View Full Version : Prednisone has any one taken it?

12-22-2010, 03:15 PM
Yesterday my doctor gave me a prescrip for Prednisone for my arthritis. The pain is getting hard to control. He thinks I'll have good luck with it. Frankly, I'm scared of it. Just wondering if any one has taken it.

I am to take one pill a day for 5 days then half a pill for 15.

I did have a dog years ago who had sezures and took it. She took massive doses for several years. It affected her liver and it exploded more or less.
Help? :love:

12-22-2010, 03:27 PM
My Dad has to take it, 5 mg daily, for Addison's disease. At this low dose, the risks are almost non existent. Dad does have blood wok done every 6 months to ensure no liver issues.

If you are on a low dose, OR if you are taking it for a short time, you will be fine. Sounds like you are on it just for 20 days? I wouldn't worry.

It is a concern long term. My Sugar was on it, half a 5 mg pill daily for 2 years, while I struggled to find an alternate and get her off it. I pray she does not have any side effects due to that! She needed it for a nasal polyp and it kept the swelling down so she had no breathing difficulties. Lo, I found she was allergic to my laundry detergent! Switched that, the swelling stopped and she doesn't need the pred OR any alternative either, lol.

Take it and meantime try to find other arthritis meds. Have you been on an arthritis forum? Folks on there will have lots of info to help you out. I was on one, briefly, 2 years back when my knees were so bad I could barely walk with a cane in each hand. It will help if you know what you have, as the treatment for each type varies quite a bit: rheumatoid, osteo, etc. We -- Dad and I -- just recently attended a great presentation by an arthritis expert, at our senior center. I think she said there ae 7 most common types; and the drugs vary for each one.

12-22-2010, 03:45 PM
I was on a steroid taper for about a week after my craniotomy.

Steroids can raise your blood sugar, but that's only a problem if you're Diabetic (I am), or if you are on large doses, for a long time.

I had a couple of steroid injections into my right ankle 15 years ago - and it gave me immediate relief of the pain, and the pain didn't come back for about a month. In that case it was used as a diagnostic tool. The fact that I had relief proved his diagnosis. Then I had surgery to fix the problem.

I think you'll be fine for the time frame your doctor is prescribing.

Pinot's Mom
12-22-2010, 03:53 PM
I've had prednisone prescribed several times over the years for a few things; respiratory issues, sinus infections, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, general inflammation. My husband just got off a short term dose they thought might calm the spasms in his back (didn't help).

I've never had a problem, nor has my husband, but my sister can't take it. Just be aware of any significant changes in your behavior or agitation levels and report them to your doctor. You should be fine on a low dose for that period of time. Good luck! :)

12-22-2010, 04:08 PM
I have had to take it several different times for short periods of time - the main side effect was it made me ravenously hungry. At least it made me *think* I was! But each time I was on a big dose then an immediate draw down, so 2 weeks total each time. No damage and it helped me breathe again - each time it was because my asthma had gotten so bad I wasn't getting enough oxygen.

12-22-2010, 04:20 PM
When my nephew was on it at first for his Chrons. It does make you eat and gain weight. After all these years I believe he is on something different for management.

12-22-2010, 05:25 PM
I have had to take it several different times for short periods of time - the main side effect was it made me ravenously hungry. At least it made me *think* I was!

I have taken it many times over the years and it always helped me. I had
no side effects except for the hunger thing that Karen mentioned. It doesn't
give off any "buzz" type feeling, but it will help with inflamation in your hands
or fingers. It helps relieve the pain, so you should feel better with it.:)

12-22-2010, 05:48 PM
I take pred every time I get one of my sinus infections. It seriously helps with the inflamation and makes my headaches a zillion times better. I felt like I was on a revolving pred prescription last year.... just as I weane myself off I started a new pack.

12-22-2010, 05:54 PM
I never knew they prescribed it for arthritis, i have two types of arthritis, i can well understand the pain you are in, i take a anti-flammatory drug called arcoxcia, but only when it is unbearable, i only ever have five pills a month in my cabinet, as they cost 3.50 a pill, but they are really good and the most gentle on the stomach.

Like all drugs none are without side effects, i know long term they can give you like a moon shaped face and you are very hungry and do gain weight, my nieces husband is on them permanently and many other drugs for his rare illness, he has gained so much weight , especially in the face, however i am sure on the lose dose you mentioned that probably will not happen.

