turmeric in your diet in substantial amounts along with other medications.

How to Take Turmeric?

If you are interested in taking turmeric and make it part of your diet there are some great ways to do. We recommend using raw or powdered (spice) and not supplements (unless otherwise necessary).

Golden Paste is one of the best ways to take turmeric powder, you can get its recipe here>

You can also make the Golden paste using raw turmeric, its recipe is here>

Turmeric as a spice is very very safe, but it is still important to understand precautions while taking it, especially if you are using it to get relief from a health issue. Check out the Precautions> 

Any good quality turmeric powder is fine to take. If you are confused which one to buy, here are details of some of the recommended brands>.

While, we do not recommend turmeric/ curcumin supplements, but if have to take them, read our detailed article on various types of curcumin supplements and best brands to buy>

Have you used turmeric for treating any of your health problems? If yes, share your experience for others to benefit!

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