How long can you stay on Pred?

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Peace&Harmony
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 1121
   Posted 7/7/2011 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm going to be starting week 6 of Pred at 40mg. Was wondering how long you need to be on Pred to develop those serious non-reversible side effects.

Just trying to watch my time. Thinking I may need to up the dose the get quicker results as I'm not having any side effects...yet. Wasn't planning on going past 4 weeks but "stuff happens"!
Diagnosed July 2010
flaring as Jan 2010
As of 5/25/2011 procitis is now pancolitis!!
Pred 40mg, started 6/4/2011
Transdermal LDN 4.5 mg 4/23/2011
Energy Multi-Plex / Vital-Zymes Complete / Microgestin (birth control), Magnesium for leg cramps / ALA 300mg / Vit B-12 shots 2.5g every 3 days

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 10352
   Posted 7/7/2011 8:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Peace: Are you seeing any improvement? 6 weeks on 40mg is a long time I didn't have side effects after a month or two but they do catch up with you. They say after 4 months on prednisone you're dependent but I was on much longer and I was able to taper off (with patience, 6mp and a VERY slow taper). It's definitely playing with fire. I ended up having a lot of side effects later on and the weight gain really creeped up on me. I've been off 2-3 months and I am finally losing weight but my UC isn't feeling that stable these past few days.

Is your GI aware that you've been on 40mg for 6 weeks? I was on 40mg for a bit over a week and I couldn't sleep and my UC symptoms came to a screeching halt. You may need to consider adding a stronger medication for maintenence. if you decide to add imuran/6mp, they can take 3 months to get you stabilized. That means you would have to taper cautiously until you're able to safely get off without a relapse, that would add many weeks to your taper. That is exactly how I ended up on prednisone way longer than I intended. Not trying to scare you, just please be aware of the possibility.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion
Currently: Asacol (3200mg) + 6mp (25mg) + Pristiq (50mg) + Omeprazole (40mg) + Rowasa (4g) + Canasa (1g)

kazbern
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 7478
   Posted 7/7/2011 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
When I took pred it was my rheumy who started it and my first dose (took it for a month) was 60 mg. That nipped the problem right in the bud. I tapered slowly from there and I think my total steroid time was about 3 months. I'm not one who gets bad side effects, so I don't know how to advise you, but I did notice some sleeplessness towards the end of that first month but that went away as I tapered.
*******************
49 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11.

Baggravation
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 7/7/2011 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I took Pred for about 6 months. Are my side effects irreversible? I heard the back hump I have is not going to go away. People told me the moon face will go away very slowly. The hair I grew on my face and down my neck is not going away. Some people said it would just fall off; that's not happening. The abdominal bloating is not going to go away on its own; I need to do some MAJOR exercising. 6 weeks, I think you'll be fine. During my first trial of Pred, all my side effects went away. My first trial was about 9 weeks. Then again, everyone is different so I don't know what it will do to you but my 9-weeks of Pred didn't cause any irreversible side effects.
Hello. My name is Gina :)

Condition: Ulcerative Colitis
Symptoms Started: Mid-October 2010
Diagnosed: January 2011
Past Drugs: Prednisone, Pantoloc, Ectocort Rectal Enema, Budesonide Rectal Enema
Current Drugs: Sulphasalazine

canadagal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 7/7/2011 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on 40 mg for about 5months then a 3 month taper. Side effects were weight gain, moonface, high energy, emotional, hair loss, insomnia - all of which have gone away. I think each person is going to react differently to it both in what side effects and how long they last - at 6 weeks, myself, I wouldn't be overly concerned as lon as you are seeing some improvements and you and your doctor have a plan...

Hang in there
38yr old female
first symptoms 2006, UC diagnosis 2007, solid remission for 3 years then flare from Jan 2010 til Jan 2011.
Current Meds: 3 Mezavants/day (3.6g),
Other: multivitamins, sunflower seeds since Dec. 2010

In remission since mid Jan. 2011! : )

KiWi44
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/7/2011 11:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Peace&Harmony said...
I'm going to be starting week 6 of Pred at 40mg. Was wondering how long you need to be on Pred to develop those serious non-reversible side effects.

Just trying to watch my time. Thinking I may need to up the dose the get quicker results as I'm not having any side effects...yet. Wasn't planning on going past 4 weeks but "stuff happens"!


I've been on prednisone for over a year, almost two years practically. No negative effects that I'm aware of, except a bit weight gain.

As I've mentioned several times, years back the GI protocol dictated that the starting dose was 60 or 80 mg followed by quick (or slow) taper.

Way too many seem to be stuck with the 40 or 30 mg without any improvement at the present. Six weeks on 40 mgs sounds a long time. I think, and don't profess to be an expert on Pred or UC, it would have been more efficient to start with 60 mg for two weeks and wean off to 50 and 40, etc. for two weeks at the time. That would have been six weeks with stronger, more potent dose.

The wonders of modern medicine.