So don't be frightened, give it a go, see how it works, what side effects your experience, if any, and take it from there, i wish you success and pain free days, you have my utmost empathy,take care now.:love:

12-22-2010, 06:30 PM
Thanks everyone! I'll start it tomorrow. I sure hope I don't gain weight. I've finally lost 14 pounds. :D

I think he is hoping it will help my inflammation. I have lots of trouble with that. I was on high doses of ibruprophen for years and that started to damage my kidneys. The other pain meds we've tried don't help the inflammation and other arthritis drugs I've tried, I can't take. He did check my vitamin d levels the other day and I had a bone scan a little over a year ago so I'm good that way.

My back has been cramping up so bad I can hadly sit up. I sure hope this helps. Fingers crossed. Thanks again. :love:

12-22-2010, 06:56 PM
Thanks everyone! I'll start it tomorrow. I sure hope I don't gain weight. I've finally lost 14 pounds.

If it gives you the hungry horrors, just remind yourself it's all an illusion, your stomach isn't any bigger than it was yesterday, and get yourself some hard candies (sugar free if your body will tolerate them - mine won't) to give your mouth something to do. It may have the opposite effect - when Lady's Human (my brother) has been on prednisone, he loses any appetite at all, and has to be reminded to eat. Curious critters, we humans are!

And it does reduce inflammation quite effectively - that's why it had such an immediate effect on my asthma attack.

Oh - it also sometimes gives folks a "butterfly rash" - pinkness in the cheeks, harmless, don't let it worry you, it'll go away. It sure freaked out my boss, who visited me once in the hospital - I'm normally a pasty white person, so he blurted out "Your cheeks are pink! I know that usually means someone is healthy, but on you ..." and only calmed down when I explained it was a normal phenomenon with prednisone.

12-22-2010, 08:57 PM
I took it for arthritis and fibromyalgia in a fairly large dosage and then tapered off. In the beginning, it was a miracle. I had zero pain and inflammation. It only lasted for about a month, however. Then I was on it again a few months later, same dosage and it was half as effective. I took it again a third time and it had no effect whatsoever. My last dr. wanted to put me on a low dose forever and she told me that I would gain weight and become moon faced. Now that's something to look forward to, eh? I said "no" and I've dealt w/the pain as best I can since. Good luck w/it. I do hope that you get some relief. :)

12-23-2010, 06:50 AM
Prednisone is a steroid. It will make you put on weight. I'd get a second opinion. How about trying a Homeopathic Doctor. They can find something natural that won't hurt your other organs and will help with your arthritis.

If the CONS outweigh the PROS in taking Prednisone, then I say it's not worth it. But that's only MO.

Please keep us posted!! And feel better!!

12-23-2010, 01:39 PM
Took my first dose today. After about an hour I felt relaxed. :D I didn't take any other meds because I want to document if I have any side effects. Oddly, my shoulder and knees do feel better. (wishful thinking?)

Around 11:30 I started having temors in my left hand. I think I scared myself though. I had been on a 45 minute phone call and held the phone in that hand. I use my left hand for my computer mouse. When I tried moving the mouse after that call, my hand shook. (it's better now)

I called the dr office just in case because by then, I was hyper. The nurse is to call me back later. Turned out it was a good thing I called. She had been trying to call me while I was on the phone.

The blood work the dr did is back. I still have mild kidney problems. Not sure if they are worse than they were when they checked in Aug or not. Will need to ask.

My sed rate is way way up. I knew it was and told him that the other day.

BUT I didn't know I am extremenly low on vitamin D. I need to go on a prescrip for that. 50,000 twice a week for I think 6 weeks then have it checked again. Since our bus will not run again until Monday, I'll have to wait to start that next week. I'll take some otc vitamins that have 400 mg D and hope that helps until then.
Thanks for all the help. Oh, Donna, we have no Homeopathic doctors in our town and I have no way of getting to one in a different one. so, I just have to do the best I can. Thanks though. :love:

12-23-2010, 01:45 PM
"hyper"... that could be from the pred- let's see what happens after the next couple of doses
vitamin D - I found 1,000 IU capsules at Target that are small and easy to swallow. I'm also taking Drisdol once a week. (the doc specifically told me to continue the vitamin D, 1,000 IU 3x/day in addition to the Drisdol)
I took a Medrol dosepack the last time my sciatica flared up. Nothing else works as well. Correction... Flexeril works well but it makes me so drowsy and dopey that I can't function normally, so I don't take it anymore.

