How long does it take for prednisone to clear your system?

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Nanners
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14994
   Posted 2/28/2011 2:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bigalial and welcome to Healingwell. Just wanted to make sure you received a welcome. Hugs!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease
Crohn's Disease for over 35 years. Currently on Asacol, Protonix, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!

at
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 2/28/2011 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on pred for around 4 months, had every side affect in the book. Everything but the moon face and the weight have gone. Glad to be off though

HURSTY
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Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/28/2011 11:52 PM (GMT -6)   
when i was on pred i started on 60mg for 2 weeks, then 40 for week, the 30 for week, then 35, then 30 and so on taking 5mg less each week till i got to 5mg then i stopped. my gastro nurse said it could take up to 8 weeks to fully get out ur system, eg you could still put weight on ect untill 6-8 weeks. for me i suffered with head aches and swelling in the face, after stopping the prd this stoped after couple of days but the weight still went on till bout 5 weeks after, not much but still abit.
 
iv also been on 40mg of pred for about 10 days and stopped it dead which my doc said i could do if its a short time on the drug, i had no side effects that time.
 
i hope this helps you out

Selina32
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/11/2011 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with everyone else. I had a lingering cough that got worse and worse over a period of 3 weeks (Also Asthma) to the point of almost passing out.

The doctor prescribed 6 tablets a day for a week then stop! After day two I found I was pinned to the sofa/bed dizzy and feeling sick also a thirst like no other I drank 6 litres of water in a day.

I phoned the doctor and he said to stop as I didn't feel any better I have managed to shift my cough almost and the inhalers are working great so maybe it did help a bit however 5 days later I'm still off work (Care Assistant) very giddy no way I can drive my care and unfortnately quite angry/snappy feel quite tense too -

I'm not sure if the side effects are worth it - i'm just worried about loseing my job now still hope to be back in two days.

ScaredofPred
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Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/9/2012 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
PREDNISONE WITHDRAWAL HELL- EVEN WHEN ON LOWEST DOSAGE, EVEN WHEN TAPERED, EVEN WHEN ON IT FOR ONLY ONE WEEK!!! This is scary. I have taken Prednisone many years ago for asthma and never had a problem with it but over the holidays I had a very scary experience with Pred that lasts until today. I had bronchial asthma and did the tapered 10 day regimen with Prednisone and it cured my asthma immediately. Felt great! Followed the directions to taper off slowly and then after the final day (10 days total) I stopped it. That's when I entered and am still suffering in a hell that is Prednisone not wanting to let me go. Here's what has happened in just one week after being off Pred: 1. Gained 15 lbs in 48 hours. 2. Feet, ankles, legs became swollen to twice their size. 3. Extreme fatigue. Can't work. Can't walk more than 10 ft without having to stop. Shortness of breath to the point of feeling like I am going to suffocate. 4. Drowning sensation when trying to drink a glass of water. 5. Nervous tremors. 6. Feel like I might fall with my legs at times becoming very wobbly due to lack of any energy. 7. Lose my breath when trying to tie my shoes. 8. Become faint when leaning over. 9. Stomach distended and bloated. 10. Acid reflux flare up. 11. Have to stand or sit up many times instead of lying down, which will cause me to choke.

The swelling is going down very slowly in my legs and ankles. At this rate I am thinking I might be in withdrawal for a month or longer. I was fine, Prednisone cured my asthma, but now withdrawing from it is a seperate and much more severe problem than why I took it in the first place. Don't want to lose my job but seriously zapped of all energy. I lose my breath talking.

And I took the lowest dosage for the least amt of time it is prescribed. The cure was worse than the original problem.