Hopefully the meds bite soon and you'll rid of the prednisone.
UC since 1975
Asacol 3 x 3
50 mg 6MP
VSL#3DS
Ca with D, B, C, iron, etc
Vegetarian diet
Tried just about every diet and "cure" under the Sun

subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 7/8/2011 2:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Prednisone ages the connective tissue. Since connective tissue runs throughout our bodies, we can't always see the damage it does. So for me, even one day is too long to stay on pred.

The general rule though is no more than three months for dosages 25 mgs or more.

KiWi44
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/8/2011 5:53 AM (GMT -6)   
subdued said...
So for me, even one day is too long to stay on pred.


I wonder what would have happened to me had I declined to take prednisone when I was hospitalized for UC Pancolitis for two weeks in Asia after a month-long diarrhea? (My first.) It sure did save my colon and gave me a years-long remission in the States 30+ years later.

May I inquire exactly what is your UC diagnose? Mine is pancolitis. I'm just wondering because some gurus here have declared that with Ulcerative proctosigmoiditis they'd rather elect colectomy than a single pill of the life-saving prednisone they've never even needed for their particular disease.

Since prednisone (along with Remicade, etc) is an incredible effective medicine in general that have been saving UC'ers butt for the past 60 years, I doubt it's good form to suggest to newbies and lurkers to stay off of it.
UC since 1975
Asacol 3 x 3
50 mg 6MP
VSL#3DS
Ca with D, B, C, iron, etc
Vegetarian diet
Tried just about every diet and "cure" under the Sun

Christine1946
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5508
   Posted 7/8/2011 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
     I was prednisone dependent for two years prior to my operation last June.  It did terrible things to my system.  I have full blown osteoporsis and have suffered three spinal fractures.   While on it my blood glucose levels were very high as was my blood pressure.  My GI doctor called it the best/worse drug.  Hope I NEVER need to go on that stuff again.

Peace&Harmony
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 1121
   Posted 7/8/2011 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I call my Mayo Doc and was advise to start tapering. Going on six weeks at 40mg is too long! Making an appt with my local GI to discuss other options.

Unfortunately that car accident on 6/21 is what lengthen my stay on Pred. I was doing really well and was hoping to be tapering by now!
seems like for every step forward I pushed back even more!

This is getting sooooo frustrating! In about the last 1 1/2 year I've been diagnosed with UC. Emotionally and verbally abused by my immediate family over my condition which lead to ending my relationship with them. Father passed away (who was the only immediate family member who understood me). Car accident.

I'm running out of drug options so quickly! May as well just yank out the colon and try to have a better life. This condition is driving me nuts!

Thanks everyone for the reply and support. I really need it right now. I've been hit too fast and too hard. God, please help me!!!! shakehead
Diagnosed July 2010
flaring as Jan 2010
As of 5/25/2011 procitis is now pancolitis!!
Pred 40mg, started 6/4/2011
Transdermal LDN 4.5 mg 4/23/2011
Energy Multi-Plex / Vital-Zymes Complete / Microgestin (birth control), Magnesium for leg cramps / ALA 300mg / Vit B-12 shots 2.5g every week

IamCurious
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2289
   Posted 7/8/2011 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I doubt it's good form to suggest to newbies and lurkers to stay off of it.

Subdued did not say anything about newbies and lurkers to avoid pred. She said So for me, even one day is too long to stay on pred. Please note that she said "for me". More than clear that this is her own personal opinion.

But she did caution that The general rule though is no more than three months for dosages 25 mgs or more. That is the general rule because long term administration of pred can have serious side effects. I think the newbies and lurkers are well informed to know that pred can have unintended consequences. There is no such thing as too much information. Besides that is only a general rule, not a rule set in concrete. But in cases such as yours pred can be crucial. This general rule does not preclude Peace and Harmony from taking more if that is what is needed.

My GI prescribes pred like candy which I refused to take. I don't know why he wanted me to take it since by that time I was already in remission. There is diabetes and pancreatitis in my family, I was afraid pred would tip me over the edge. I may have taken it if I was not aware of its drawbacks.

I think we should be just as wary of doctors over prescribing drugs with serious side effects as you are about surgeons bearing gifts.

Post Edited (BabeintheWoods) : 7/13/2011 1:42:59 PM (GMT-6)


KiWi44
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/9/2011 6:00 AM (GMT -6)   
BabeintheWoods said...


Subdued also said So for me, even one day is too long to stay on pred. Please note that she said "for me". More than clear that is her own personal opinion.


It's interesting that subdued took prednisone if her/his own words are to be believed, but because prednisone quit working, subdued quit taking it along with Asacol and Colazal.

" Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working) 2/11/2009 5:58:35 AM "

So, there. turn
UC since 1975
Asacol 3 x 3
50 mg 6MP
VSL#3DS
Ca with D, B, C, iron, etc
Vegetarian diet
Tried just about every diet and "cure" under the Sun

@LoLil
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 7/13/2011 7:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Just diagnosed with " moderately severe UC all the way around" last week. GI has me on 40 mg Prednisone for 2 wks, 35 mgs Prednisone next 2 wks PLUS 4x0.375 GM of Apriso with no further instructions yet except to see him again Jul 25. Does this sound like I will be on Pred for too long? The taper seems slow so seems like 4 mos at least. I'm scared of Pred.

