Prednisone Insomnia - Need sleep drug recommendation

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 3/31/2008 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Can anyone suggest an effective sleeping pill for prednisone insomnia? I'm on my 6th week of prednisone. I'm on 30 mg soon to be tapered down to 20 mg. I'm currently taking 4 mg of ativan and 300 mg of trazodone, but I still can't sleep. My doctor will prescribe anything short term. Thank you for your help.
30 mg prednisone
4 Lialda/day
SCD, 2 months

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 3/31/2008 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I am on 60 mg and was having problems sleeping as my doc had prescribed 20 mg 3X/day. I was taking Xanax to get 3 hours of sleep.  I started taking all 60 mg first thing when I wake up at 6:30 - 7:00 am and now don't need to the Xanax anymore. What time are you taking your prednisone? Maybe if you take it all in the AM with the Ativan it would help.
Good Luck!  Let me know if it works!

Pancolitis - dx December 2006: 6-MP (started 3/17/08); Prednisone 60 mg(started again 3/6/08); Colazal 750 mg - 9/day (generic); Canasa 1000mg 2/day; Women's One-A-Day Multi-Vitamin; Calcium +D 500 mg - 3/day; Coumadin 2.5 mg/day (for DVT, dx 2/13/07); Folic Acid - 400 mcg x2/day

Asacol & mesalamine enemas (bad reaction); Seasonale (birth control) caused DVT; cranberry pill - 300 mg  3x/day (urinary tract infec.) can't take with Coumadin;

Lovenox injec. 2x/day (for DVT)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 157
   Posted 3/31/2008 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Did you try any good ol' fashioned benadryl?
All theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Diagnosed with UC: July 2006

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 3/31/2008 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
For me (and most) taking pred first thing in the early morining should keep from troubles sleeping at night.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 3/31/2008 10:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I took mine at 5:30 in the morning. That would have been about four hours after I got to sleep most nights. I never took any sleep medication, though. I take so much stuff now I hate to add anything else.
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

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 4/1/2008 5:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm on prednisone for the first time -all of March and currently on 25 mg. I can't sleep more than 3 hrs at a time even with the use of Ambiem. I just tried Ambiem CR (as advertised on TV!) last night and I slept about 5 hours. I was hoping for more sleep, but at least I wasn't up washing clothes at 4 AM.

Good Luck - for me so far sleep in my biggest problem because lack of it can ruin my whole day!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 4/1/2008 7:21 AM (GMT -6)   
When I was on pred, I still couldn't sleep even taking it early in the morning. I used ambien (periodically, not all the time, but when the tiredness was just too much for me) and it was a lifesaver. it's easy to blame feeling poorly on pred (and pred causes a lot of terrible side effects) but getting some good sleep can really do wonders!
-currently having a flare
-cortenema, Lialda (4 pills/day), canasa, probiotic, multivitamin, calcium with vitamin d, iron

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 4/1/2008 8:06 AM (GMT -6)   
My lifesaver has been Unisom and a good ol' glass of Red Wine (OK, maybe not the safest thing, but it works and the wine doesn't seem to effect my UC!) Now that I'm down to 20mg, I haven't had to take anything and am sleeping fine, (usually about 12am-6am) but do notice that I wake up at 6am like I'm ready to take on the world, which isn't such a bad thing if you ask me!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 4/1/2008 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   
When I was on 60 mg of pred i also could not sleep at all, and then a friend of mine sent me a a lavendar eye pillow that you put in the freezer, and I swear thats all it took. I had been downing the tylenol pms to no avail, and the first night i went to bed with that pillow over my eyes i slept for like 4 hours, which at the time was remarkable!
Winni, 24

Diagnosed UC july 2006.
medications: colazal 9 daily, cortifoam 2x daily, 30 mg pred
supplements:calcium, aloe gel, pro-biotics
osteopenia from all this prednisone.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 4/1/2008 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
If you're looking for a more natural route, magnesium citrate has worked wonders for me in terms of helping me sleep and relieving anxiety. I've been using a powdered form and drinking it just before bed. If you try it, just make sure you actually get magnesium citrate as opposed to some other form of magnesium, because it's the most easily absorbable to your body. Also, be careful not to use too much or it can cause diarrhea. I just take about a teaspoon and it hasn't caused any UC problems for me whatsoever.