ScaredofPred
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/9/2012 2:25 PM (GMT -6)   
 So how long until the withdrawal side effects of prednisone stop?  Was on it at lowest dosage and tapered off for only 10 days but still suffering from withdrawal.  No energy at all.  Almost like mono.

expensive2keep
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/19/2012 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I wound up in the hospital for allergic reaction to Avalox antibiotic and they shot me full of prednisone. Sent me home with 60 mg for 2 days, 40 for 2 days, then 20 for 2 days then stop. I went into anaphylactic shock. In the hospital for four days then they sent me home with the same weaning and on last day I went into shock again with tongue swelling, hives, throat closing, couldn't breathe, etc. I have never, ever been on prednisone in my life. Finally found a doctor who is weaning me off going down 10 mg every four days. While in the hospital and the first two days at home on 60 mg daily.....I was having suicidal thoughts...extreme as well as feet and legs ice cold, dizzy, fuzzy vision, extreme anxiety, acid reflux, extended stomach, swelling in the face and throat, whirring in the ears, numbness in the mouth and chin, extreme hunger and thirst and joint pain as well as headaches. I am slowly dosing down...on day 3 of 40 mg daily. They gave me all my pills at once at the hospital but at home I space them out. 10 mg at 5 am, 11 am, 5pm and 11pm. Thank God the mental side effects are gone and the physical ones aren't as bad with meds spaced apart. I still cannot lie down to sleep.....and cannot sleep for very long either. Half moon face started today. I have found that spacing my pills as well as eating a yogurt or toast or banana right before the meds and drinking milk with the meds helps curb the side effects. I have a friend who just went through the same as me and they just cannot get her off so she will have to take it the rest of her life and right now she has no energy. Someone could make a fortune on opening clinics just to get people off this nasty stuff! One curious side effect no one else has mentioned....I smell popcorn.....everywhere....a really strong smell. Has anyone heard of that? My DR said they cannot check to see if my adrenal glands are working until I am off the stuff. Won't that be too late? Is there no way you can tell if they aren't working when you are on your lowest dose?

Post Edited (expensive2keep) : 2/19/2012 9:00:20 PM (GMT-7)


expensive2keep
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/19/2012 11:01 PM (GMT -6)   
And why did the DR say I cannot take vitamins while on prednisone? Anyone know?

dragonfly137927
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 2/20/2012 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been told once the taper is complete the side effects begin going away in about 1 week but the med isnt out of your system for 1 year..not sure how accurate that is but it was what I was told
Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987

Helmke/lee/c
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/24/2012 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on Predinisone for 7 days 5mg pills 6 the first 3 days, and 4 pills the next 3 days and 2 pills the last day. I was suppose to take two more days of 2 pills each day but was not warned about the side effects. Now I am light headed, have had my pulse race and tired, very tired. Is this suppose to be normal. If I would have realized what this would do to me I would have never taken it. I was struggling with first Bronchitis, than Pneumonia, than pain in the chest. These are the reasons that the doctor put me on this stuff. I had been sick for 7 weeks when he put me on these meds. Will my body come back to normal, even without tapering the two last days? Are there things I need to know about that, could cause more issues? Are the symptoms that I am having normal? What happens when you taper to fast? Need some answers to these questions as I am going back to the doctor in 3 days.

colls37
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 2/24/2012 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry havent read the other responses,but i have had real issues with pred.yes,it does the trick for a flare,bv for me-last time,iwas on 40mg for two wks,then reducing by 5mg a week,pretty much the norm,except it totally trnd my head up side down in sideout.i suffer depression,but ths took me to anthr level.paranoia,didnt knw what or who i was, wanted to die,no anythng..,like id just had a stroke.it apparently takes twice as long to leave your system as you are on it.had it many times b4,and not sufrd,but did last time.my g.i has recently put me on budesonide steriod.it works out alot mre expensive acrding to my pharmacist,but didnt give me any issues,and is mre suitable for c.d in termimal illium.comes in capsules.sadly,i have now been placed on pred for a sinus issue for 3 weeks.Good bye sanity.
Crohns since 2000,right side colon removd,
current narrowing on re section
aza 150mg 18mnths
high strngth cod liver caps
B12 3 mnthly.
Fed up with it.was fine for ten years.

deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1955
   Posted 2/25/2012 7:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Looks like many who have posted in this thread don't understand that Pred is a drug you can't live with it and can't live without it. You can't take or withdraw it on whims. You are essentially playing with your adrenal glands here. If you mess them up, boy, you will end up with a lifelong problem. Follow instructions carefully. I mean, really carefully, especially when you are tapering as you want your Adrenal glands to chime in to take over the role/control.

