Will staying on steroids a long time make it harder to come off of them?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 1/15/2008 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I am wondering if my body will become more dependant on prednisone than it has to?  I thought I might have been steriod resistant but now think maybe it just took a while to work on me.  I had never taken steriods before (except for poison ivy cream).
Now I am nervous, what if maybe the azathioprine is not helping me and it's only the steroids?
Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ working on remission almost there
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Potassium 600mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 1/15/2008 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
hey Beth - from your other posts and now this one, I think that you are nervous about your UC, which of course is totally understandable. with Imuran, you likely won't see any results for 12 weeks, and for some people it is more like 4 - 6 months. so if you haven't been on imuran that long, then it may not actually be working yet, and that's ok. the pred is there to give the imuran the time it needs to kick in.

as for becoming dependent, I don't think you should worry aobut that. people who are on pred a long time do suffer withdraw, but they can still get off it. I don't think dependency has to do with length of time. I was steroid dependent my first time on it, after just 10 weeks, and others are on it for years and aren't, so don't worry about that.

hang in there
Pancolitis dx 3/07
12 Asacol/day
150mg Imuran/day (steroid dependent, reached this dose 9/07)
Various vitamins, a probiotic.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 1/15/2008 5:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Usually the longer you're on it, the more slowly you have to taper off it. Our adrenal glands make natural cortisone, which is very similar. When you take oral Pred, your adrenals back off on producing cortisone. The slow taper is to give the adrenals time to ramp up production again. Too little cortisone can make you very sick.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 1/15/2008 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Beth75 - as Judilyn has said, the basic gist of it is the longer you take the steroid, the higher the dose you are on, the longer it takes to withdraw from it and the slower and more cautious the taper required is.

I have been flaring for nearly 2 years now. I had been on Prednisone for a total of 19 months of that (with 8 of those months at 60mg/day) and have only just tapered off completly as of 16/12/2007.

The withdrawal symptoms have been rather unpleasant, but they usually only last a couple of weeks at most and the doc said I copped it worse then most.

In the end, prednisone helped me get through the flare and gave the other medications time to kick in. I was put on 6-MP and it took nearly 5 months before it started to have any kind of effect on my UC, so I am thankful for the prednisone as it helped keep me functional in the mean time.
"We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers..." - Elric, elder Technomage
    - 2xColazide, twice a day; 1x6-mp twice a day; 1xAbatacept 10mg/kg per month;
    - 1xZinc per day, 2xScoop of Sustagen Sport per day;
    - 1xBIOCeuticals UltraBiotic 45 per day, 1xBIOCeuticals SB FlorActiv per day;
    - 1xHeaped teaspoon of Metamucil smooth orange powder 3 times a day.

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