calcuim + prednisone

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 4/4/2008 12:15 AM (GMT -6)   
does anyone take calcium supplements to counter act the prednisones effect on bone density? is this safe and does it cause stomach upset? would it be different for men to take calcium than women?

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 4/4/2008 12:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello...I do take Calcium everyday.   I don't have any side effects from it. I take 600mg everyday, and also take a multi vit.   A few years ago,  my bone density showed osteopenia (which is the step before osteoporosis),  and this was before my large IV doses during my last bad flare.   So I really became concerned re; bone density and started taking it.   Also do have my GI blessings as well.   :o)  
41 yo RN, happily married, with 2 beautiful daughters, Tianna(14 yo) and Alyssa(10 yo).   Diagnosed L sided Ulcerative Colitis in Jan '04 and Diabetes type 2 in June '05.
Remicade infusions ~ 11/6/07, 12/6/07, 12/20/07, 2/14/08,  6-MP 100mg daily, Pentasa 500mg twice a day, prednisone 20mg 10mg 5mg daily, Nexium 40mg twice a day, Lantus insulin 45 35 25 20 units daily, Novolog 10 8 5 units with sliding scale at meals, Amaryl 2mg daily, multi-vitamin daily, Calcium daily, B complex vit daily,  and pro-biotics daily.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 4/4/2008 2:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I would definitely recommend taking Calcium while on Pred. Be sure to take a supplement that also has vit. D in it. Calcium can't be absorbed without vit D present. I was taking 3 pills/day of 500mg Caltrate with D when I was on pred. And if anything it helped the symptoms, definitely no side effects. I continue to take 500mg/day. Not sure if anything is different for men...

23 yrs old
Diagnosed with UC: March 2004 with probable IBS component

Currently taking:
Asacol 4pills 3x/day
Prograf 5mg/day
(Prograf is my miracle drug! It doesn't seem to be well known, but it's fantastic!)

Previously Tried:
Prednisone (works, but such awful side effects!), 6-MP (gave me acute pancreatitis), Entocort, Cipro (antibiotic), Bentyl, Canasa suppositories, a couple different enemas

UC Mom
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 4/4/2008 6:08 AM (GMT -6)   
My son takes Actonel once per week while on Prednisone. The GI gave him enough samples to last through the taper.
UC Mom
Son diagnosed 10, 2006 at age 15
6MP (just started 50 mg per day)
Culturelle Probiotic
Multi Vitamin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3238
   Posted 4/4/2008 6:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I took a calcium supplement while I was on pred. I definitely recommend it. It didn't bother me at all.
Tabitha (Tab)

100mg Azathioprine, 2 Fibercon, Colazal-9 a day, Acidopholis Pearls, Nexium
Co-Moderator UC Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 4/4/2008 8:50 AM (GMT -6)   
While on pred it's also improtant to get extra potasium!! Eat an extra bannana or two a day on higher doses!
Kelly, 30

Left sided UC diagnosed 1/98 age 19, Pan colitis diagnosed 1/07
Currently on 4x3 Asacol, 5mg pred, 150mg Imuran
Prontonix once daily for acid reflux, zofran twice daily for nausea, darvocet for pain
antispasmodics didn't work.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 4/4/2008 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   

Definitely take a calcium supplement while on pred.

A link to recommended values:

Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Flaring :(
40mg pred, Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Rowasa, Canasa, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
Co-Mod for the UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 4/4/2008 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   
It is so important to take calcium on prednisone. I did when I was on it and it did not cause me any trouble.
-currently having a flare
-cortenema, Lialda (4 pills/day), flagyl, cipro, canasa, probiotic, multivitamin, calcium with vitamin d, iron

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 4/4/2008 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
thanks everyone. i just went out and got some. i appreciate the helpful responses

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 4/4/2008 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I take calcium every day... whether or not I am on Prednisone. I take 500 mg in the morning and 500 mg in the evening. My GI suggested this the first time I went to see him, and I've been doing it ever since.

I recently needed to purchase more calcium pills and decided to try the new Viactiv chocolate chews. They are EXCELLENT! Much better than the chalky horse pills... and they are the same dose. If you are looking for something different, you might want to try them.
Proud new mom of a beautiful baby boy!
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 4/4/2008 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I take 500mg calcicum + vit D 3xday and fosomax 70mg 1xweek b/c of the pred.
Beth, 32 ~ Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ in remission
UC dx'd 03/00 (Proctosigmoiditis); Pancolitis since 09/07
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 09/07 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 25mg 1xday (taper 5mg a week from 60 = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Enalpril 10mg 1xday, Fursomide 20mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your protiens!
Pre-Diabetic from Prednisone use - Low carb/sugar diet & exercise.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted 4/5/2008 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Just a thought - I was always concerned about taking too much calcium as I thought it can cause kidney stones and I read somewhere that people with UC are more prone to kidney stones. I guess the benefits of calcium would probably outweigh that though. I have never had one but my husband did once and it was the most pain I had ever seen anyone in.
Jessica 26/F
Asacol 4pills /three times a day(from 2 pills/ three times a day)
Culturelle once daily
Tried (Entorcort EC 9ml/day and Prednisone)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 4/5/2008 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Another really tasty calcium supplement is Adora - comes in milk and dark chocolate flavors!
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Flaring :(
40mg pred, Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Rowasa, Canasa, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
Co-Mod for the UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 4/7/2008 7:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Question: I heard you cannot take calcium with your other meds. As it would not let them absorb. Is this true. Do others take with other meds? I have a hard time remembering to take my calcium in the afternoon.

 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.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 4/7/2008 8:31 AM (GMT -6)   
According to the Mayo Clinic web site, it depends on the type of calcium you take. Calcium carbonate should be taken with food, as it is absorbed better that way. Calcium citrate can be taken any time. Here is the link for the article:
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.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
The information I share on this forum is based only on my own experience and study. It is important to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

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