Prednisone masking c diff

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 2/15/2008 11:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I was recently put back on prednisone at 40 mg. Usually it puts me into remission within a few days. On top of that I'm on remicade so my symptoms weren't nearly as bad as they have been in the past. I have been on it for almost a week and although i feel 75 percent better I still am not feeling as good as i have in the past on pred (without remicade). Does anyone know if prednisone can mask the symptoms of c diff. or if maybe thats the reason this round of prednisone isn't seeming quite as successful.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 2/15/2008 12:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure about masking infections, Jefferey, but Pred does lose its effectiveness over time. The more times we take it, the more likely it is that it'll stop working.

Are you also on oral meds? What about rectal meds?
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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 2/15/2008 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
what's c diff?
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.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 2/15/2008 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
No other meds, but my rationale is this. C diff causes colitis not IBD Colitis but a form of colitis non the less. Colitis is inflammation of the colon and because I am on prednisone isn't it possible that if I did have c diff, the symptoms would be less severe while on prednisone simply because the prednisone is controling the inflammatory response to the c diff. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the symptoms associated with c diff are the same as those in Ulcerative Colitis. I should probably mention to that I have had c diff a two times in the last couple years and this is my first time on pred in almost a year.

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30857
   Posted 2/15/2008 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
C.diff is a bacteria, and it would be easy to check if it's prolific with a stool sample test. The inflammation may be lowered somewhat by the pred, but it wouldn't have any effect on lowering the would increase the c.diff because it's not being dealt with.

Most who use prednisone as a treatment for UC flares eventually find it's not an effective treatment.

Jefferey...have you never been on any 5ASA meds? Both oral and rectal?

*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....bromelain 1 - 2x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 2/15/2008 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on 5ASA and immunosuppressents but neither work for me. I'm on this round of prednisone to try and put me in complete remmission and then will continue to use remicade as more of a maintainance medication. What I'm trying to figure out is why this round of prednisone isn't making me 100 % better like it has in the past. I wasn't flaring too badly in the first place because of the remicade, so I expected the combo of remicade and prednisone to make me feel extremely well. So I guess what I'm asking is if anyone knows if a person has c-diff and goes on prednisone will the symptoms associated with c-diff be diminished. I know pred wouldn't take care of the infection in the least bit, but I'm just trying to figure out if that could be a reason why the combo of pred/remicade isn't working as effectivley as i would have thought. If c-diff symptoms aren't diminished by prednisone then I know I probably don't have c-diff and am just not responding to the pred as well as i used to.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 641
   Posted 2/15/2008 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Why do you think you might have c-diff, Jeffrey? There's usually a course of antibiotic and/or exposure to an infected person that can be pointed to as causing c-diff. Without either of those, it's very unlikely that you have c-diff.

C-diff is pretty infrequent, really. I would imagine less than 1% of the population has ever had or will ever have c-diff. (That's just a guess, but . . .)

I believe that, yes, prednisone might slow down or diminish the symptoms of c-diff, but it will slow down or diminish the effects of any inflammation. Without a precursor, an inciting incident, if you will, I don't understand why you are suspecting c-diff.

Mitz (who had c-diff, and who had a nephew and an aunt who had c-diff)
Sporadic proctitis since about 1985. Mother had J-pouch surgery 1983.
DX'd with clostridium difficile in 2000. Pred, two courses of Flagyl, then Vancomycin finally got rid of it. 2001 colonoscopy dx'd left-sided UC. . Treated with prednisone, Rowasa, Asacol. Asacol not working, switched to Imuran. Three small flares since in 2002, 2005, and 2007, brought under control with steroid and Rowasa enemas. Lap Chole performed October 26, 2007, after gall bladder attack in June, '07.
Daily meds: 100 mg Azathioprine and 225 mg Effexor XR (for chronic, longstanding depression), many vitamins and Primadophilus Reuteri

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 4/21/2008 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I have c-dff and they didn't know it, and my GI doc said the prednisone made it worse. So they tapered me quickly and started the Flagyl. I just finished the Flagyl yesterday, and my D symptoms are better, but the pain in my gut is worse.

I'm not sure where I got my c-diff either, I was not in the hospital (or nursing home) and was put on amoxicillian in January for a sinus infection when all this funness started. There is an epidemic strain of c-diff running around the country that is "community" acquired. Again it's RARE but it does happen. "community" acquired means no health care exposure (no antibiotics, no hospitals, etc.). AGAIN RARE, but it does happen.
31 yr old female
Dx'd in 2/2008 UC (not sure how much, or where, LOONG story there, i'm sure i'm getting another scope soon)
Asacol 12xday, Rowasa 2xday (off these for now waiting for pred to work)
Prednisone 40 mg/day

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/16/2008 4:53 PM (GMT -6)   
My friend was dying from cdiff. The doctors tried a number of antibiotics over a six month period but my friend would always relapse. We tried probiotics without success. Then I came across an article that said that L. reuteri bacteria generated a substance that killed ecoli, salmonella, and cdiff. I found out that Natures Way sold the strain in a capsule that released the bacteria full strength into the colon. Now my friend was very sick and really wanted to die. He had "volcanic diarrhea" that kept him in diapers. He was very sore and dehydrated and felt very very sick. After three days of taking three of four capsules a day He told me he was symptom free. He still is a year later. Yes it is in Stonyfield yogurt but I suggest taking a big dose by capsule form until the cdiff is completely removed from the colon.
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