12-23-2010, 03:19 PM
You're ony on for a short therapy time. 15 days is the norm and in that time you won't have time to swell up or overeat. I've been put on short course therapy of 15 days with much higher doses with no ill effects. But I can tell you that each time was well worth it and if I ever needed it again I wouldn't hesitate to go on again. I think the only side effect is that you have trouble sleping but then your pain would keep you awake wouldn't it?

12-23-2010, 03:43 PM
Just talked to the nurse practioner. I'm glad I did. I have carpel tunnel in both hands. That was the most likely cause of the tremors. The tremors are gone now. :)

We talked about the vitamin D thing. I will have to take 50,000 units twice a week for 6 weeks. Go in to be retested and stay on 2,000 every day. Wow!! was I low or what? She mentioned it could be causing extreme fatigue plus depression. Both of which I have been having lots of trouble with lately. I had never had problems with depression like I have the last several months. I just figured it was because of my fibro. Hopefully the Vit D will help that.
I have been allergic to milk since I was 25. Not lactose intollerant. I can't breathe if I drink milk wether it is lactose free or not.

I also need to take calcium caltrate every day too. I used to take a calcium tablet but had gotten lazy and had stopped taking it.

My kidneys have improved a bit since they did the last test in aug. Hopefully we can find something that will help the inflammation without damaging them further soon. She suggested a topical ointment. I can't see how that would help the deep down inflamation though. She is going to do some research on it.

Thanks again everyone!!! :love:

12-23-2010, 04:17 PM
I was on Prednisone for a short time while I was in the hospital being treated for ulcerative colitis the summer of 09'. I also was still on it when I came home... a month later! Ugh! Anyway, pred is not to be used long-term, as you said, overtime it does affect your liver. It aslo weakens your immune system, so stay away from crowded places (malls, resturants, etc) until you get the okay from your Dr. You cannot just suddenly stop taking prednisone, or other steroids for that matter, you have to be weaned off of the drug, following the instructions from your doctor.

For animals, (don't know much about people and prednisone, other than my own personal experience) they eat and drink a whole lot more!

12-23-2010, 07:54 PM
MOFF, I sure hope that the pred will help you. I've been taking 1000 IU of vitamin D and 1000mg of calcium for quite a while now. My mom actually suggested that I start taking 1000 IU of vitamin D because it's supposed to be good for breast health and my mom is a breast cancer survivor. I hate drinking milk but I do try to drink orange juice that has calcium in it.

I've never been on pred but I've had 2 cats on it long term and some were on it just short term. My vet told me that dogs and people don't do as well on pred as cats do. Unfortunately my RB Starr gained so much weight that it affected his health.:( Storm is on 2.5mg every morning and he's doing well but he does drink a lot. So far he hasn't gained weight like poor Starr did. It also helped to clear up Sky's stuffy nose and it cleared up Pearl's breakouts on her chin and lips. Good luck and I hope you start feeling much better very soon.:)

12-24-2010, 09:33 AM
I'm going off the Prednisone. My right hand was shaking a bit last night. And when I got up this morning, I felt very weak and shakey, specially in my arms, legs and shoulders. I thought it was because it was near the time I should take my next dose so I just took half a dose. By 8 I felt a tiny better but still not like I should.

I called and had the nurse practioner I talked to yesterday paged. She said I can just stop the stuff. I can't risk taking something that could cause me to faint or fall. I'd lay here for weeks.

We do know it helped with the pain quite a bit. So maybe that will help us find something else down the road that will work better.

Meantime, I need to concentrate on getting my vitamin D up. 50,000 units is a heck of a lot to need to take. I've been reading up on it and the lack of it can cause bone and joint pain. So maybe when I get it normal some of my pain will ease up too.

Thanks again for all your help. :love:

smokey the elder
12-26-2010, 08:07 AM
Steroids are one of those funny older drugs which can be spectacularly effective for some people and a disaster for others. I'm sorry you fall into the latter group. Have you talked to your doc about other drugs, like NSAIDs (Celebrex TM and the like) or even antibodies (EnbrelTM)? Good luck; pain just plain sucks.

12-26-2010, 12:31 PM
Steroids are one of those funny older drugs which can be spectacularly effective for some people and a disaster for others. I'm sorry you fall into the latter group. Have you talked to your doc about other drugs, like NSAIDs (Celebrex TM and the like) or even antibodies (EnbrelTM)? Good luck; pain just plain sucks.

