Self Medicating with Prednisone?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 6/2/2009 9:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone. I had been waiting for approval for Humira for about 2 months, but now my symptoms are starting to become more frequent. I was wondering if anyone has ever self medicated with Prednisone? I have a bottle with 12 refills left... Is it a bad idea to just do this myself? It is for 20 mg pills. I was planning on maybe taking 20 mg for two weeks, then tapering to 10 for two weeks and then 10 every other day for a week. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.
22 y/o Male; Dx Crohn's Disease in 2001 at age 14.
Lost 3 inches of colon and 7 inches of ileum in 2004 bowel resection.
CD returns in October 2008.
Current meds: Pentasa: 3000 mg; Fibercon: 2 pills 3x; Imodium: 2 pills 3x
Been on: Prednisone, Imuran, Entocort, Remicade

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 6/2/2009 9:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I do it all the time. I told my doctor about it later and he didn't seem to mind. He trusted I knew my limits long as you know what your safety zone is concerning the amount of your dose you should be fine.
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking: Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics prescribed by my GI.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 6/2/2009 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I think it depends on a number of factors, including how long you've been sick and for how long you've used steroids in the past.

I, for instance, have been on high doses of steroids for a large portion of my life and am at the point where the docs are starting to be quite alarmed at the prospect of my developing very serious steroid-related problems. For that reason, I am under strict orders to *never* increase my steroid dose without a senior specialist's approval (not that I would anyway, but they like to be cautious).

I think you ought to be cautious too, as you are still very young and have a long, long life ahead of you with this disease. I suggest you check with your doctor. If s/he says go ahead, then great, but your doc might have very good reasons for saying "no" too.

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

New meds thread

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/3/2009 6:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I do self medicate with Pred when I flare. But I have had this dd for over 30 years, and my doc knows I know what to do. Is there any way you can put a call into your doc and discuss this with him first? Might not hurt. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 6/3/2009 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
If you're really feeling bad and can't wait for the approuval of humira and know that Prednisone is the only med that works then MAYBE you could try it out. But depends how long you've been taking Prednisone for and how it affects your body.

I'm self-medicating myself with Entocort right now. It's a much lower dose than Prednisone. But i've had this disease for a very long time and know what works for me.

If you can easily can in touch with your Dr. then just give him a call first to be sure.
26 years old
CD for 20 years
Bowel resection in Dec. 2006
Pentasa 4000mg
Entocort 9mg

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 6/3/2009 12:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't done that yet, but I do have it on hand. I feel better having it just in case, but I think I'd only do it if I couldn't get in touch with my doctor or get in to see him for a few days. He's good about putting me on it if I really need it.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Lexapro.

not creative
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 6/3/2009 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
i've done it a couple times to make myself feel better in the short term. My uncle who has had CD for a million years has been playing with pred when needed for almost as long as he's had the disease.
Laurenne, 24 Graduate from University of California, Davis. BA-Anthropology
Dx'd w/ IBS and CD in 2002
On: 6MP, 20mg Prednisone, Zoloft, Lialda and Imodium
Tried: LDN- Did nothing good, Remicade- allergic, Humira- no reaction

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 6/3/2009 4:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Prednisone saved my life. I was on 1.2 grams for 5 days, then tapered to 10 mg's every 2 days until I got to 20 mg's. When I got to 20 mg's I stopped completly, and by that time the cimzia kicked in, but when I stopped the prednisone I went into a severe prednisone withdrawal which lasted 2 days. Along with the prednisone I needed flagyl to cut down on the infection that was being produced by the fistulas. Now I am off the prednisone for 1 month and allowing the cimzia and aloe vera to work for me. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 6/3/2009 6:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Make sure you get *very* thorough instructions from your doc about how to adjust your prednisone dosage before self-medicating. Benisone, you are lucky you didn't have a full-on Addisonian Crisis by stopping after tapering to 20 mg. You could have ended up hospitalized or dead. No, I'm not kidding, it really is that serious. Google Addison's disease and do some reading. Most (if not all) doctors will tell you that if you have been on prednisone (or any other corticosteroid) for longer than five days, you need to taper all the way down to 5 mg. per day for a week before stopping entirely. I'm not a doctor, though, so follow your doctor's advice; what I stated was simply what *my* doctor said.
Just trying to be a "Regular Member".

