New member - Prednisone blues

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 3/25/2008 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
 I'm new to the forum. Here's a brief history: I am a 38-year-old female. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was 17. After a couple of flares, I went into remission (without the use of pharmaceutical drugs) for 16 years. I smoked during this time so that might be why I went into a long remission, according to my GI. After my daughter was born at age 33, I experienced 3 mild flares, which I self-treated with probiotics and the SCD diet. Well, I experienced a major flare this past December which would not go away. I lost 15 pounds and got very sick, although I was not hospitalized. I finally went to see a GI, my first time in 20 years, had a colonoscopy and was diagnosed with left-sided colitis. My GI said I had a "bad case of ulcerative colitis". She prescribed 40 mg. of prednisone and 4.8 grams of Lialda. My symptoms are gone for which I am so grateful. I owe it all to the prednisone, but, like most people, I am counting the days when I can go off of it! I've gained weight, I'm bloated, puffy, anxious, unable to sleep, sleepy during the day, not to mention I have an unbelievably voracious appetite. I'm on my second week of 30 mg. Next week I will taper down to 20 mg. for 2 weeks, and 10 mg. for 2 weeks after that, and then a combination of 10mg/5mg to finish.
My question is: When will the side effects of the prednisone diminish? 20 mg? Or 10 mg? I'd just like some hope and a little relief.
Thank you for your help,
40 mg Prednisone
4 Lialda per day (4.8 g)
7 assorted probiotics per day, including Primal Defense Ultra
SCD Diet since 1/14/08
Assorted vitamins, including a multivitamin
Ativan and trazodone for anxiety and insomnia

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 3/25/2008 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Everyone is a little different when coming off of pred. Your moonface might go down a little at 20mg. But I think a majority of your symptoms won't get better until 15mg or lower.
Diagnosed with UC in August 2005. 
Suffered for my whole life before being diagnosed. 
Told to "Eat more fibre." 
Currently on:

Salofalk 1500mg x 4/day
6mg x 1/day
Entocort increased to:
9mg x 3/day as of 2.14.08

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted 3/25/2008 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine didn't start until 20 mg and got worse until I was completely off or it. I think it is different for everybody though.
Jessica 26/F
Asacol 4pills /three times a day(from 2 pills/ three times a day)
Prednisone 40Mg/day taper every 5 days(at 5 mg currently every other day)
Culturelle once daily
Tried (Entorcort EC 9ml/day)

Another UC wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 3/26/2008 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   
I am sure it is different for everyone. One great piece of advice from here is........make sure it is a very slow taper. My husband was on and off for a year and finally this last time - started with 40 mg along with Imuran in May 07 and got off it totally early December. Now of course he became steroid dependant and it was the combination with the Imuran that made it finally a successful taper.

Every time (when not on Imuran) the tapers were by 10mg he would have to go back on the prednisone. So this last time I requested based on advice here......When he got to 20 we went to 17 1/2, 15, 12 1/2, 10, 7 1/2, 5, 2 1/2 mg every 10 days.

Nothing worse than going through the regimine and tapering too quickly to have to go back on it due to flaring all over again. Ask your Doctor what he/she thinks.

61 yr old male~Colitis 1st diagnosed Jan '05-cleared up within a few wks. Flared again in May '06 (now UC) & hospitalized 5/07-currently heading towards a remission. Osteopena of spine from prednisone DX 8/07  Oct 07 feeling quite normal most days.  150mg Imuran  Zero mg prednisone   12 Asacol, Lidocaine Hydrochloride Jelly 2%,multi vitamin, iron 1X day, DanActive, chewable calcium, fiber capsule 1x day, Prilosec 20mg, enalapril 10mg, glipizide 5 mg, zocor 40 mg, baby aspirin, (Fentanyl pain patch 50mg 72 hrs  Morphine Sulf 15 mg twice daily)Cortifoam enema PM, Canasa suppositiry AM, folic acid 1mg, Fosamax 1x month

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 3/26/2008 10:11 AM (GMT -6)   
my Neph wanted me to taper by 10mg's a week and I was like, um can I do 5mg's I don't know if I will flare or not...

I am at 30mg now and will be at 25 on Saturday. I am even thinking I will taper by 2.5 when I get to 20mgs and do 17.5 for a few days, then 15, then 12.5.

once I get down to 5mg of pred I will be on that for a year, at leat I'll be able to let people know what that is like........I have pretty much all the side effects now.
Beth, 32 ~ Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ almost in remission
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, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd Sept 2007 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 30mg 1xday (taper 5mg a week from 60 = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Tekturna 300mg 1xday, Fursomide 20mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.
Pre-Diabetic from Prednisone use - Low carb/sugar diet & exercise.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 3/26/2008 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
It's very different depending on each person and previous use of pred. My side effects didn't go away until after I was off of the pred.

Many people have advised a slow taper - this is because many of us flare up again when tapering too fast. Watch your body and make sure you're stable before you taper. The next two days after a taper can be rough with a bit of rebound; however, if you notice MAJOR changes, go back up!

Best of luck!
BTW - welcome to HW!  Glad to have you, but sorry you had to find us.

Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Flaring :(
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Rowasa, Canasa, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
Co-Mod for the UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:

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