Why Prednisolone (Steroid) is a bad drug for long term use?

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deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1955
   Posted 5/20/2011 8:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello folks,

As a UC patient, you end up using steroid some time or the other but you end up hearing, its not a good drug. Its relieves you of pain or bleeding quickly for sure. So far I am clueless why it is a bad drug, what are long term (bad) effects of this drug, apart from osteoporosis?

Since my arrival in the US in Jan, its been taking a long time to fix insurance and now to cover pre-exisiting conditions, so during that period, I had to undergo 2 courses of steroid to keep my intestinal bleeding at bay. This intestinal bleeding is not as a result of UC inflammation but as a side effect of Ibuprofen that I take for my migraine. When I am on steroid, bleeding stops, plus no headache. I usually take 30mg tapering course of steroid.

I don't know yet what long term effects of this drug and how I should prepare for it. I will be glad if anyone can flash some light on the same.

Many thanks in advance.
Diagnosed March 2007 with left sided UC at the age of 30.
Currently on,
Colazal 9 daily,
Imuran, 100mg + 50mg
Vit. B12, 1mg
Multivitamin, 1 tablet daily
Fish oil 1200mg daily
Vit D 2000 IU daily.

Topamax 50mg + 75mg daily for migraine with aura. Migraine appears once a week, Ibuprofen 400mg is the only solution. Looking for alternatives.

suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5421
   Posted 5/20/2011 8:56 AM (GMT -6)   
It sounds like you are using prednisone to chase the symptoms of ibuprofen use? If so, you should maybe address the ibuprofen use and find something else that helps with the headaches. You can google long and short term side effects of prednisone to get a complete picture of the drug. A few negative effects are bone loss, cataracts, and avascular necrosis.
Note, you don't have to be on prednisone long to develop serious side effects, nor do you have to be on extreme doses. That's the really scary thing about the drug that isn't talked about much. Yes, it can provide immediate relief and give a patient a false sense of wellness but it can come at a very high price.

Sue

C_G_K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 905
   Posted 5/20/2011 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   
The stuff is bad news for long term use.

Side effects include:

* increased blood sugar for diabetics
* difficulty controlling emotion
* difficulty in maintaining train of thought
* weight gain
* facial swelling
* depression, mania, psychosis, or other psychiatric symptoms
* unusual fatigue or weakness
* mental confusion / indecisiveness
* blurred vision
* abdominal pain
* peptic ulcer
* infections
* painful hips or shoulders
* steroid-induced osteoporosis
* osteonecrosis
* long-term migraines
* insomnia
* severe joint pain
* cataracts or glaucoma
* anxiety
* black stool
* stomach pain or bloating
* severe swelling
* mouth sores or dry mouth
* avascular necrosis (death of bone - often requiring joint replacement surgery)
* hepatic steatosis
* nervousness
* acne
* rash
* increased appetite
* hyperactivity
* frequent urination
* diarrhea
* removes intestinal flora
* leg pain/cramps
* sensitive teeth
* Headaches
* Bulging eyes
* Fluid retention
* Loss of muscle
* Stretch marks, especially on the abdomen (or stomach)
* Fat deposits on the face and back (causing a round face and a fatty hump on the back of the neck)
* Thin skin
* Stunted growth (in children).
* High blood pressure (hypertension)
* Ruptured tendons

In addition, long term use can lead to adrenal suppression, meaning your body will not produce cortisol, leading to dependency which in turn can lead to addison's disease if you ever abruptly stop taking steroids.

Pred is only really only good for short blasts to put you into remission, it is not for keeping you in remission.
DX Pancolitis 2003. Subsequent flares limited to left side
Flare every 2-3 years.
Salofalk 12 tabs daily,
Probiotics: VSL#3DS. Fiber: Psyllium.
Allergic to Imuran

Flaring for the last Year!.. No diarrhea.
Colocort overnight, SFRowasa after 1st BM.
Went from 2 Colocort to 1 successfully. One more to go!

Post Edited (C_G_K) : 5/20/2011 11:58:03 AM (GMT-6)


songlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 3252
   Posted 5/20/2011 2:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Delta, I hope your insurance issues get straightened out and you can find as alternative for your migraines. Is there a specialty center for headaches near you? Maybe they could help (once the insurance kicks in...?)

I know that ibuprofen can have as a side effect a UC-like GI bleeding. Years ago I took it at a max dose for 3 or 4 days for a muscle spasm in my back, and by the end of those days I was in an extremely bloody flare of my UC.

