Starting Prednisone for first time...

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Pooie1981
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted Yesterday 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, still in a flare since March 6th.

Went from Asacol to Mesasal and Entocort... and am now going to take 10 days worth of Prednisone 5MG @ 3 per day combined with Sulfasalazine 500 MG 4 times a day. My doctor only prescribed 10 days worth of the Pred because he doesn't want my body getting addicted to it... as I have read happens to people on here.

Was just wondering if you think 10 days will actually help me any?? Also, anyone have experience with Sulfasazine good or bad??

My symptoms are : abdominal pain on the right side.. all the time... having the urge to go but nothing comes out... then when I do have to actually go it is an emergency !! No diarrhea and only have blood on the tissue doesn't seem to be in the stool. I am extremely weak and tired ALL the time.. and yet find it very hard to sleep at night. Have joint pain, especially in my fingers, wrists and ankles.. and my lower back is killing me! Have recently lost my appetite and when I do eat I feel sick. Waiting for another colonoscopy appointment... when I was diagnosed I was not told if the Colitis was throughout or just in certain parts.

Thanks.. any advice.. stories.. comments... :O)
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed May 2004
Sulfasalazine 500MG 4 times per day
Prednisone 5MG 3 per day for next 10 days
Daily Vitamin for Women and Folic Acid


Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted Yesterday 1:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pooie,

I was put on 60mg a day of prednisone and got hot flashes and mood swings right away, but you being @ 15mg a day, I don't know if you will get any of that or not or maybe some of it but not as bad as you would at a higher dosage? Also, I did not get the majority of the side effects like moonface and weight gain until 3 months later (I was at 40mg at the time).

My pred suggesstion would be to watch your salt just in case you have to be on it for longer, eat a banana a day (for potassium) take calcium + vit D (check w/GI on dosage). You may get some mood swings, so if you end up crying over something you normally would not cry over or are angry at someone for something that normally you would not be, it will probably be the pred.

The pred took a while to work for my flare, though I think it helped my kidney faster.......anyhoo, most people I think it starts to help them in a few days.

Sulfasalazine, I think I had to eat when I took it b/c it made my stomach upset, it was a while ago. Also I am hypersensitive to 5ASA meds, so if your ankles swell up have your Doc check your blood protein levels (however, most people are not hypersensitive, I am one of the few).
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 10mg 1xday (taper 5mg a week from 60 = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Enalpril 20mg 1xday, Fursomide 20mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your blood protien level!
Pre-Diabetic from Prednisone use - Low carb/sugar diet & exercise.


disco
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 154
   Posted Yesterday 2:13 PM (GMT -6)   
that is a pretty small dosage

Diagnosed in spring 2005 at age 28
Currently on 12 asacol pills a day + Entocort
40 MG Pred cycle stating 3/26


Pooie1981
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted Yesterday 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank You Beth. :O) I like hearing about what other people have done and gone thru with this disease. Will be sure to ask about the Calcium and Vit D. I realize its a small dosage but as I said, my doctor really does not want me to be depnedant on this drug and is working with small remedies first. I am okay with that for now. :O)
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed May 2004
Sulfasalazine 500MG 4 times per day
Prednisone 5MG 3 per day for next 10 days
Daily Vitamin for Women and Folic Acid


hana24
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted Yesterday 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I think eating something with potassium is a good idea also - I got horrible toe cramps...and it really affected my mood at about 10 mg but I started at 40 mg
Jessica 26/F On Entorcout again...
Citalopram 10 MG
Asacol 4pills /three times a day(from 2 pills/ three times a day)
Culturelle once daily
Tried (Entorcort EC 9ml/day and Prednisone)


Katmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted Yesterday 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
15 seems small to have any affect(or many side affects), but if it works, yippie. We started right at 40, then 50 then IV, and are working our way down now and working up on the 6mp. Side affects are icky, but the colon is worth saving. My doc doesn't call it "steroid dependent", but is thrilled when a well studied drug still works, and thinks you/we are lucky to have it as an option. The Pred. may give you a bit of energy back.
Good luck.
Daughter,14 diagnosed 1-08 w/ UC .learning from you all.
Rowasa, Asacol, Prednizone 50mg, major flare, Hosp. @U of C, Comers. IV steroid, no food, then low residue, home.
Now, began mp6, beginning taper of Pred, now 45mg, horrible acne, moon face, and fearful of future.
trying probiotics, Omega 3, and keeping up with doc visits.