The symptoms of pred can vary from person to person and although pred may be out of the system within a day or two (after last dose), the side effects can liner anytime between 3 months to a year. In my case, I put on a lot of water weight and it takes about 7 months to shed all that weight. This time I am going to try diuretics for the first time (if my GI Rxes me) to see if I can shed that weight rather quickly.
Diagnosed March 2007 with left sided UC at the age of 30.
Currently on,
Colazal 9 daily, Imuran, 200mg daily, Vit. B12, 1mg, Multivitamin, 1 tablet daily, Fish oil 2400mg daily, Vit D 2000 IU daily, Butterbur 150mg daily.

Verapamil 240mg for migraine, Migraine episode now at least twice a month,
Ibuprofen 400mg is the only solution (but leads to bleeding). Looking for alternatives.

daisy74
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/6/2012 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
OK, I was searching online for answers to why I feel so awful and what is wrong with me. I was put on 2-20mg pills per day for 5 days. And then nothing, just cold stopped. I'm a little worried now, as I see that Prednisone is something that I should have been tapered off of instead of abruptly stopping. Of course, the dr never mentioned this at all, nor did she offer to tell me any of this when I called twice to tell them I was having some crazy symptoms, felt terrible, and was concerned about it. I was told that maybe the antibiotic that I was taking along side the Pred didn't cure the ear problem and that could be the cause of my symptoms, so I was given another antibiotic and told that if they didn't clear by the end of this round of antis to make sure I let them know and to def come back in to be seen. Seriously?? Now I'm wanting to call the dr and give her a piece of my mind for not making me aware, at any point, that this is serious medication and that my body should have been weaned off of the 40mg per day. I am a little po'd right now. Actually I'm a lot po'd and would like someone's advice as to what I should do now or how to get over these symptoms...nausea, light headed, dizzy, almost passing out several times, headaches, blurred vision, feeling like my head cannot keep up with my body, crazy appetite and cravings, sudden red and hot face, heartburn, feeling weak and exhausted, just overall feeling not normal in a weird way. I really thought something was terribly wrong with me until I started reading and realized what was going on. Now I'm wondering about this adrenal malfunction thing too? Help!

gumby44
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 3008
   Posted 3/6/2012 8:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi daisy,
My understanding is that if you are only on Pred for 5 days, then you can stop without tapering, and it won't affect your adrenal glands. Those problems happen when you are on Pred for a longer period of time. I am not a doctor though, and if you are having such bad symptoms, then it is time to call your doc and get seen. How long has it been since you stopped the Pred? Try not to get too angry at your doc....it is not unusual to be given a burst of Pred for 5 days and then stop. It depends on what they are giving you the pred for. More importantly, is that you don't feel well and need your doctor's help. I hope you feel better soon.
53 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS. Disease spread 12/11 to distal ileum Dx. with c.difficile and gastroparesis 1/12.
MEDS: Pentasa- 6 500mg pills per day, Omeprazole, Xanax for sleep, Phenergan, Domperidone, probiotics