I had a cortizone shot several years ago and had a strong reaction to it so was not too surprised at the Prednisone.

We have talked about Celebrex and stuff. The problem is he doesn't know how much to give me that won't damage my kidneys any more than they already are. Why can't there just be a pill with out horrible side effects? :love:

12-26-2010, 02:41 PM
Oh i am so sorry to hear that it did not work for you, i so empathise, having arthritis myself, but i think mine is mild in comparison, and it sucks,so i sure hope they can find something that will help ease your pain and suffering, the arcoxia drug i take, is wonderful, and easy on the stomach, i think it is similar to celebrex, again long term and high usuage will have bad side effects, for me i only ever have five a month, so i should be ok, it gives me a few days or even up to two weeks relief if i am extremely fortunate.

Here's hoping there is something for you that suits and give you a better quality of life, HUGS and take care.,thinking of you.:love:

12-26-2010, 03:21 PM
I think we are going to need to get the vitamin D thing straightened out before we try any new stuff for the arthritis. From what the nurse said and what I've read, it can cause some of the problems I've been having lately like extreme fatigue and depression and even fibromyalgia pain. I know a lack of it causes rickets in children so it may be messing with my joints.

Odd thing, we did a bone scan and he checks my calcium regularly. They have checked out fine. Guess 35 years of milk allergy is catching up with me. Thanks everyone. It helps to hear from you all. :love:

12-27-2010, 01:15 AM
I have fibromyalgia, and i was low in vitamin D as well, i have to take one pill per month, i missed it one month by error and my results showed i was still low in it, so obviously it is important not to miss a dose.

Yes get it sorted, being low in Vitamin D can be potentially very harmful to you.

Good luck with it all, and keep us posted how you go, hoping your pain eases to a bearable comfort or just goes away, i know that is unlikely to happen, but we can all wish can't we?:):love:

12-27-2010, 05:10 PM
The nurse practitoner I talked to last week called me today. She has been checking into a topical anti-inflammary drug for me. We needed to see if my insurance will cover it. She found out they will cover part but not all of a gel called Voltaren. It would help the inflamation without the harming my kidneys or liver. I'll be checking my my doctor about it next time I go. I want to get this vitamin D thing taken care of first if possible, just to see if any pain goes away.

I had other questions about the vitamin D stuff that she answered for me too. I can't believe how nice she is. It was so sweet of her to check on that for me and call me back. :love:

12-27-2010, 08:15 PM
I just wanted to let you know we have had voltaren here for years, and i have used it many times, however i was told that it is just the same as taking a pill, as it goes on the skin, it still enters the blood stream just the same,however it was not a doctor who told me that, but a pharmacist, don't mean to put a downer on this, but just thought i should share this with you.

Voltaren is helpful though.

12-28-2010, 04:34 AM
Before my wife went into hospital to have her parathyroid removed, she had lots of severe bone pain, depression and fatigue. Our specialist told us this was caused by excessive calcium in her bloodstream....the reason for that was because a growth on her parathyroid was messing up what a healthy parathyroid does, and that is to send the calcium into the bones and where it is needed. In my wifes case, the calcium wasn't being sent to where it was needed.......but instead was just going into her bloodstream. A blood test revealed straight away, very high calcium levels, and therefore a parathryroid malfunction.
Vitamin D also controls calcium levels, so it may be a very good idea as you have said before, to get your vitamin D levels normal.....before you go taking anti-inflammatory medicines.

12-28-2010, 12:41 PM
Well, I survived my first dose of 50,000 units of D. :D I did have an extreme stomach ache about 3 hours after taking it and spent 20 minutes in the bathroom. I think that was because of the #5 blue dye they used in the pills. I've had problems with that in other meds I've taken. What makes them think I need pretty pills? I just want them to work with as little side effects as possible. :rolleyes: Feeling fine today. Next one will be on Thursday so we will see.

Carole, I plan on talking voltaren over with my dr. I'm thinking maybe it can lower inflammation without it harming my kidneys like pills do. I'll have to see what he says. I will wait until the vitamin D thing is under control hopefully. I don't go back to see him until March unless something else comes up. Just in for more blood tests in 6 weeks for the vitamin d check up.

Wom, one funny thing, mr dr has checked my calcium levels lots of times and they have all been normal. Even did a bone scan a year or two ago. All was fine with that too. I'm certainly glad of that but was a bit surprised since I've been unable to take milk since I was 25. I do take a calcium tablet every day when I remember to.

Thanks again everyone. :love: