Do Steroids Cause Toddlers Awful Tantrums?

Updated on February 16, 2016
A.C. asks from Delphi, IN
14 answers

He has been constantly screaming and crying when he is supposed to go to sleep he kept us up almost all night is there anything we can do for him? I have taken him off the steroid

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answers from San Francisco on

steroids could definitely cause that, but please tell me you are weaing him off under the advice/supervision of his pediatrician. You CANNOT just stop taking steroids - you have to wean off of them. If you have not consulted the doctor, do so RIGHT NOW!

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answers from St. Louis on

You don't even mention why your child is on steroids in the first place. I hope you consulted your doctor before you stopped giving them to him. Of course that would have been a great time to ask the doctor is this a side effect of the steroids or just the nature of a toddler.

Being a toddler is the leading cause of awful tantrums.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Did you give him the steroid in the evening? They always advise to not give in evenings so they can settle before bedtime.

And yes, they cause mood swings (in adults too). I'm surprised they did not go over this with you. Check in with your doctor - don't stop taking medications before the full dose has been taken. Otherwise you might have to restart all over again and just draw this out. If you miss a day or two, it can screw stuff up too.

Good luck

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Welcome to mamapedia.

How old is your son?
Why is he on steroids?
How long has he been on steroids?
How much longer is he supposed to be on steroids??

What does your pediatrician who put him on the steroids say?
What does the pharmacist say???

Not enough information to truly answer your question. Sorry.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

In a word - no - not likely.
Toddlers have awful tantrums - every single one of them.
Ask your Mom - you did too.
You eventually learn to manage them and head them off before the proverbial point of no return.

What was he on the steroid for?
And try to look up the specific medication and read up on possible side effects.
Anabolic steroids are the type that get abused by sports guys (usually) looking to bulk up.
That's NOT the kind that gets prescribed to reduce inflammation.

Steroids (like prednisone) are prescribed all the time for a variety of issues.
I've been on a short series several times for poison ivy.
When our son had HUGE tonsils they were almost an obstruction (when he was 3), he was on it 2 weeks to try to reduce their size.
It worked while he was taking the med, but they blew right back up once he finished the series.
So we had his tonsils and adenoids out.
He had no tantrum issues due to the steroid - but he snored from the throat blockage of his tonsils and being tired made him a bit more prone to tantrums.

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answers from Washington DC on

you don't say how old your child is.
you don't say why he's on steroids.
you don't say how long he's been on steroids.
you don't say how long the screaming and crying has been going on.
you don't say what other methods you've tried to help him.
but you and the mods will probably say that 'how on earth can we possibly help with this? call your freakin' doctor' is 'mean.'
so, mike, what's YOUR solution to this?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Steroids can cause a variety of problems, but they are also valuable tools and sometimes shouldn't be taken away cold turkey because that causes more problems. Could you edit your question by writing "Edited to Add" and then putting in more details, like what's going on, why he's taking the steroids, what kind of illness he has, and what conversations you have already had with doctor or pharmacist? Your pediatrician (or specialist, whomever you are using) has a 24 hour line to call for questions like this. Please use it and don't feel that you are annoying them - that's what the phone line is there for, especially for children!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I'm sorry. I can't answer your question without knowing more.

I've not had my kids have temper tantrums on steroids. I've never had my boys on steroids until they were older.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Yes, roid rage is real.

I have had to take massive steroids before. One time I didn't sleep for 3 or 4 days. I finally begged my husband to come sit by me on the love seat and hold my hand so I could sleep. I couldn't go lay in my bed because I could feel "things" in the was sleep deprivation and steroid psychosis, just a little bit, I was breaking mentally from them. I felt safe on the love seat but not on the couch next to it, not on my chair, only the love seat.

So he got up at 4am and sat by me. Then he fell back to sleep while holding my hand, a little while later he sort of wilted onto the floor and was leaning on the front of the love seat, still holding my hand.

I slept for 2.5 hours and woke up frantic that something was wrong. I got up and started throwing things and was in a rage. For NO reason, just in a rage.

I begged him to take the kids and get out, that I was afraid of me, of what I might do. He said Okay. A few minutes later the neighbor showed up and I got to ride to the ER in the back of our van. I got some drugs to knock me out for the rest of that day and I didn't take the double dose of steroids twice a day anymore. The doc had accidentally given the the wrong strength and dosage times. I never ever take the docs word anymore. I always talk to the pharmacist. They are the drug experts.

So yes, in a big way, steroids can save lives and help people to breath and do lots of things. They are good medicine BUT they can build up, be taken wrong, and make your world a scary angry place.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Hi A.
Steriods can make a feel wired, particularly predinisone, and keep you up at night (even in adults)...your munchkin may be cranky and feeling wired and tired yet unable to sleep from the steriods...

With that said...have you talked to your pedi about this and before taking him off the steriods? I dont want to scare you but depending on the situation/steriod, there are times when it is not safe to stop the steriods cold turkey but instead you need to wean off of it (at least that's what I've been told by my on doc and my son's pedi when we've needed to be on 'em)

I hope he feels better



answers from St. Louis on

Any medication can cause tantrums. Look up the medication. Se what reactions it has caused with other people.

I took my daughter off of Pulmicort. It caused her to cry for hours. That doesn't mean everyone has that reaction, but that is what it did to her. I looked the medication up in and took her off of it right away.



answers from Rochester on

Very likely. A friend of mine was just commenting on how much her son's personality changed when he was on a steroid. Talk to your doctor about it. Let the doc know what you are experiencing. There may be an alternative.



answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter screamed like nothing I have ever heard before, at bedtime at age 2 when she was given a steroid med. Her pediatrician apologized and said sometimes that can happen. Insomnia can be a side effect. We took her off it immediately.



answers from Miami on

Yes. Steroids can turn them into little monsters. I went through this with my son when he was a toddler. He had reactive airway disease and would throw up bottles of milk full of mucus. It was awful. The steroids were really important for him, but it was so hard on all of us when we had to use it.

This doesn't just happen when they're toddlers, either. When he was 7, he had croup and was having trouble breathing, so they put him on an inhaler with steroids in it. He acted just awful. When it came time for the next dose, he begged me not to give it to him - he said it made him feel awful inside of himself. At least he could tell me. Toddlers can't.

I'd get back to the doctor and talk this through. There's a reason he was given the steroids and it's important to figure this out.

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