Ohheyrachrae
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/13/2012 7:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so relieved that I found this. 10 days ago I was given Prednisone for an allergic reaction in the emergency room, I was given this once through an Iv then sent home with a perscription 60mg once a day for 5 days. I started feeling absolutely horrible 2 days after starting this medication and every single day it has been worse since then. I feel better for the first hour I wake up and I am hoping that this is almost over, I will never take prednisone ever again. My symptoms have been rapid heart beat, anxiety, dizziness, nausea, head aches, blurred vision, hard time catching my breath, wobbly, I can not stand for more than 30 seconds or I am very afraid I will pass out, numbness of tounge, mental fogginess, extremely emotional, constantly hungry, I really can't explain how I feel. I explained it to my husband as virdigo feeling but i can not describe it I over all feel not myself and out of it. I started experiencing all of these during the 5 days of taking this medicine and after.
I want to know when I am going to start feeling better. I am scared to drive, and I am a stay at home mom of two little girls and I haven't been able to take care of them at all. I am starting to get scared that I will feel this way forever. If anyone that has had these symptoms please respond and let me know how long this lasted and hopefully you don't now. This is such a horrible thing to go through.

JustMeSue
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/16/2012 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Ohheyrachrae...........I started taking prednisone 15 days ago. I was being treated for a very severe allergic reaction to an over the counter supplement. My dosing was 3 10 mg pills per day for 5 days, then 2 10 mg pills per day for 5 days and then 1 10 mg pill for 5 days. This morning I took the last pill.

It helped my allergic symptom s greatly. However, I have experienced shakiness, weakness, excessive urination and feelings of low blood sugar. I am incredibly tired and my arms and legs feel wobbly and it feels like I am just exhausted at the slightest task. I too wonder if I am ever going to feel better/normal. After helping me breathe better initially, now I feel as though I can't breathe all sometimes. I don't know if is the prednisone or the remnants of the histamine response from the allergic reaction.
Even after the offending allergen is out of your system, the histamine reaction symptoms from the allergey can continue for up to 6 weeks. I felt okay on teh prednisone for the first 5 days, too, then felt worse, now feeling better again. The prednisone is taken to calm your body's immune response to the allergen. Are you taking any antihistamines to block the allergen leftover sytmptoms?

Please contact your doctor and verify your symptoms. It may be temporary, or it may be that the pred is making you worse. I called my doctor and told her I was shaking all over and sweating and she assured me that this is just my body coming down from the prednisone. I am better now as the dose as tapered down, ...improving anyway although slower than I expected.

rainbow52
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/24/2012 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I WAS ON PREDNISONE RANGING FROM 60 MG DOWN TO 5 & 10 MG FOR HIVES AS SOON AS I DROP OFF ALTOGETHER LIKE NOW ITS BEENA YR AND NO DR CAN FIGURE OUT WHY THE HIVES. MY DERMOTOLOGIST TOOK 7 BIOPSY'S ALL IT CAME BACK IS AN ALLERGY TO SOMETHING BUT THEY NEVER FIGURED OUT WHAT ITS VERY FRUSTRATING. I'M OFF IT NOW FOR A WK AND I HACE HORRID JOINT PAIN THEY TESTED ME FOR LUPUS BUT CAME BACK NEG THEY TOOK SO MUCH BLOOD FOR A MYRIAD OF TESTS TO NO AVAIL. SO I HAVE TO BE OFF THE PREDNISONE FOR A MONTH SO THEY CAN TRY A PATCH TESTAND EVERY DAY I WAKE UP WITH HIVES THAT SPREAD AROUND MY BODY DAILY. I TAKE ALLEGRA W/PEPCID (MY ALLERGISTS IDEA) ALSO HYDROXYZ HCL 10MG FOR THE ITCH I'VE SCRATCHED MYSELF TO SCABS AND NOW AM SCARRED UP,

Luigicody
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/17/2012 7:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I was prescribed prednisone 60 mg x 5 days, then 40 mg x 5 days,then 20 mg for 5 days with Valtrex for 7 days for a diagnosis of shingles. I took my meds faithfully for the first seven days but was feeling so horrible from side effects of prednisone that i just had to stop. I was bradycardic (40-50 bpm lower than my normal), felt irritable, my stomach felt bloated like it was going to explode, i couldn't sleep for more than an hour at a time...if that. I felt out of my body and definitely not myself. I gained 4 lbs and feel like it is all in my face and abdomen. What should i expect with my adrenals and return to feeling normal. All the above effects went away except weight and abd bloating within 24-48 hours. I did have muscle achieness, like numerous tetanus shots,but that has also resolved. Should i have the ACTH test done to check adrenal function?

