prednisone and panic attacks

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daisyrambler
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 9/8/2010 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
So I am pretty sure the prednisone is giving me panic attacks ... I have been on 40 mg for about a month. Sometimes I can't breathe and hyperventilate. I get jittery and cant stand any kind of noise. I remember feeling like this the other times I have been on pred but just not this extreme.  I called my dr and they said they have never heard of pred causing panic attacks and that I should call my primary dr. I guess I will call him ... but I really think that it is because of the pred.
 
I'm just wondering if there is anyone else that is having or has had this problem on pred.
 
 

Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 9/8/2010 3:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I haven't had this problem, but my dad was once put on a steroid pack and had a panic attack. I imagine if that could happen on a steroid pack, which is a lower dose, then it definitely could happen on 40mg a day.

I'd definitely call your PCP if your GI doesn't think it could be a side effect of the pred.
Becky

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D
Coumadin stopped 3/15/10!!!!

Kiwi12
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 9/8/2010 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Poor you - I have had extreme agitation/anxiety on high doses of pred (80mg) and it is not funny.
 
My current 40mg short course is not giving me any side effects at all - not even the munchies turn
 
It is a well documented side effect so please do go to your pcp for help. 
 
Seattle Children's has a good pamphlet on pred www.seattlechildrens.org/pdf/pe438.pdf
 
Hope you feel better soon :)
 
 
 
 

Salamore
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 9/8/2010 4:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi daisyrambler:

I started at 40mgs of prednisone July 2009, and weaned down in Feb 2010. Yes the jitters were horrible and I couldn't stand any noise, I felt like i was crawling out of my skin. My heart would pound like i was going to have a heart attack, my Gi said that was normal for some people. My colon rectal surgeon ALWAYS adds in .25 xanax twice a day as needed for the jitters, he recommends that every doctor do this, the risks outweighs the benefits. He also prescribed 10mg of Zolipedam to sleep other wise I would just toss and turn all night. I was give this for a hugh UC flare, now after seeing a specialist at Mt Sinai in NYC, they want to rule out crohns. On Monday I am having a capsule endoscopy to look inside my small intestine. Can you imagine swallowing a small camera the size of a big vitamin pill!

Hang in there it will get better!

Renee

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14994
   Posted 9/8/2010 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   
When you talk with your family doc, see if you can switch to Entocort. It has less side effects. I refuse to allow my GI to ever put on Pred any higher than 30 mg. Everytime I go over that limit, I am in bad shape. Big hugs to you!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, 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!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

sr5599
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 9/8/2010 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I get heart palpitations while on oral steroids. It's not the same as a true panic attack (for me) but Ativan (like Xanax) does help. When the palpitations get really bad my heart is racing, with an odd beat to it and I feel like I can hardly breathe. It can be scary even though I know to talk myself rationally out of it, it's very hard without the Ativan (lorazepam).

Nanners - I have been told by 4 GIs that Entocort will not help me because of where my inflammation is (almost entirely rectal and the bottom foot of large intestine). They have all said that the medication will be digested too quickly. Never makes sense entirely because it seems it would help systemically. However, I do get budsonide (entocort) compounded into suppositories that have NO steroid side effects.
1 fistula with two tracts, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Cimzia. Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09

daisyrambler
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 9/8/2010 8:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys !!! I'm super glad that I am not in this alone !!!! I'm sure the the reason it is soooo hard this flare is because I have a 7 month old baby girl added to the picture. I hate that her cry and even her "talking" makes my "brain" hurt. But yes tomorrow I will call my PCP and see if I can get some something to help.

Nanners ~ I tried Entocort just before I went on the Pred. Because I really didnt want to be on Pred. But it did nothing ..... My GI said somthing of the same that sr5599's GI said.

How long does it usually take for a med like Xanax to start working ?
> 29 year old wife to a awesome husband and momma to a beautiful little girl <

> Diagonsed with Crohns disease in 2000, Crohn's Colitis in 2009 <

> Medication - Pentasa, Imuran, Iron, Prednisone, <

> I thank the Lord every day for my amazing husband and wonderful family <

sr5599
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 9/8/2010 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
It's hard to be a new mom even when you're healthy. Don't get me wrong - it was the most wonderful experience in my life. But, you're entire life is different and with a flare on top of it... Just know that coo will bring a smile to your face for years to come, so you've got your lifetime to enjoy it. :-)

I've never taken Xanax, but what I understand is that it's a slight step above lorazepam (Ativan) and they work within 15-30 minutes to calm you down. They are different from the long term type of medications. You just take one when you need it.