Diagnosed Ulcerative Pancolitis

Fish Oil
Vitamin C
Slippery Elm

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 233
   Posted 4/1/2008 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I did Ambien and it was lovely for me.  I never woke up feeling drugged, but got my hours in, even when I was on 70 mg of prednisone.
Currently in remission since September 2004!!!  I am on Imuran 150 mg and am LOVING life!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 4/1/2008 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Tylenol PM works for me, if it doesn't I add a Xanax (or 2).
Diagnosed UC April 27, 2006
Remicade infusions: 7/21/07; 8/18/07; 10/13/07; 12/15/97; 1/26/08; 3/8/08
Lialda, 4 tabs in the morning; Protonix; Lexipro 10 mg; Prednisone 4/27/06-present, tapering attempt, down to 5 mg. daily. Xanax as needed. Daily supplements: multivitamin w/folate; Culturelle; Fish oil capsules, calcium chews and/or Tums
12/1 - 12/29/07 weekly Venofer (iron) injections; Off of the following:Entocourt EC; Rowesa; Asacol; Colazal; Imuran (extremely bad reaction 2/07)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 11/17/2009 6:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Vicks NyQuil

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 11/17/2009 7:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Take it first thing in morning. If you have an mp3 player and have some headphones you can dl some of the i-doser mp3's and use calm me or anesthesia. Puts me out pretty quick. I hate to have to take something because of something I am taking. PM me and I'll send you a few if you want.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
L-Glutamine 5000 mg + 600 mg pyridoxal alpha-ketoglutarate
Probiotis/VitD3 5000IU+Ca/1000mg DHA

Post Edited (Dr-A) : 11/17/2009 5:15:08 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 574
   Posted 11/17/2009 7:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I am on my second lot of pred and as with the first unable to sleep i take 7.5 zopiclone and get 3-4 hrs sleep am down to 5mg pred so hope to start sleeping again soon.
  Diagnosed 22.5.08 with Lft sided U/C
 Asacol 800mg x2 twice daily
 co codamol 30/500x2 when needed
 buscopan 20mg when needed
 asacol foam 1gm when needed

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5968
   Posted 11/17/2009 8:46 AM (GMT -6)   
     I took Ambien CR for awhile but Tylenol PM works just as well.  You could look into the store brand of Tylenol PM contains the same ingredients and much cheaper.
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008 for ten days.
Remission Nov 08 thru May of 09.
Flare May of 09 thru Aug of 09.  Meds: Colazal, 6MP, prednisone taper, probiotics, Benicar, calcium and multivitamin
Remission...too short...Sept and Oct.  Now in bad flare again...blood and mucus...back on prednisone, off the 6MP, waiting for approval from ins co to start Remicade.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 11/17/2009 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I think melatonin is a good option to help you sleep. Works well for us. No side effects that I know of.
Daughter has UC - Diagnosed Nov '08 - lots of ups and downs - looking for information and support

Info for my daughter:

Current Meds:
Lialda, Rowasa Enemas (1 per evening), Canasa Suppository (1 per morning), VSL#3DS, Florastor
Iron Supp, Zinc Supp, Calcium Supp, Multi-vit, B Vit, Curamin (turmeric + boswellia), Bee Propolis, Fish Oil

Currently Tapering Off Pred

New Ideas:
Adding Psyllium Seed Powder and Metamucil slowly

Past Medications:
Colazal - worked fairly well initially
Asacol - passed many pill whole in stools

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 473
   Posted 12/26/2009 5:30 AM (GMT -6)   
great thread. tapering off 50mg of Prednisone. Fingers crossed tomorrow is first 40mg day

Last night, to bad at 5am. Crazy. I'd prefer to function during the day, have planned a nice hike tomorrow. Weirdest affect for me is "crashing hard" at like 11pm, then head home to sleep, subsequently am wide awake. Like now at 2:30am.