Entocort 9 mg/day, Prednisone 20 mg/day, started Humira 1/22/08, started 100 mg of Azasan (Imuran) 2/20/08. Increased Azasan to 150 mg 10/15/08. Discontinued Humira 11/03/08 after extreme fatigue and moderate muscle aches. Started Cimzia 12/4/08. Down to 5 mg/day of Pred now, and will continue to taper until completely off as long as the other meds keep me off the porcelain.

I'm convinced that Prednisone is the root of all evil, and primarily responsible for global warming.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 6/4/2009 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Please be extremely careful and consult your doctor first. My cousin has been hospitalized for the better part of the last 8 months because of steroid dependency and all the related problems with this drug. They have had extreme problems tapering her dose down b/c she was on high doses for far too long and became totally dependent on it. Now they've said she'll have to be on some low dose of it for the rest of her life. She has had numerous vertebrae fractures, open sores, cataracts in both eyes, gained well over 80 pounds and is in very poor shape. They weren't even sure what her initial problem was, though I suspect it was Crohn's. I am doing everything humanly possible to avoid steroids if I can. Watching her deteriorate from such a vibrant young woman has been horrifying. Please, please be careful and check with your doctor first.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 6/4/2009 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
ivy6 said...
I think it depends on a number of factors, including how long you've been sick and for how long you've used steroids in the past.

X 2

I do it all the time. My current g.i. even puts in my medical records that I do my own thing with prednisone.... which is not good...(I don't blame him, he can't exactly put that it is a good thing, even if I were a doctor, which I am not, it still would not be a good thing in many people's eyes...)

If you run low, it's not too hard to find a doctor willing to give it to you, or an ER doc.

I just for one, am not one, to recommend that anyone suffer, while waiting around for whatever reason. If you need pred. and you have experience with using it, mainly tapering it down, you should be fine. You may, and you may not upset your doctor. I have had some get really ticked off at me for raising my pred, but at worst they can just fire me as a patient.

Take Care
CD dx @ 13 (1987)
Prednisone 20mg every other day
Phenergen PRN
Zantac 150 - Twice Day
Pain Meds

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 357
   Posted 6/4/2009 5:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I do it all the time; my doctor actually is quite understanding about these types of things... idk about dropping 10mg at a time though. Even when my doctor puts me on it, she has me go 5mg at a time. I know it holds true for me, and I'm sure it's true for all of us who have lived with the ups and downs of this disease for a long time, that I know my body and what drugs help when (to a point). As long as you're comfortable with it and take it responsibly, I don't see why it should be a problem. Frankly, if you talked to your doctor about it, s/he may even put you on it themselves.
32 year old female... diagnosed with Crohn's at age 16, then with proctitis in 2005... right hemi-coloctomy April 2001 (removed 12 inches)... currently taking 100mg 6MP, Canasa, acidolpholus, Protonix, B12 injections once a month, 20mg Prednisone, Bentyl and Percoset as needed... just started Remicade

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 457
   Posted 6/4/2009 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   
My GI wrote down specific instructions for taking the pred when I am flaring. All he asks is that I call the office so the nurse can document it in my chart. It saves a lot of time and money. He also gave me vicodin to take when I am having major pain. Just knowing I have it has made my life a lot less stressful. He told me that if the vicodin doesn't work as he has prescribed that I need to go to the ER. Knock on wood...... but it has been 2 years since I have visited the ER and I rarely have to take the vicodin.
Dx'd with Crohns 1984 and polycystic kidney diease in 1996
I was in remission for 16 years, Bowel Resection surgery 2006, Now on Asacol, folic acid, and Enalapril, Have been flaring on and off since August.
I love my life and everyday I pray that my body cooporates and allows me to do what I have planned.

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