I'm nursing a 4 mo old too. I begged for my GI to work with my OB to clear me to continue nursing until she is at least 6 mos. I pray that I don't hurt her, but I consulted lactation consultants, Dr Hale's forums, and my OB.

Only taken 5 doses of Pred and 1 dose of Apriso so far. Can't sleep. One random facial hair pops up every day it seems.

I can't quit asking " why?". I have lived 34 years without this disease and now they say I have it forever. I've been healthy my whole life. I ate whatever I wanted, but usually healthy...never had a weight prob. It started while I was pregnant and they couldn't diagnose me bc they couldn't do a colonoscopy. Promethesus test showed negative for IBD.

bookworm71493
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 7/13/2011 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   
My grandma was on Prednisone for 5+ years, and she said it was a miracle drug. She didn't have a single side effect.
I was on Prednisoe for 4 months I think, it didn't actually help any, but I only gained about 5 pounds that came off within the week after and moonface that faded in the next 2 weeks. Also some insomnia, but nothing a little nyquil couldn't handle.
But also, I'm 17, and my GI said that the side effects wouldn't last as long on me. Horray teenage metabolism!!
I'm back on it now for severe poison ivy. Couldn't really fall asleep last night, (Fell asleep at 3am, woke up at 7am for a stress test with my cardiologist), and my appitite (spelling?) is a little increased, but luckily its a very short term treatment with a fast taper.
Best of luck everyone!
17 year-old female
Dx: October 2010 Lymphocytic Colitis
Tried: Entocort, Prednisone(60 mg then tapered, never again), Pentasa, Bentyl, Lomotil, Pepto Bismol, Immodium, Dicychlomine, Chloestrymine, Remicade, Creon
Currently: Prozac (30 mg), 6mp (75 mg), Omeprazole (40 mg), Pepcid (20 mg), Prednisone (60 mg), Yaz, Ativan (.5 mg), Mutli-Vitamin
As much as this stinks, it could always be worse.

Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2142
   Posted 7/13/2011 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
that doesn't seem like a bad course. I was on it for 4 years from 5mg to 120mg varying doses. I have been off of it since June 9. My moonface is now beginning to lessen, I have lost about 10 pounds. I am in severe pain from being on it that long and I have some lovely new stretch marks from gaining 20 pounds in a month.
UC Pancolitis: dx'd 2000; 1st Remicade 4/26/11, 2nd 5/13/11, 3rd 6/9/11, next 8/9/11.Kidney Disease (Minimal Change Disease): dx'd 2007 but believe I had it since 2000 from sulfasalazine. Current meds: Imuran, Lisinopril, Diovan, Calcium + Vit D, Calcitriol & probiotics.

MustLoveDogs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 387
   Posted 7/13/2011 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I am absolutely SHOCKED at how many of you have not had side effects while on Prednisone. This drug has made my daughter an emotional mess...she's gained 25 lbs and it shows EVERYWHERE. She has panic attacks, insomnia and depression. Prednisone has turned our world upside down. Again, I am shocked how lucky so many of you have been!!
13 yr old daughter diagnosed UC 12/08

1st Remicade infusion 6/16/11 & 2nd on 7/1/11
Also on oral METHOTREXATE 7.5 mg 1x week

weaning off 5o mg Prednisone.
also taking Aloe, VSL, prilosec, Folic Acid

C-Diff 6/10
previously on 6MP, Asacol, Lialda, Rowasa, Cortocoid Pancreatitis 2/10 after being on Rowasa & Lialda

Husband dg'd Crohn's 2/09 at age 46 -
Remicade every 8 wks

MotherofTeenwithNoUC
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 7/13/2011 4:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with MustLoveDogs.  I am amazed at the number of posters that dont suffer any side effects.   This drug has wreaked havoc on my son... from the weight gain, moonface, severe acne, and mood swings, just to name a few.   We saw a specialist yesterday from Miami Children's Hospital that told us that he shouldnt be on high doses of Pred for more than 6 months and my son is at the six month point at 35 mg.  We are trying so hard to wean him 5mg every 10 days just to see if the Remicade is working or if its the Prednisone.  I HATE this drug.   We were also told that if the Remicade doesn't work...our only option is surgery.   Very discouraging to hear. 
MotherofTeenwithUC
14 yr old male, Diagnosed February 2011. Recent Flare currently under control
Started Remicade 6/15/11- next infusion 6/30/11, 3rd infusion scheduled 7/28
Asacol 800HD- 2 tabs 4x day - while the samples last
Prednisone 35 mg day
Poly-Iron 2 xday
Pepcid 20 mg, 2 x day
Canasa suppositories 1X day

wrxBRAH
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 7/13/2011 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
A lot of the damage long term prednisone does cant be seen. You'll certainly feel it down the line though. I would think anything more than 6months is unnecessary. If I had known the stuff I do now 10 years ago....
Male 31yrs old Bay Area, California
Currently taking:
Prednisone - 0mg
Asacol - 3600mg
Remicade since Feb 2010
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