Prednisone - serious health risks vs aestetic issues

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BenY
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 2/2/2008 11:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I know they say with Prednisone "there WILL be side effects", bu the main ones I am concerned about are those that involve serious health risk. I am on 20mg right now while waiting for 6MP to someday kick in, and its not going so bad. I have more energy, have minimum face puffiness, no Cushing's-type fat redistribution, yes some back acne (going to see a demotologist about that), taking prilosec to protect my stomach, taking to Fosamax to try to restrength my bones, don't have any weird hair issues.
 
What are the real health risks then? Got the weak-bone thing covered. I've heard you can get cataracts, but those can be taken off and fall more into the inconvenience catagory. The one other thing I've heard of is necrosis of the bone - okay, that wouldn't be good. Anything else I'm missing?
Ben, 38
 
Symptoms started 10/06, diagnosed 4/07.
Currently taking daily 20mg Prednisone, 50mg 6MP, calcium w/D, 1/2 Prilosec (protects stomach from prednisone), probiotic, multivitamin, double strength fish oil (2).


Severin
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 2/2/2008 11:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Its complete luck of the draw BenY. I was on 80mg of pred for 3 months and then on 50mg for more then 6 months. In all, I was on pred non-stop for over 18 months. All I got out of it was a bit of irritability and the annoyance of having to shave daily rather then my usual once per three days.

In the end I took it because it was the only thing that could give me some semblance of Quality of Life. 20+ toilet trips per day or prednisone. The choice for me was rather easy.
"We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers..." - Elric, elder Technomage
    - 28yo male, Australia. Diagnosed at 16yo;
    - 2xColazide, twice a day; 1x6-mp twice a day; 1xAbatacept 10mg/kg per month;
    - 1xZinc per day, 1xDesert spoon of Metamucil smooth orange 3 times a day;
    - 3xGarlic Oil caps 3 times a day, 7mL Olive Leaf Extract 2 times a day.


jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 2/3/2008 12:36 AM (GMT -6)   
BenY, the bad effects usually come from long term use. I was on Pred off and on (mostly on) for a year, then on Entocort for another three years. Entocort is not "supposed" to cause the bad side effects. I was also taking Fosamax and high supplements of calcium with vitamin D.

First I developed type II diabetes, which fortunately seems to have resolved now.
Then I had a stress fracture of both of the bones in my lower leg just above the ankle. Required surgery, plates and screws.
Then, shortly after I came off the steroids, I was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in both shoulders. The left seems to be doing okay now. The right has had two surgeries and has a prosthesis in it. I don't have full strength or range, but it's functional and the terrible pain is gone.

I was lucky enough not to develop eye problems or any other serious effects.

And remember, I was steroid dependent and on it for a long time. For short-term use to bring flares under control, any mild side effects should pretty well go away once you come off the Pred.
Judy
 
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.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum


KSpace
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 2/3/2008 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Judilyn, I'm so sorry to hear about all of your troubles with steroids! I'm impressed with your uplifting outlook.. all of those complications/surgeries seem like serious effects to me. I read that the rectal steroids do have up to 90% absorption if retaineed for more than 8 hours, so I am also afraid of the side effects and trying to get off of them ASAP. I've been on Lialda as well for the past two days and so far so good. I hope it works.
15 cm left sided colitis
currently on a trial of cortenemas,
and now doc added cortifoam i nthe AM and lialda
nothing seems to be working.


jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 2/3/2008 10:07 AM (GMT -6)   
KSpace, if things go as they normally do, the steroids will help control the flare and you'll be able to taper off with no problem. They really can kick a flare in the butt. It's just that they work differently for a few of us. I'm well known to my doctors for having weird side effects and conditions. They're always telling me "Well, this almost never happens, but I guess if it's going to, it would happen to you." I regard my life as an interesting and ongoing medical adventure.
Judy
 