Prednisone is a great medication, a dramatic anti-inflammatory, but the side effects can be life-altering and some of them are not reversible.
Co-Moderator, UC Forum
Age 55. Diagnosed UP 1983, UC 1986
Asacol - 16 pills/day,
Metamucil - 2 doses/day
VSL#3DS 4 x daily, Multivitamin, Calcium and D
homemade yogurt each day
cortenema and Canasa
mini-flare...
Son, 17, dx pancolitis 2007, in remission

rita5287
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 5/20/2011 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm 26 been using prednisone for over 2 yrs on n off. Doesn't work for me orally but more effect thru iv solu medral. But I hate prednisone!! Makes me very moody! Very weak knees n joints. I'm a Crzy person on them!! But Hank God for Xanax cuz it mellos me out!! Cant wait til no more steroids !!!
Diagnosed w/UC 4-7-09. Have had 4 colonoscopies. 1 sigmoid colonoscopy n 1 endoscopy. Went from proctitis only in rectum to full pan colitis. No Meds have worked for me not even remicade. Been hospitalized 3xs n 5 mnths. Have Gastritis also. Current Meds: pred 40mg 7days tapper to 5mg. Nexium 40mg. Asacol4800mg. Xanax1mg.Tylenol w/codeine.having proctocolectomy on 5/26/11.

subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 5/21/2011 2:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I was on pred once, and I refuse to take it again even for short-term use after I read about its side effects. Basically pred ages the connective tissue. And since connective tissue runs throughout all bodies, it's quite harmful even if we don't notice the effects.

Alinus
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 5/21/2011 5:18 AM (GMT -6)   
@ deltaforce. off topic

i've read you signature. you've said you have migraine and that ibuprofen is the only one solving the issue.
i have been misdiagnosed with migraine also, took topamax for about 3 months, never worked. but ibuprofen did.
after that, another neurologist diagnosed me with Arnold Neuralgia (wich also gives me verry bad headaches that are simmilar to migraines). I was puted on gabarapentine (gabaran in my country). Things are much better now, since gabarapentine is a drug that adresses neurpatic pain. Maybe you should check this.

take a look at this picture here:
http://www.reflexologie-sante.fr/index.php/2011/01/17/nevralgie-arnold/arnold/

if you press your fingers on that red areas behind your years and you will feel more pain, maybe you should talk to your doctor about this.

hope it will help. if not, do not take this post into consideration.
Rectocolitis .Symptoms since about 2002. Currently in remission (latest C-scope done in feb 2011).
Ankylosing Spondylitis as a gift from rectocolitis. Symptoms since about 2002. Fragile remission from march 2011.
Highly restricted SCD Diet since feb 2010. Raw carrots, Celery, Beet root, peppers, Chicken, Tuna, Turkey, Swiss cheese, Dry red wine.
Mesalasine 1500 mg/day. Centrum Multivit. Vit D.

deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1955
   Posted 5/21/2011 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
@ Alinus,

Thanks for the tip.

I will keep this in mind when I visit neurologist. If you don't mind, I would like to discuss this in more details off this board. I don't think I can write you but I have made my email Id visible.

Many thanks in advance.

Alinus
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 5/22/2011 1:54 AM (GMT -6)   
my e-mail is made visible also. you can write me anytime you like,.
Rectocolitis .Symptoms since about 2002. Currently in remission (latest C-scope done in feb 2011).
Ankylosing Spondylitis as a gift from rectocolitis. Symptoms since about 2002. Fragile remission from march 2011.
Highly restricted SCD Diet since feb 2010. Raw carrots, Celery, Beet root, peppers, Chicken, Tuna, Turkey, Swiss cheese, Dry red wine.
Mesalasine 1500 mg/day. Centrum Multivit. Vit D.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 18015
   Posted 5/22/2011 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
OMG pred for long term use is BAD, BAD, BAD for you..it has terrible long term side-effects...your doctor, or at least pharmacist should have mentioned the severe possible issues of becoming steroid dependant.
bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~

Loves-Pearls
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 5/22/2011 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
What exactly is considered "long term use"? Years or months?

Now I wonder about Ibuprofen?
Diagnosed: Pancolitis 4/11/11
Potassium CHL ER 10MEQ 2@2xdaily (not needed)
Prednisone 40 mg daily...at 20 mg...at 10 & tapering
Sulfazine EC 500 mg & Asacol 400mg... 2 Asacol & 2 Sulfazine 2x daily
Lomotil as needed (not needed)
Anucort-HC suppositories as needed (not needed)

C_G_K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 905
   Posted 5/22/2011 11:57 PM (GMT -6)   
If I remember correctly, anything over 3-4 months is considered long term use, although taking steroids for more than a week or two can cause your body to stop making normal levels of cortisol, which means you have to taper, rather than stopping abruptly.
DX Pancolitis 2003. Subsequent flares limited to left side
Flare every 2-3 years.
Salofalk 12 tabs daily,
Probiotics: VSL#3DS. Fiber: Psyllium.
Allergic to Imuran

Flaring for the last Year!.. No diarrhea.
Colocort overnight, SFRowasa after 1st BM.
Went from 2 Colocort to 1 successfully. One more to go!

subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 5/23/2011 12:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Yep. I've read three months.
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