munchkindd
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 348
   Posted Yesterday 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I am currently on Sulfasalazine. 500 mg 2 tabs 3 x a day. I took this when first diagnosed 26 years ago. Had no problems with it. I stopped taking it after being in a very long remission. When I started a flare 2 years ago my new GI put me on asacol which didn't do a thing. So after almost 2 years of the asacol, I stopped that and started back on the sulfasalazine and within 2 months was back in remission. Are you taking folic acid along with the sulfasalazine? This is usually prescribed along with the sulfasalazine. As far as the prednisone, you are taking a low dose. You may experience being a little "edgy" and get aggravated easily. It's best if you don't take any of this at night, it tends to make some people a little hyper. Good Luck, I hope the Sulfasalazine works for you.
*******Donna*******
 
diagnosed with uc 27 years ago.  Enojoyed 10 - 12 year remission (approximately 10 of those years without any meds)
 
currently on Sulfasalazine 2 tabs 3x day. Folic acid, mesalamine enema every 4th night, will try to spread it out more. Omega 3, Probiotics, multi vitamin, cacium supplement, Biotin....
 
In remission since Jan 2008, can't believe it.............


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted Yesterday 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. Sorry to hear that you are in a flare. Here are my thoughts:

15mg of Pred is pretty low to start. If I am in a very bad flare, I have been started at 40 mg and then taper from there.

The body naturally produces some cortisol, which is suppressed by prednisone. What that means is that once you take the pred, your body stops making cortisol. When you get down to about 5-10 mg of pred, that's about the amount that the body should be producing and that's often when people can't get off it. The body just isn't re-starting it's own natural cortisol production. At least that's for some people. Others get stuck at higher doses.

I don't know whether you can stop "cold turkey" after 10 days of a low dose. I would DEFINITELY ask your doctor and maybe even look this up or ask another doctor. Stopping steroids without a taper is generally not a good idea, so I would want to know whether after 10 days, this is realistic.

Do you know why your doctor is choosing oral pred? Is it more to treat your joint pain? I would think that there are some other drugs for that but I don't know. Since you don't have D or much blood, it doesn't sound like the pred is to treat the UC. Am I missing something?

Sulfasalazine. A decent percentage of people are allergic to sulfa drugs. (Like me!) Do you know if you are? Just be careful that if you develop a fever or rash that you stop taking it and call your doctor. The pred could mask a mild allergic reaction, maybe. I'm not sure. I know that switching from sulfasalazine to pred cleared up my allergic reaction super quickly. The allergy didn't show up for a week or two and I thought I was getting some weird skin disease!

Sulfasalazine is a totally benign drug, as far as I know. You can take it forever if it works for you. I hope it does!! :)
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
5ASA drugs don't work for me. Canasa seems to make me worse.
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


munchkindd
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 348
   Posted Yesterday 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
you may find you will get some relief from your joint pain with the sulfasalazine also. This drug is also prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis. I have found some relief from it.
*******Donna*******
 
diagnosed with uc 27 years ago.  Enojoyed 10 - 12 year remission (approximately 10 of those years without any meds)
 
currently on Sulfasalazine 2 tabs 3x day. Folic acid, mesalamine enema every 4th night, will try to spread it out more. Omega 3, Probiotics, multi vitamin, cacium supplement, Biotin....
 
In remission since Jan 2008, can't believe it.............


Pooie1981
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted Yesterday 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank You all for your comments and suggestions !! Very insightful !! Yes, I am taking Folic Acid, 1MG tablets plus whatever is in my daily vitamin.

As for mood changes.. I think the Entocort prepared me for those, lol I found I was very moody on the Entocort.. not even sure if that is suppose to be a side effect or not. And thanks too for the heads up on the possibility of being allergic to the Sulfa.. I'll watch for that... I don't have nay known allergies.

AS for why he prescribed what.. I was pretty sure that he said the Pred was for my joint pains and the Sulf was primarily to treat the UC and would also help with the joint pains... now.. I MAY have gotten these in the wrong order... ?? He doesn't concider my flare to be extreme so I guess that's why he's going with the low doses. Also, he is only my family doctor and is just trying to find something that will work for me <or at least make me more comfortable> until I have my appointment with the specialist in June.

Thank you all for your comments.. keep 'em coming !! LOL
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed May 2004
Sulfasalazine 500MG 4 times per day
Prednisone 5MG 3 per day for next 10 days
Daily Vitamin for Women and Folic Acid


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted Yesterday 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
It's so nice to hear that you have a family doctor who can help you until you see the specialist. So many people don't have that kind of support. Maybe you can get your specialist appointment moved up earlier if they have a cancellation. (I have a feeling that people with IBD must REALLY be annoying to doctor's offices. I imagine all of us calling up and asking, "Did anyone cancel today?")

I didn't know that the sulfa drug was also prescribed for arthritis. That's great. I've had some flares where I feel about 100 years old from my joints. I bet you will find some relief!

