prednisone and muscle atrophy

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Lonna
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 10/26/2009 1:47 PM (GMT -7)   
 Have any of you had this side effect of prednisone??? I've been on steroids for the past 10 yrs or more. First as kenalog 80 mg shots every 3 mo. and for the past 5 yrs. 6 - 8 mg. prednisone/day. I now have muscle atrophy  in my legs. It's noticable to the naked eye but I still have strength to walk as much as I want to.  I've lost a few pounds and am about 10 lbs over weight according to the weight charts  for my height. I have the prednisone users distribution of fat.....chest and tummy carry most of it. My Internal medicine doctor says atrophy is from the prednisone. I also have neuropathy in my feet and legs and moderate to severe muscle pain in my shoulders constantly. I would have thought that my steroid use was very low and I'm surprised that I have these side effects. I don't know what I'm going to do without it if that's what my Reumatologist suggests. Anyone heard of this? Deb
DX: lupus, headaches, hair loss, high blood pressure, allergies, chemical sensitivities, photo sensitivity,  muscle spasms, neuropathy in hands and feet, type 2 diabetes
 
Meds: cellcept,2000 mg/day prednisone 7mg, cozaar, effexor, trazodone, lunesta, vicodin, imitrex nasal for migraines, metformin, insulin, simvistatin, nasonex and astelin for allergies.


Bsime
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1229
   Posted 10/27/2009 8:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Lonna,

Steroid myopathy is not unusual with prednisone. Atrophy is really a different condition and is usually associated with disuse of the muscles causing them to shrink and weaken. Myopathy is an inflammatory process that weakens the muscles.

Steroid myopathy can often be reversed when stopping the meds but not always after long term use.

I would suggest that you get a second opinion from an experienced rheumy.

Bill
MCTD (lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis).  Diagnosed 2005.  Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, Barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005.  Recovered and now active in skiing, tai, chi, hiking, golf.  Meds: prednisone 2.5mg, imuran 25mg, amlodipine, benazapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide and various supplements and vitamins.
 
Remain optimistic and you can overcome the odds.


Lonna
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 10/28/2009 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bsime, I did indeed see my rheumatologist at Mayo yesterday. He does not agree with my internal med doc that the muscle atrophy is caused by the prednisone. He thinks it is caused by my peripheral neuropathy which has been going on for maybe 12 years. It is not caused by muscle disease but by nerve damage. He said the damage is permanent. It's more obvious below the waist but is starting in my shoulders too. I am seeing a neurologist that specializes in PN in Dec. It's very concerning as I have really had to curtail my physical activities but I  can walk, go up stairs and get up from the floor. It may or may not be caused by my lupus but that's been under good control. My diabetes is only 2 years old and I've never had an A1C above 6.6 so that is probably not the reason either. Thanks for writing. I often write more for med. info/experience than moral support so I don't get many responces. Deb

DX: lupus, headaches, hair loss, high blood pressure, allergies, chemical sensitivities, photo sensitivity,  muscle spasms, neuropathy in hands and feet, type 2 diabetes
 
Meds: cellcept,2000 mg/day prednisone 7mg, cozaar, effexor, trazodone, lunesta, vicodin, imitrex nasal for migraines, metformin, insulin, simvistatin, nasonex and astelin for allergies.

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