Stopping Prednisone Cold Turkey

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hukleberrie
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Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 4/5/2008 8:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Just curious if anyone has ever stopped Predninsone cold turkey or knows what would happen.... I know you are supposed to taper to get your body back to working.... just wondering what happens if you just quit.... I am NOT going to just wondering....
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


petittarte
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 666
   Posted 4/5/2008 8:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I've done it, but was only on iv steriods for 3 days so I didn't suffer any ill effects. What I was told is that your body produces a natural steroid. When you take prednisone for more than a few days you bodies production of the natural roid slows down or stops altogether. This can cause all sorts of problems if you quit prednisone cold turkey. By slowly weeing off of the roids your bodies natural production starts up again.
Jodi

Remicade and 6MP


chroniemomx2
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 4/5/2008 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Ifyou aren't on them for a month or longer, you can quit cold turkey. But let me give you my experience....I didn't quit cold turkey, but I was on 60 mg., taking them twice a day a think, or maybe 3 times. Anyway, I went in the hospital,and it was then switched to iv. Upon discharge, the nurse told me that I could take my pred. all at once...that it didn't matter if I did it in 2 doses or 1. So, not thinking and taking her for her word, I started doing that. Well, it was a matter of just a couple of days, and I thoiught I was going to die! My heart was racing, I could hardly walk. I felt soooo horrible. I can't even really put into words the way I was feeling. That night I actually told my husband to keep checking on my during the night to make sure I was still alive. This was around Christmas, so all of my drs. were not in. I finally did get a hold of my arthritis dr., and he got me right in...bless his heart! And right when I got in there, he told me that I as experiencing pred. withdrawl. And once I started back to the twice a day, I noticed a difference in the first day even though it took a few days to totally get back to normal.

hukleberrie
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Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 4/5/2008 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been on it for about 5 weeks I think. I want to quit. It's making me all puffy & I feel like crap & don't feel much better. I bugged my doctors about quitting & they haven't gotten back to me about it so I figured I would just start tapering myself off. I am going to take 1/2 of what I normally take & see how that goes.
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


justjenjen
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Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 4/5/2008 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a doc tell me that the pred takes over for your adrenal gland and if you do not taper your adrenal gland won't kick back in. No other doc told me that but it was enough for me not to quit cold turkey--I would hate to go into shock b/c I was scared of a spider or something else equally silly. However, I have rushed the taper process a bit.

Stef17
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1695
   Posted 4/5/2008 9:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, you can mess up your adrenal gland. If you are going to quit, you HAVE to taper - unless you want to risk really messing yourself up. Trust me, I've been on and off (MOSTLY ON) pred for 15 years. So much for it being a "quick fix" drug. Get off of it if you want, but TAPER. Definitely DO NOT just quit cold turkey. Do you need a good taper schedule?

hukleberrie
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Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 4/5/2008 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I would LOVE a good taper schedule. I just figured I could take 1/2 of what I was taking for a week & then 1/2 of that for another week.....?
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14994
   Posted 4/5/2008 10:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hukleberrie are you completely nuts! I am sorry to be so harsh but do you want to do serious damage to your body? You just dont go for example from 30 mg a day to 15 mg. the next. You have to wean in a slower manner. You should not go down more than 5mg every 5-7 days at the most. Even that is pretty quick. I would do nothing without your doctors approval. You could seriously affect your adrenal glands and if you think you are sick now, just wait till you try to taper. Your Crohns is quite obviously out of control and if you cut the Pred too soon your Crohns is going to get even worse. Please do not do anything without your doctors approval. Let your doctor give you a taper schedule. We are here for support, but NONE of us is a medical professional. We just share what we have lived thru, and believe me in 32 years I have lived thru alot.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.


Mac_Gyver
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 4/5/2008 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
To give you a idea I was at 40mg for two weeks and now Im stepping down by 5mg every 7 days.
Symptoms Of Crohn's June of '06 (21 years old 285lbs). Colonoscopy in Jan '07 no sign of Crohn's.
Surgery for a Fistula in April '07, diagnosed suggestive Crohn's in May '07. August '07 small bowel follow
through, diagnosed with Crohn's (23 years old 180lbs). On prednisone and will be starting Tysabri Soon.
============================================


Julia Hill
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 4/5/2008 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I realize that the side effects of prednisone are non to great, but if one tapers to quickly, the consequences could be severe. You will feel light headed, lethargic, nausea, and you won't be able to lift your head up off the pillow. This will be the start of when you come crashing down if you don't go into shock in the meantime. I know this because after many years of being steroid dependent my colorectal surgeon took me off iv steroids in the hospital after surgery and didn't replace them orally. Within 1 week I was in trouble, and he realized what had happened. I spent another week in the hospital on iv steroids, and I can honestly say even after 10 years, I have never felt the same. Please listen to your Dr., this is not the time to self diagnose. Take care!

hukleberrie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 4/5/2008 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I am only on 20mg, so I thought if I took 10mg I would be okay... I am not on large doses or anything & have only been on it for about 5 weeks I think. How do I cut down 5 mg? I have to cut my pills into 4 pieces, I guess & take 3 pieces each day?

I guess I am just new to this & don't really understand all this just yet. I just want to stop taking this stuff. So I should go down 5mg each week, is that how I understand it?
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14994
   Posted 4/5/2008 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Usually you are prescribed pills in 5mg doses. For example you take 4 pills a day to equal 20 mg. If you are taking a 20 mg tablet then you are going to have to have your doc prescribed the 5 mg pills. That way you could go down to say 15 mg for a week, then 10 mg for a week, then 5 mg for a week and then none. So it would take you 3-4 weeks to wean. My personal opinion why the Pred is not working for you is because you are on too low a dose. Plus even though you are on a low dose, you have been on it a long time and the Pred is doing the work of your adrenal glands. Please do not make any decisions on your own, do so only with your doctors approval. Talk to him about Entocort, it is another steroid that has less side effects. It takes longer to work, but does have less side effects. Please listen to us who have lived with this disease alot longer than you, we know these things thru experience. Don't do anything without your doctors knowledge.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.


Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 4/5/2008 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are on steroids for more than a week or two, you must wean. Otherwise your body can go into shock because of the adrenal gland malfunctioning.

Razzle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4021
   Posted 4/5/2008 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
You need to be under your doctor's care for this, because if complications arise and you become comatose (a possible effect of tapering too quickly), nobody will realize what's going on, and that could lead to your death! I know this, because my husband decided all by himself that he would just stop taking his steroids cold turkey after being on them for over 10 years, and he wound up in the ER with uncontrollable vomiting, fever, extremely low blood pressure, dehydration, etc. I didn't know he had stopped his steroids until after he was admitted into the ICU. He did not improve at all until he got a big dose of IV steroids. He was told to see an endocrinologist after discharge from the hospital, and he was diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency. Now we have a rescue kit at home - injectable Cortesol - and if we need to use it, then afterwords we must go to the doctor or to the ER for further instructions and treatment. Adrenal Insufficiency can lead to coma and death if not treated quickly.

The bottom line? Don't think you can just stop taking the steroids without suffering consequences. Talk to your doctor first!

Take care,
-Razzle
Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD (Lupus?), Osteoporosis, Anemia, T- & B-Cell Lymphopenia, malabsorption/malnutrition, Lyme Disease (Igenex Lab IgM WesternBlot positive/CDC negative), etc.
Meds:  Pulmicort, Injectable Vitamin B12, Herbs, Nutritional Supplements, Homeopathy.


hukleberrie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 4/5/2008 1:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Ugh. That's depressing. I really thought I could get off of them in 2 weeks. I am so bummed.

So here's the deal, I took only a half of my 20 mg tablet. Do I go back & take half of the half to get up to 15 mg?
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 4/5/2008 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I would. Everyone else has done a good job of explaining the possible complications so I will skip that part. I am currently tapering off pred and my doctor has me going even slower than the other's mentioned. It went really quick from 30 to 5 but then I had to stay at 5 for four months because the RA came back too much. Now I am on 2.5 for three weeks then I can stop.

trickynikki
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 4/5/2008 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I was just on prednisone for quite a while. I started at 40 mg, and tapered down 10 mg each week. So I took 20 mg for a week, then 10 mg for a week, and then my dr told me to do 5mg for a week. So, I mean, definitely talk to your doctor, but I jumped from 20 mg to 10 mg with my doctors blessing and definitely was fine. Good luck!
~Nikki


hukleberrie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 4/5/2008 5:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I am holding out for my 10 mg right now hoping that is okay. I am keeping an eye on myself & I let my husband know what I am doing. I am okay right now. Just tired. So no worries! ; ) At least, not about this....
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


chroniemomx2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 4/5/2008 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I started at 60, and my taper schedule was by 10mg every 2 weeks.  Then as I got down to 10 mg. I went to 7.5 and then 5 and then 5 every other day for a week.  Then I was done.  This worked really well for me.  I was started on 60 mg at the beginning of Nov. and I started tapering in Jan.  This was a few years ago now.   I was totally off by April.   

Matthew
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3926
   Posted 4/5/2008 9:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Huckleberry,

I've tried to taper from 20 mg to 5mg years ago. My experience says:
DON'T EVEN THINK about IT!
This may also have triggered my first attack of Crohn's arthritis.

Sincerely,
Matthew

hukleberrie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 4/6/2008 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
So far the 10mg is working out okay! Just wanted you all to know that all is well so far....
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


indigosunrise
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 4/6/2008 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Hukle,

I have been on prednisone for I think a month now. The first week I was at 60, second week 40, third week 10, and my Rheumatologist changed my third week to 7.5 about 1/2 way through, then I will drop down to 5 in a day for another week, and then 2.5. I am also puffy--and it is NOT fun.

I am glad you did not quit it cold turkey. I work at a school of pharmacy and one of the professors told me to NOT quit it suddenly--I was complaining about my moon cheeks to her--and she said to quit it could be very devastating to your health.

Take care and let us know how it goes!

-Indigo

hukleberrie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 4/7/2008 5:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Everything's okay so far....

I have lost 4 lbs in the last 3 days, must be that fluid!!!

I was told that since I was on prednisone, when I had my surgery last week, they probably gave me a dose in my IV. I was just wondering if that is normal? They never told me that they did, I was just wondering if that is normal practice...
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


Stef17
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1695
   Posted 4/7/2008 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   
They did that to me when I had my c-sections. They said that the body might "freak out" because of the surgery and the extra boost in pred would be to offset any possible freak out. I wasn't happy about that, but mostly because they didn't tell me what they were doing till I saw them hanging a bag on my i.v. and asked about it. I like to be informed so I can have a say in my treatment. The 2nd time around I only let them hang one bag instead of two.

elroque
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 4/7/2008 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I started out on 60 mg and have been tapering since last year. I am down to 4mg and 3mg (alternating days). I had gotten stuck on the 4mg due to having a huge setback and starting to flare up again (and wanting the sky to open up and zap me with lightening since I was feeling so bad) but with the 4 and 3 regime I have been so-so. I see my GI on the 30th to see if he will cut me down to 3mg a day or 2mg but I am going to be put on Humira plus the Imuran I am already on.

Rock
 
Love many, trust few, but always paddle your own canoe....

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