Newly diagnosed w/ RA

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SJH
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/18/2008 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello. I was going to the Chronic pain and fibro forum, and then today I saw my Rheumatologist for the first time. She says she is Comfortable and sure enough to diagnose me with RA, but took blood labs and sent me out for x-rays just to confirm it. I don't know what the results are yet. So she prescribed me Prednisone 5 mg 2x's a day. I asked on another forum but I guess this one is better. Who has taken this? Does it work? She says it will do wonders for the pain and horrific swelling I have in my knees. My fingers and wrists are slightly swollen, but not as bad as the knees. Also does it run in your families? I have 4 members on my mom's side with it so I am sure it is hereditary. I am trying to do some research, but then I see the pics of the deformities and I get freaked out and depressed and don't want to think about it.... Plus I was told that it (the prednisone) can make my back issues worse... and that is the LAST thing I want!!!! Anyone with experience, please let me know what I am in for....
***** Fibromyalgia 2007 ***** Degenerative Disk Disease with Herniation T7, T8, T9 May '08***** Rheumatoid Arthritis June '08 ******


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 6/18/2008 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, for many people 24 hours or less (for me 4 hours) after your first dose of prednisone you will notice a huge difference in the pain and swelling in your knees and it will continue to improve until you don't notice any inflamation-pain depends on what other damage is done.
RA and the other autoimmune disorders tend to run in families together-so if anyone in the family has any autoimmune disorders anyone in the family is more likely to get any of the autoimmune disorders.
I have had RA for 12 years and have no joint deformities, others get joint deformities in the first year or two so you will have to find that out for yourself-good medication helps prevent joint deformities but the type (not an exact term just some people have a more aggressive form than others) of RA you have also determines how much damage.
If you already have DDD you will want to take calcium while on pred and ask your doc about other precautions.
As you are probably already aware many of us call pred the evil wonder drug. It works-It works better than anything else for many of us but the side effects can be nasty. Hopefully at your next appointment your doctor will start you on a long term maintaince med, as it kicks in you will decrease the amount of prednisone and eventually stop taking it. The key is the lowest effective dose for the shortest time. 10 mgs is not a really high dose and many doctors are comfortable with 5 mgs for several months as a maintence drug kicks in (some people are on much higher doses).
Let me know if there is anything else I can help with-there will be others along shortly with additional answers and you may notice that the drug is more "evil" or "wonderful" depending on who is talking.
Sj

SJH
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/18/2008 3:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah the more I look into it the more nervous I am about taking it... but then again, if it helps my pain, I will bite the bullet...

***** Fibromyalgia 2007 ***** Degenerative Disk Disease with Herniation T7, T8, T9 May '08***** Rheumatoid Arthritis June '08 ******


SJH
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/19/2008 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
BTW, Prednisone ROCKS!!!!!
Since this morning i am able to move my arms hands and legs without feeling like they are going to rip apart. For the first time in I don't know how long I am HAPPY! No bad side effects so far....
The back pain sure could go away, but my neck is mobile. I could hug that Dr. right now....
***** Fibromyalgia 2007 ***** Degenerative Disk Disease with Herniation T7, T8, T9 May '08***** Rheumatoid Arthritis June '08 ******


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 6/19/2008 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   
SJH-yup I love the stuff too I went from being unable to dress myself and barely able to drag myself down the stairs to let the dog out to dancing in 24 hours. I just got off the stuff after 8 months but I am hoarding the extras-I will never be without prednisone again.
Sj

SJH
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/19/2008 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Ha ha yeah I may do the same....
Did it make you feel like you had one to many cups of coffee though? What did you do to counteract it if you did?
***** Fibromyalgia 2007 ***** Degenerative Disk Disease with Herniation T7, T8, T9 May '08***** Rheumatoid Arthritis June '08 ******


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 6/19/2008 7:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hmm..when I was on 30 mgs a day I had this false energy I would start doing something (like bowling with my nephew) then all of a sudden I would feel like the other in the energizer bunny commercial-like I had been unplugged. I was still really sick under the mask of prednisone. I took the pred as early in the morning as possible to make it possible for me to sleep and I cleaned my house a lot. By the time I was on 10mgs that cafinated feeling was gone. I noticed your on 5 mgs twice a day-why the divided dose? Pred is usually given in a single dose (though not always) partly because taking it later in the day often leaves people unable to sleep.
My doc told me to taper off the pred-take 2.5 mgs a day for fourteen days then stop-but she wrote the script to dispense 90 with 3 refills. So I have her blessing with hoarding a small supply-at least enough to get me through until I can get in to see her-She is a very good doctor.
Sj

SJH
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/20/2008 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know why she did that. I am to take on e at breakfast and one at dinner, and yes, I have a VERY hard time sleeping. I have been late to work the last 2/3 days from lack of sleep. I have found if I take a baclofen with it at dinner it's not so bad... but yeah the "masking" it does gives me false "health" if that makes sense. I do things that later on my throbbing bady reminds me I am not to do...
***** Fibromyalgia 2007 ***** Degenerative Disk Disease with Herniation T7, T8, T9 May '08***** Rheumatoid Arthritis June '08 ******

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