Already one Melatonin and one benadryl in. Nothing! Feel like a machine. Going to try some of the PM/Ambien tomorrow...
Proctitis/UC since July 2000
Was Asacol and Rowasa when bad
Was Colazol and Canasa when bad
Now Lialda
Also 3-6-9 Fish Oil, Vit D, One A Day, Vit C(5000/day) and apple cider vinegar
and tapering off Prednisone from my first ER UC visit. Good Times

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 253
   Posted 12/26/2009 9:10 AM (GMT -6)   
hey guys, just thought I would let you know what is working for me when I can't sleep although I'm usually nauseous when I do this as well. There are really good time release gravols that work over 12 hours so once you fall asleep you stay asleep... and they don't give you that initial gravol drugged out feeling because it's a smaller up front dose
Good luck!
(I'm on 35 mg of pred)
female 19, diagnosed crohns december 2008
entocort/pentasa previously, now prednisone & imuran, probiotics, calcium w/d, digestive enzymes & prenatal multivitamin

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 12/26/2009 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I was given Valium (Diazepam) - works a treat. I take 5mg at bedtime and if I wake up again at night I take another 5 mg. Also helps with anxiety from prednisone. Hard core - but was desperate and trying to get to hang on till surgery.
Diag proctitis 97
Major flare and extension to left sided colitis Aug 2006 - present

I have bled every day since Aug 2006 (I quit smoking in June 2006)

Imuran (Azathioprine) game me liver damage. LDN no luck.

Was on lots Asacol and mesalazine enemas - now seems to be making worse.

Back on Prednisone :(

Booked in for JPouch Jan 2009

Tox 1
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 12/26/2012 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Phew......there are folks out there going through the same crap as me right now...

I've never had anxiety till I got pneumonia last Wednesday. Now all I think about is how my heart is going to fail (had a dbl heart attack 5 yrs ago) or when I'm going to stroke out. (I have a 50-70% blockage in my Carotid artery)

I have such dizzy spells whenever I lay down.  My heart and mind start racing like I just got done running a marathon. I have been to the hospitals emergency room twice now totally flipped out but yet they wont sedate me or do anything but feed me more drugs that cause anxiety. The drs keep playing me off talking about....well, we'll see you in the office tomorrow..'s still TODAY darn it and I need help TODAY!!! 

Tox 1
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 12/26/2012 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
So....the question is --- can we or can't we take a sleeping pill while on prednisone??

If I sleep I won't flip out all night. Otherwise it's going to be a very long night again and that just sucks.


Tox 1
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 12/26/2012 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
darn...I was hoping someone would be around to help out.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 12/26/2012 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Ambien worked for me, and I have a prescription for it because I have BAD insomnia anyway. Pred had me peeling the paint from the walls and rearranging furniture. It gives me about 5 good hours of sleep.

Melatonin is good if that works for you, but can give you crazy dreams or nightmares.

As long as you're only taking 5-10mg of Ambien, long term use is actually ok.
Symptoms started June 2012
Colonoscopy October 9, 2012
Diagnosed with UC in Sigmoid Colon & lower October 2012
Asacol, 800mg 3x day (indefinitely)
Mesalamine Enema 1x day while flaring
40mg: 10/26/12-10/30/12;
30mg: 10/31/12-11/04/12;
20mg: 11/05/12-11/13/12;
15mg: 11/14/12-11/18/12;
10mg: 11/19/12-11/25/12;
5mg: 11/26/12-12/3 and DONE (I hope)
VSL #3, 4 pills/day
Vit. D 1000IU

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1339
   Posted 12/26/2012 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Two Benadryl used to help me. Not one.. A nurse gave me that tip.
Female ,US, LMT
Balsalazide 750MG 3- 3x daily
Canasa supp, Mesalamine enema
Armour Thyroid 60MG
Bio-identical compounded hormones,DHEA 10mg
Vit D 5000 i.u., Biotin,B12
Dicyclomine 20mg as needed
Clonazepam 0.5mg
Humira started June 2012,now weekly
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