For the urgency issue of running to the bathroom, I've found that meditation has helped me a lot in the last two years. I took a hypnotherapy class just for people with irritable bowel syndrome; but really, I think that you can probably get some of the same good results just learning how to meditate and helping your body remember what it's like to be completely relaxed. Even 2 years after the class I took I am still much, much better with the urgency. I can't explain how it works but it seems to have lasting effects even when you're not meditating.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
5ASA drugs don't work for me. Canasa seems to make me worse.
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


Pooie1981
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted Today 7:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Julee... I will certainly look into that. I had been experimenting with meditation when I was younger but kinda got away from it. :O) Starting to wish I kept up with my Yoga too !!!!

Just another question...

Is it common for people to stay on the Sulfasalazine or is it just meant to be a treatment to get back into remission??
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed May 2004
Sulfasalazine 500MG 4 times per day
Prednisone 5MG 3 per day for next 10 days
Daily Vitamin for Women and Folic Acid


munchkindd
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 348
   Posted Today 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   
It is also used for maintenance. I am currently taking 6 a day and will continue. Usually when you are in remission for awhile your GI may lower the dose (depending on how much you are taking). Are you taking just 4 pills a day? or 2 pills 4 x a day?
*******Donna*******
 
diagnosed with uc 27 years ago.  Enojoyed 10 - 12 year remission (approximately 10 of those years without any meds)
 
currently on Sulfasalazine 2 tabs 3x day. Folic acid, mesalamine enema every 4th night, will try to spread it out more. Omega 3, Probiotics, multi vitamin, cacium supplement, Biotin....
 
In remission since Jan 2008, can't believe it.............


Pooie1981
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted Today 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I am just taking one pill 4 times per day. This is my first day taking them and the prescription is for 30 days. I have to go back to my Dr before the prescription runs out to do a re-evaluation and see where I am at.

:O)
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed May 2004
Sulfasalazine 500MG 4 times per day
Prednisone 5MG 3 per day for next 10 days
Daily Vitamin for Women and Folic Acid


munchkindd
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 348
   Posted Today 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   
the azulfidine also seems like a low dose. Usually when the dose is that low, it is for maintenance. I'd question your doctor about increasing it to 6 tabs per day. Most people start off on 2 tabs 3x a day or 2 tabs 4x a day. Being a regular Doc and not a GI, perhaps he's not as familiar with this. He has you on a low dose of pred and azulfidine. The pred is usually started out a little higher also. then it is tapered, not just stopped. If you see improvement and then just stop instead of tapering, you will probably go right back to where you were. I'll bet almost anyone on here that has been on prednisone will agree to the necessity of tapering it. Good Luck..........Hope you see some improvement
*******Donna*******
 
diagnosed with uc 27 years ago.  Enojoyed 10 - 12 year remission (approximately 10 of those years without any meds)
 
currently on Sulfasalazine 2 tabs 3x day. Folic acid, mesalamine enema every 4th night, will try to spread it out more. Omega 3, Probiotics, multi vitamin, cacium supplement, Biotin....
 
In remission since Jan 2008, can't believe it.............


Pooie1981
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted Today 8:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Donna.. will look into possibly increasing the sulfasazine. :O) As for tapering the Pred.. it says in the instructions I got with it that tapering is generally only necessary if taking it for more than 14 days. He also didn't mention anything about tapering. How long have you been taking the Sulfalazine?
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed May 2004
Sulfasalazine 500MG 4 times per day
Prednisone 5MG 3 per day for next 10 days
Daily Vitamin for Women and Folic Acid


munchkindd
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 348
   Posted Today 8:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I originally started the sulfasalazine 26 - 27 years ago when first diagnosed with UC. I went into remission and decided on my own to stop my meds, after being on them for about 15 years. I enojoyed a very long remission without meds, around 10 years or so. Then about 2 years ago I went into a bad flare that lasted over 2 years. Now I was seeing a new GI, who put me on the asacol, I had asked about the sulfasalazine but she said that there are now newer meds that didn't contain the sulfa and they worked well. After being on the asacol for those 2 years with no results I asked again to be put on the sulfasalazine (as she wanted to put me on 6mp) so she gave me the sulfasalazine and then went into remission within 2 months. Just hope it stays that way. Good Luck......Hope it works well for you, I still think you are on a low dose, but I'm not a doctor, just going by my personal experience with it and noticing what dose others on this forum have been on.
*******Donna*******
 
diagnosed with uc 27 years ago.  Enojoyed 10 - 12 year remission (approximately 10 of those years without any meds)
 
currently on Sulfasalazine 2 tabs 3x day. Folic acid, mesalamine enema every 4th night, will try to spread it out more. Omega 3, Probiotics, multi vitamin, cacium supplement, Biotin....
 
In remission since Jan 2008, can't believe it.............

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