Is the Prednisone working??

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/25/2008 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
So I was recently diagnosed in February, but have been flaring lightly (now that I know what a flare is!) for about 6 months, and it's gotten continually worse, hence the doc appt and subsequent diagnosis. I feel blessed to have found a good GI so soon, and am grateful that I'm getting treatment.

So he started me on Asacol (12 pills a day, 4800 mg) and Rowasa. I showed no improvement after 2 weeks and I also have a nice case of erythema nodosum going on (it's a skin thing that the GI said is related to my UC, however i've had EN since I was 16, and i'm now 31...) that he was extremely concerned about. So he pulled me off the Asacol and rowasa and now I'm on day 6 of 40 mg of prednisone... I start weening on day 8 down to 30 mg, then a week later down to 20 mg, and then I have an appt with him...

My question is, How do I know it's working? My frequency of running to the bathroom is really the only change, the pain, the fun mess that comes out, all that's the same. My legs are slightly better, (and I mean slightly) so I have hope that it's working but these side effects are kicking my butt! I can't sleep well, have "moon" face, look sunburnt and cry at the drop of a hat!! :( But I'll gladly suffer through it if I know it's gonna work.

And if this pred does kick me out of my flare, what's next? More asacol? What happens if the pred doesn't work?

Just lookin' for some answers/advice since I'm new to this party. :P

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 3/26/2008 7:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I would call the dr. if you are not better by day 8. He/she might want you to stay on 40mg a little longer. I should have done that myself. In fact had my appointment the last day of did very little so I am on another longer round of pred. Dr. said..."should have called me...I would not have had you taper so quick", to bad he didn't tell me that before. I ask lots of questions now. Also I kinda judge my meds to fit my symptoms. I do see him often because of sever flare, and relay what I am doing.
 DX: 1993: sulfasalazine; 1998: Pancolitis UC. asacal 2 2X daily, cortifoam,; 2003: Protitis UC severe flare. asaca 2 2X daily, canasa, cortifoam, cortenema
2008: Proctosigmoiditis severe flare. asacal 3 2X daily, canasa/discontinued while on pred, cortifoam/discontinued, Prednisone 40 mg to be tapered each week
Back on Prednisone 30 mg for 2 weeks then taper to 20 mg then we'll see. Back on Canasa at night.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 3/26/2008 10:14 AM (GMT -6)   
It took a month and a half for the pred to help me, if it did........I started azathioprine in that time.
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.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/1/2008 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   

Do those of you who start on 40 mg prednisone take it all at once or 20 in the morning and 20 at night? 



Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 4/1/2008 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I never took pred at night... just one dose in the a.m. to lessen the risk of insomnia.

Last time I was on it, it started working immediately. I felt totally better the next day.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 4/1/2008 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   

I've been on this stuff once. (Hopefully never again.) The doc put me on 20 mg, but that wasn't enough, so upped to 30 mg after 5 days of no change in symptoms. Anyway, I always took it in the morning. This didn't help the insomnia.

There are other drugs that you can take if prednisone doesn't work, but I can't say that they're better in terms of side effects. I'm lucky that the prednisone worked for me, because I've had a positive ppd and can't take many meds due to the chance that I could get active tb. Talk about scary!

Good luck! I hope that you feel better soon.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 4/1/2008 11:56 AM (GMT -6)   
You know, MathGeek, my doc kept me on my dose of Lialda when I went on the prednisone.

From what I understand, even though the meds are all mesalamine, there are nuances between asacol, lialda and colazol that makes one more helpful than the others for some people. Also, there are different side effects- I had side effects on Colazol, but not Lialda.

You may want to ask your doctor about this for your long term treatment once remission has been attained. Again, good luck! From my experience, it takes some trial and error before they find the right treatment. Stick with it. This will work out. It won't last forever.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 4/1/2008 12:03 PM (GMT -6)   
hi math geek,
you'll know if pred is working if everything starts getting better. it takes a little longer for some to kick in than others. definitely call your GI before tapering. he may agree to try another week or so.

did he take you off the asacol because he thought it was causing the EN? if so then he probably won't put you back on it.

i know i'm answering this late, but day 6 is pretty early to be feeling a lot better since you were flaring for a while. maybe you're feeling better now? hope so... didn't read your other post yet.
29, happily married, stay at home mom to 2 year old son. due to have baby #2 9/17/08
UC (probably pancolitis, but no c-scope yet), diagnosed June 2006, started having major symptoms sometime in January 2006, about 3 months after childbirth. 2nd flare (minor) may 2007 after taking caprylic acid for 2 weeks.

-Prednisone 8/28/06-2/28/07. and again may '07, 8 week course.
-Prayer! asacol, probio, ground psyllium husk, prenatal, folic acid, cal-mag

may you live all the days of your life.

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