sours
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/8/2012 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband was hospitalized in February from the 7th to the 29th, he was neutropenic along with other things. It took them almost the entire stay, and 3 biopsies later, to figure out the problem. He was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. Before the diagnosis, he had been put on 3 different antibiotics and they had started him on steroids. Once he was discharged he was told to continue the steroids. They started him out on a low dose chemo, and just this month started him on the RCHOP treatment. Part of the treatment is 100 mg of steroids for 5 days. After the first treatment, they had him taper down to 5 mg a day, this last treatment, they had him quit cold turkey. It's a week later and he is showing all of the signs of steroid withdrawal. The oncologist responded by saying, 'the labs were fine Monday.' Everything I've read says that they shouldn't stop cold turkey, especially after being on them for as long as he has been. So far we've been able to treat the symptoms, but when the medicine wears off he is right back to feeling like crap.

chrisputt57
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/25/2012 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been wondering this since I was just diagnosed with a auto-immune/skin issue.  I was given prednisone 8 days ago and stopped taking it 4 days ago (20mg 1x per day).  The Dr says that my condition is likely to flare up again once the prednisone is out of my system.  I'm trying to figure out how long that will be - so I can be somewhat prepared.  THANKS!

Somedude
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3393
   Posted 7/25/2012 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
OMG....check out how many views on this thread! Whoa!!!
DX Ulcerative Colitis (panchocolitis) - May 2011.

"Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you' gonna get. " by Forrest Gump

Ishiman0627
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 7/25/2012 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
It's probably the one thing all of us have in common aside from having the disease, which is somewhat different in everyone. But I'm sure we've almost all been on pred at one point.

@chris, if you were only on it 4 days I wouldn't expect it to stay in your system long. I was on it around 9 months, from 40 down to 5, and up and down between those ranges during that period as I had trouble weaning. When I was finally off of it I was on another medication to supres my CD symptoms, I don't know what issue you have but would there be a "maintenance" medication you could be put on? With IBD patients the idea is to get the Pred to quickly calm the inflammation and then switch to something else to keep it at bay.
33 - DX 06/23/11 with Crohns Ilecolitis
Meds - Remicade, Xanax, Zoloft, Prilosec, Coreg, Lisinopril, Lasix, Klor Kon
Drug Allergy to Imuran - Sepsis / Renal Failure / Pancreatitis
Crohn's seems to be doing ok, currently dealing with edema in ankles and feet.

WendyV
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/12/2012 3:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I can relate to many of the posts regarding w/d symptoms, and relieved that the nasty symptoms WILL recede, given time. Re the post about HIVES, pred was prescribed for me as I developed skin rash following insect bites. I have experimented and found that crushing some tabs and just damping with water...enough to make a paste, and then using topically on rash, gives relief from itching!!!!! Better than swallowing the darned tablets! Hope this is of some help. Best wishes to all of you.

WendyV
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/15/2012 2:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Just read that vit B5 can assist with kick-starting adrenal glands following w/d of Prednisolone. I'm going to give it a try, although my symptoms aren't dreadful, they are making life a little difficult!

dorri
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1660
   Posted 8/16/2012 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on prednisone for close to 30 years. This pass fall I went off completely. I tried to wean before but was unsuccessful and ended up with intolerable joint pain and constant crohn's flare ups.
This fall I stuck to it, and didn't give in. At first I thought I would die, with weakness, heart palps and caught every little cold, flu, virus and even pink eye. This went on for months and I'm still not 100% like I should be but I'm pretty much pred free but.....
This past month I was put back on pred for a 6 day short term treatment to settle down a small bowel obstruction. I feel better, today is my first day off the medication again, and so far no withdrawal. I was told for short term treatment there wouldn't be any withdrawals.
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