Good luck and enjoy! My girl is turning 13 and just started 7th grade. Blows me away how quickly it passes. The pride is so neat...
1 fistula with two tracts, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Cimzia. Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09

blueberrydecaf
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 9/8/2010 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I am the same on pred - I am down to 30mg right now, but it still makes my heart race at different points of the day and feel like I have an irregular beat and then I feel anxious. I feel it most during the middle part of the day (I take pred in the morning). Not a nice feeling - but so far manageable so I haven't talked to the doc about it...
diagnosed 2003
vit D, calcium, iron when my tummy can handle it
stopped Pentasa
prednisone 30mg

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14994
   Posted 9/9/2010 9:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I find that Xanax helps me within about 30-45 minutes as it is a fast acting med. If its not helping you, you might want to try another med such as Valium or Ativan. Hugs!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, 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!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Gabbrielle
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/10/2010 10:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I also used to have panic attacks while on Prednisone, although I also had schizophrenic-like side effects from it. I found that Effexor helped me greatly. Good luck!

daisyrambler
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 9/11/2010 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Update ....
I went to my PCP on friday. He said the anxiety or panic attacks is most likey form the pred. But he did some lab checking my iron and thyroid. He put me on Buspirone 10mg as needed and citalopram 20mg for long term. The Buspirone has worked a little ... I havnt had an attack where I hyperventilate but I still feel jittery. He said he it didnt work as well as I needed it to he would change it something else. I have to get my TB test read on monday so I will talk to him about that then.

Pretty sure I get to start my Remicade again soon ... so I'll get to get off this dang pred soon !!

Thanks for everyones help and thoughts!!
> 29 year old wife to a awesome husband and momma to a beautiful little girl <

> Diagonsed with Crohns disease in 2000, Crohn's Colitis in 2009 <

> Medication - Pentasa, Imuran, Iron, Prednisone, <

> I thank the Lord every day for my amazing husband and wonderful family <

mlatida
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 9/11/2010 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I TOTALLY know what you are talking about.

The trick for me was to get up at 5am to take the prednisone so I can sleep for a few hours while the worst anxiety symptoms occur. When I was first diagnosed, the panic attacks ended up getting so bad, I was admitted to the hospital to be taken off the steroids quickly. I'm having a flare and when I was put on prednisone again, I insisted on a script for Xanax. I take 0.5mg Xanax with the prednisone at 5am and then sleep for a few hours. I also take another 0.5mg Xanax in the mid-afternoon. This has really helped with the anxiety and panic attacks.
26 years old. Diagnosed with Crohn's disease March 2008. Battled a C. diff infection from Summer 2009-Spring 2010. Have been dealing with a severe flare for the past several weeks.

mlatida
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 9/11/2010 10:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Also, I don't know why your doctor told you that they haven't heard of prednisone causing panic attacks. It is VERY COMMON for prednisone to cause anxiety.
26 years old. Diagnosed with Crohn's disease March 2008. Battled a C. diff infection from Summer 2009-Spring 2010. Have been dealing with a severe flare for the past several weeks.

artist guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 9/12/2010 1:01 PM (GMT -6)   
jittery, anxious, short fused, sweaty, oily skin, no patience with anyone. and I worked as a blackjack and tablegames dealer on this stuff, plus my mind was so jumbly that I couldn't do the fast math that I was able to do for 5 years, hated it, thank god only on that for 5 months

rlsnights
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 9/12/2010 4:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Pred can cause such severe psychiatric symptoms that you require psychiatric hospitalization, which is what happened to my son.

I cannot believe the gi's who tell their patients that the pred could not be causing these sx!

If you have any family history of mood disorders, schizophrenia, addiction I would strongly suggest you consider seeing a psychiatrist rather than your family doctor for help with these symptoms. Psychiatrists fool around with brain chemistry all the time. Family docs don't as a general rule and probably shouldn't (IMO).

Entocort works primarily in the terminal ileum (small intestine). So if most of your inflammation is in the colon you are not likely to get much benefit from it. And only about 12% is systemically available so it is not equivalent to pred in that respect.

You may want to consider doing enteral nutrition (liquid formula like Boost or ensure) for you and your baby's sake.

If you are nursing your baby, you may want to review the following information taken from the American Family Physician publication on medications in breast-feeding mothers:

"Oral steroids such as prednisone (Deltasone) and prednisolone (Delta-Cortef) penetrate into the breast milk poorly and are safe for short-term use. When daily dosages exceed 20 mg, prednisolone may be preferred over prednisone because it has only one peak in activity while prednisone has two peaks in activity—one for the pro-drug (prednisone) and the other for the drug (prednisolone).8 Infant exposure can be minimized by with holding nursing for four hours after taking the medication."
son now 14 1/2, dx CD age 10; current meds: MTX and omeprazole; previous tmts: pred, 6-MP, Humira, entocort, GMCS, exclusive enteral feeds, pentasa, mesalamine enemas
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