Help me....bad mood swings...prendisone related

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 4/9/2008 5:44 AM (GMT -6)   
I;ve been on prednisone for the past few weeks for UC related arthritis. The doctor is having me taper off the medication by 1 mg. every three days due to my bad mood swings from it. I can literally be happy and laughing one minute and then crying the next. And I mean a real cry. This is EXACTLY what happened yesterday on my boyfriend's birthday of all days!!!!! I am also pmsing...which doesn't help. I have taken prednisone before but my boyfriend has noticed more anxiety and depression in me this time around. Should I be concerned or just deal with it until I am officially done with the medication? I even wake up most days of the week with a 'blah' feeling. I don't even want to get out of bed!!! :( What should I do?
Colazal 750 mg 3x3 daily
6-MP 50 mg (2) daily
Miralax-when needed
Rowasa-when needed
Been diagnosed with UC for 5 years

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 4/9/2008 7:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Heather

It's been just over 2 years since I last had pred but I know exactly how you feel! I went through a stage of sobbing at my desk at work for no reason! Once I explained it to my work mates, they were really cool and would give me a hug and then just keep talking to me normally. I used to also wake up feeling really down. Then at night I'd be all hyperactive and unable to sleep.

What amount of pred are you on now? You probably will just have to ride it out as it has to be tapered at the rate your Dr suggests. My advice is to ride it out but keep telling yourself that it is just the pred talking when you feel down or start crying. It isn't you, it's just the pred and all this will pass and you'll be ok. The other thing is to tell/warn those around you about the pred. My work friends adapted really quickly to the fact that I could start sobbing at my desk for no reason. They didn't take it personally and knew it was just the drugs and not an underlying issue. I also made sure my family and close friends were warned as I did some crying and got a bit snappish with them from time to time.

That helped me cope with it better. Morning depression? Common Pred side effect. Hyperactive? Pred - check. Crying? Pred - check. Eating everything in sight? Pred - check. I think that simply realising it is the pred and not you is half the battle.

Hopefully you'll taper off it soon and then you'll feel a lot better :-) Best wishes.
Left Sided UC
Maintenance Meds: Salofalk tablets (Asacol) 2 tablets 4 times daily (4gm total) plus 2 Salofalk foam enemas per week.
Flare Meds: Salofalk enemas and/or Colifoam
Oat bran 60grams daily, Metamuscil and multivitamins

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 4/9/2008 8:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Well I've never sobbed at my desk, I generally handle Pred very well, I do get a little irratable though.
Diagnosed in spring 2005 at age 28
Currently on 12 asacol pills a day + Entocort
40 MG Pred cycle stating 3/26

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 4/9/2008 8:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah your symptoms are pretty normal. My mom would always describe the mood swings to people using a true event. I would be at the top of the stairs laughing and by the time i got to the bottom i would be curled in a ball crying. It's horrible. I think it's even harder on those we love becuase I know i took my feelings out on them. It's really good your boyfriend knew what to expect with you on pred.

Ok some things you could try:

A sun lamp in the morning. When first on pred ten years ago I had a therapist suggest this. She said to lay in bed an extra ten minutes after waking with a sun lamp on. It worked! I felt better, especially when it's all grey out like it has been here. (i'm in chicago so there is lots of grey in the winter)

Try to remember to do little things for others. Not only is it uplifting for you it helps them know that even though you are a bit um...crazy? at the moment you still love them an appreciate them.

In the morning try to have something you love as a reward for getting up. I am a coffee freak. During the worst of my pred crazy i would put the coffeemaker next to my bed and set the timer for morning. I woke up to the smell of coffee next to me. It was fantastic! I loved getting up to that smell and it got me going.

Try not to be to hard on yourself. It's the pred! Not you!!!
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 Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 4/9/2008 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
when I was put on 60mg of pred, I was having crying episodes, I was just so upset being so sick and not getting better + the pred, I remember calling my friend and crying over not being able to eat soup anymore (b/c of the salt content, I cant have more than 1500mg a day).........anyhoo, it can just throw you out of whack, it took about a month to help my body to adjust and stop crying.
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 Apr 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 4/9/2008 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for all of your support and comments. It is refreshing to know that there are other people out there experiencing exactly what I am going through.
I am actually only on 7 mg of prednisone and been tapering by 1 mg every three days. It really stinks! It seems the lower I go, the worse my moods are. I only started with 10 mg.
Thank you for all of your insights and making me feel better. I have to keep reminding myself: its the drug and NOT ME! :-D
Colazal 750 mg 3x3 daily
6-MP 50 mg (2) daily
Miralax-when needed
Rowasa-when needed
Been diagnosed with UC for 5 years

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 4/9/2008 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I think everyone reacts differently. I didn't have wide mood swings or crying jags, I actually seemed calmer and 'nicer'.
Makes be wonder how I was behaving before the pred! o_0
My husband's boss had to be on pred for some issues with his feet or legs and he would describe the laughing one minute, crying the next, by telling about how he would be mean and cruel to his family, KNOW he was behaving like a boor and NOT care at all. Then 10min later he would disappear and his wife would find him sobbing on the floor of the closet.
I've noticed my whole 'schedule' has changed. Mornings start out very late/slow and I don't really get moving until late afternoon. Early evening I'm almost a dynamo and I regularly stay up until the wee hours of the morning. I get a LOT of sewing and quilting done when I'm on pred. Still isn't enough incentive for me to ever want to go back on it....
Best of luck, it ISN'T you. It's the med.
I have the ability of single-minded determination and accurate project focu....Hey, look, a cat!
UC is pretty darn crappy, but if you can't laugh at yourself, you'll cry. 
I'd much rather laugh.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 4/9/2008 7:02 PM (GMT -6)   
LOL. Let me tell you. This past couple months when I went back on the stuff in enema form I would cry at the most ridiculous things on tv, or at a song on the radio. Some happy cries, some sad ones. I was watching united 93 yesterday, and broke down... I have seen it twice already and didn't break down that bad. It's rather embarassing, being a grown man. It feels better to let it go though I must say. It's definately the meds personality, not yours.

I told my wife just to bare with me until I got back off the stuff.
Proctitis DX 1998
Lialda 1x day
Hydrocort Enema As Needed

Another UC wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 4/9/2008 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   
You name it and the prednisone seems to cause it depending on who you speak with. Hubby was on it off and on (more on than off) for over a year and man oh man.....what a change in his personality! Going from an easy, laid back, even tempered, sweet man to someone I didn't recognize sometimes. 15 minutes later he'll be apologizing for losing his temper.

He's been off the prednisone pill form since early Dec but with all the other meds he takes and the fact he is not in a real remission yet, his personality is still a bit off. Fortunately he doesn't jump at me as he did but I also hold back and try not to be a PIA and get him aggravated because it is so frustrating for him to be dealing with this. (Been with this man since 5/68 and married 8/72 and this is the first time we have had to deal with the trials and tribulations of UC for the past 2 years.)

It is unusual and different for me to hold back and keep remarks/opinions to myself. But sometimes I can just tell and feel it's better to leave it unsaid where before he got sick I could/would say anything anytime and not give it a second thought that it might aggravate him as he never got aggravated!

It's good that you let those around you that you see you for a good amount of time know so they get a thicker skin and don't get hurt or upset and can be ready to overlook it.

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 every other PM, Canasa suppositiry AM, folic acid 1mg, Fosamax 1x month

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