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.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum


no citric
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/19/2008 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi
I am new to this site. I want to share my husbands story with UC and Prednisone maybe this will help someone.  Was diagnosed with UC about 20 years ago,been on all the sulpha drugs
still on sulphasalazine and rowasa enemas for flare ups.  prescribed prednisone on and off
last on prednisone for almost 8 years straight!  Every time his doc would prescribe,we would argue about with him the obvious side effects, bloating,weight gain,short temper,irritability etc.,but this was the only thing helping the flare ups.   about 3 years ago we discovered
that most flares came after he ate anything with oranges.  He stopped oranges and eventually all citrus fruits and started to see results.  We finally realized that it was citric acid that caused his flares.  Citric acid is in almost everything, canned, bottled processed
foods, snacks, soda,even lunchmeats and sausage.  We are now avid label readers,and can cook without any citric acid.  No more flareups for two years.  During this time he weaned himself off the steroids and suffered extreme side effects. Huge, rapid weight loss, joint pain, abdominable pain.  After two months he looked like he aged ten years.  I went online and found out that steroids were only masking his symptoms and caused damage to his bones and joints.  He swears he will never take prednisone or any steroid ever again no matter what the doctor says.  Each persons reaction to drugs is different, but I would warn anyone from being on steroids for a long time,even on and off.   The good news is
he was able to regain his strength by slow weight training and put on weight slowly .   He has gone almost two years without any trouble ,but now is having a bad flare up.
We are still avoiding citric acid and are now starting heavy probiotics along with the sulfa
and rowasa.   Hopefully this regimen will put him in remission soon. 
Good luck to everyone, hope this helps someone out there even if it is only for a short time. 
 

Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 2/19/2008 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I am prediabetic basically meaning the pred has raised my sugars and I am not yet type 2 diabetic but on my way, so I need to cut out carbs (veggie carbs are ok) and sugars (fruits are ok) and also doing low salt.

Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ no blood since Dec 07 ~ almost normal bm
UC dx'd March 2000 (30 cenitmeters as of 2005-proctosigmoiditis)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd Sept 2007
Prednisone 40mg 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Tekturna 150mg 1xday, Fursomide 20mg 1xday.  Potassium 100mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.


suebear
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 2/19/2008 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Predisone should never be considered a long term treatment plan for UC. The problem is that many of the awful side effects from pred-use may not be discovered until years down the road, even having been off the drug for many years. Any GI that would either encouage or allow his/her patients to stay on this drug long term should not be practicing medicine-in my opinion.

Prednisone is a life saving drug for those with asthma, organ transplants, and other health issues that have no alternatives. UCers have options to prednisone usage and should use the other safer medications, or resort to surgery rather then remaining on steroids.

Sue
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


blueclassring
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 2/19/2008 1:29 PM (GMT -6)   
you really need to be concerned if you have been using prednisone for years.  a short course of pred will minimize any long term side effects you may experience. 
Pharmacy Student, Midwestern University
Class of 2009
 
I decided to become a pharmacist to understand these drugs, and to help fellow sufferers of IBD.
 
If you have any questions about medications/drugs, feel free to contact me here privately.  I will attempt to answer them ASAP.
 
3200 mg Asacol
 
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THE SCD DIET?  IT HAS PUT ME IN REMISSION AND I PLAN ON GETTING OFF THE ASACOL SOON TOO!


BenY
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 2/22/2008 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   

NoCitric - On average, about what dose of prednisone was your husband over those eight years would you say?


Ben, 38
 
Symptoms started 10/06, diagnosed 4/07.
Currently taking daily 15mg Prednisone, 75mg 6MP, calcium w/D, 1/2 Prilosec (protects stomach from prednisone), probiotic, multivitamin, double strength fish oil (2).


no citric
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/22/2008 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   

BenY,

My husband was on 35 mgs down to 5mgs during that time.  If you have to take it, I would keep the duraton as short as possible.  I'm sure some people are extra sensitive to steroids,

My son was given a inhaled steroid for asthma, and he ballooned up just like his dad within two weeks, and had mood changes, needless to say we took him off asap.  Maybe you can tolerate it better than some, I wish you good luck.   We are still waiting for some improvement hopefully from the probiotics.  

No citric  

 


BenY
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 2/23/2008 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Suebear - about your quote below...I didn't know about this. What kind of side effects do you mean? Not that I really want to know. I've been on an average of 20mg for 9 months now.

"The problem is that many of the awful side effects from pred-use may not be discovered until years down the road, even having been off the drug for many years"
Ben, 38
 
Symptoms started 10/06, diagnosed 4/07.
Currently taking daily 15mg Prednisone, 75mg 6MP, calcium w/D, 1/2 Prilosec (protects stomach from prednisone), probiotic, multivitamin, double strength fish oil (2).

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