Prednisone Question????

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 3/31/2008 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
         Hey guys just have a quick question about prednisone. I was put on a medrol dose pack when I broke out in hives back in 2005. I developed Benign Intercranial Hypertension and literally lost a good part of my memory for quite a while.(I am still waiting for it to come back!!!) I did a very stupid thing though and stopped the dose pack the second day and refused to go back on it. Well that's when everything started going down hill and thus started my many trips to the E.R for headaches and an assortment of other things. Before the prednisone my memory was outstanding, nothing could get by me. Now I feel like Im in a fog all the time and have been living like this for the past 3 years. So here's the question is it possible so many years later the prednisone could have triggered my lupus?? Also is there an alternative to prednisone that anyone knows of to control swelling and flares?? I am still waiting to see my new pcp and rheumy. Ever since I was diagnosed I wanted a second opinion but this waiting is really getting to me. I see my new pcp in May and Im constantly trying to get in to see her sooner. Im 26 years old and have a one year old daughter and I don't know if some of the new symptoms are being manifested by my mind or if they are actually happening to me. Yikes!!!! Am I really losing my mind???... What do you guys think?? 
~Natalie confused

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/31/2008 8:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Natalie, I am sorry you are having such a confusing time right now.  I have no information about prednisone, but I just wanted to write that I am 28 and have a 19 month old daughter.  I suffer from Chronic Autoimmune Hives and have frequently been on predisone packs like you describe.  I went to an urgent care place to get a cortisteriod shot because I was in a major hive flare and mentioned to him the pain in my fingers it was causing, so they did the ANA, which came back positive.  I am waiting 3 months to see a rheumy, as there are only 2 here in Montgomery AL.  I have noticed my memory some days to be basically non existent.  Sometimes I can't even figure out what day it is.  From what I've read, memory problems come along with the Lupus.  But, I'm sure everyone else could give you great advice about that.
I don't think you're losing your mind.  I know it feels like it most of the time, like you just can't get a grip on what the heck is going on.  I feel sometimes like my body is so out of control and no doctor wants to take the time to listen.  <<hugs>>  I know raising a toddler in the midst of all this makes it exponentially harder.  Good luck, I hope you find the help you need.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 3/31/2008 10:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Lupus fog is not caused by prednisone.  However, taking it can contribute to memory problems.  If you are having short term memory problems which many with lupus, including myself, that is caused by lupus itself.  I have short term memory and concentration problems.  In addition, I do not cope with stress very well and all of these symptoms started with lupus.  Prednisone seemed to make it worse but my physical condition was so bad at the time it is hard to make a definite correlation.
Lupus can have a pronounced neurological effect and that might be what you are experiencing. 
Prednisone is a treatment for lupus...not a cause.  It is a life saving drug for many and some have very serious side effects after high dose/long term use.  Others do not.  I have been on it for 3 years and hypertension is the worst side effect. 
Swelling and flares are symptoms of lupus.  Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory but it suppresses the immune system and that is the primary reason it is used to treat lupus and other AI diseases.  If you suppress the immune system the attacks will go away and so will the symptoms. 
There are other meds that can help you but you need to find a doctor who is experienced in treating lupus and can explore the many options for treating your case.  We are all different and lupus manifests itself differently.  Same with response to treatment...we are all different.  Sometimes it takes trial and error and lots of time to find the right treatment for an individual.
You should not ignore your problems...find another doctor and get treatment.  Do NOT ignore your disease and resist treatment.  It sounds like you have a relatively mild case but without treatment it can get worse. 
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone 5mg, 50mg imuran, Lotrel 40/5mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 4/1/2008 4:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I have never heard of steroids causing problems like yours. Strokes yes, steroids no. Steroids are a lifeline for many lupus patients. Some find it is the only medication they can take that works. Others do well on other medications. I do not take them all the time, but every so often I need prednisone or a dose pack due to a flare or infection. I hope you get decent treatment very soon. I recommend a neurologist for the memory issues. I have CNS involvement and found that the imuran helped significantly but what medication works for each person will be different and the causes of problems may be vastly different. I wish you luck. You are one of the lucky ones, I spent half my life searching for someone to diagnose and treat me before I finally found a doctor who looked at more than a single blood test. Many people spend decades searching for treatment and answers. I am getting ready to have a baby so I understand your concerns, but know that if you offer unconditional love is an unending supply then your child will be happier and better off than millions whose parents are able bodied and fail to demonstrat love often and/or unconditionally. I know from watching kids who were loved unconditionally and my own childhood experiences. Being loved is the most important thing a child needs. Fulfill that need and anything else matters next to nothing or not at all.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sj√∂gren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, pregnant due May 2008
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Darvocet, Singulair, Flexeril, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Procardia, Prilosec

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