Muscular soreness related to Prednisone Withdrawal?

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Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 5/7/2008 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been completely off Prednisone now for about two and half weeks after a long taper and two full years on it. I am pretty much in remission, a few times a week I'll notice a little blood and thin mucous. My BMs are mostly formed and I am down to 3-4 bathroom visits in the morning -- on days I can linger in bed until I feel like getting up I only have one or two. It seems if I have to get up to an alarm my colon doesn't like it. I USED to be a real morning person too!

I am also incredibly stiff and sore all the time. I don't have a desk job -- I drive to my clients' houses in a mobile grooming van and groom dogs, so it's fairly physical, but not enough to explain the severe soreness I am experiencing. The only thing that has been getting me through my work day is a left over prescription for Tramadol from an ER visit last summer. My primary physician ordered x-rays for me because a lot of the pain is centered in my lower back, but I am also concerned about the soreness -- could this be from going off the Pred and will it resolve itself after I have been off it for longer?


Diagnosed UC April 27, 2006
7 Remicade infusions: 7/21/07; 8/18/07; 10/13/07; 12/15/97; 1/26/08; 3/8/08; 4/19/08
Lialda, 4 tabs in the morning; Protonix; Lexipro 10 mg; 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: Prednisone 4/06-4/08; Entocourt EC; Rowesa; Asacol; Colazal; Imuran (extremely bad reaction 2/07)

Eva Lou
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 5/7/2008 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd put my money on the pred withdrawals! Really, 2 years is a loong time to be on that junk, & 2 weeks is a pretty short time to be off of it! I was so unbelievably stiff & sore for a long time when I first stopped pred, & I had been on it maybe 9-10 months??? My joints hurt so badly I could barely move some days. It was truly awful, worse than actually being on pred, for me. Have you talked with your GI? Mine told me I could go on a small dose of pred, like 2.5mgs to counteract the soreness... I declined. To me, it seems as if it'd prolong the withdrawals. But- I'm happy to hear you are doing well UC wise! What's a little stiffness/soreness compared to a flare?

diagnosed with UC '02
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade infusions
Imuran- 100mgs/day

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 5/7/2008 6:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm curious about your experiences with prednisone withdrawal. I find that I have significant joint soreness - a lot like osteoarthritis - when I am on high doses of prednisone, but have muscular stiffness - like the day after a really tough workout at the gym - when I am in the final stages of a taper, say when down around 5mg per day. Does this seem reasonable? The other possibility is that I start being a lot more active as the prednisone dose gets lower, and so I am really experiencing something like the day after the gym.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 5/7/2008 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   

I agree, this is prednisone withdrawl.


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 5/8/2008 8:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I would think pred withdrawal as well. However, the only symptom I had before this last flare was a sore lower back. So, just keep a close eye on things!

Maybe use those pups as furry heating pads! I had one who would drape himself across my lap. Oh, I miss him...
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Flaring :(
30mg pred, Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 100mg, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
Co-Mod for the UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 5/8/2008 8:30 AM (GMT -6)   
OMG! I just tapered down to 5mg in the past two weeks and I have really bad joint stiffness. It is hard to get up and stairs are hard, I walk like my Gram. Once I get moving I am ok and I have been doing the treadmilll.

So I brought up at my Nephrologist yesterday and he said that it is from the pred and that the higher dose of pred was 'masking it' and that if I get really bad to take another 5mg of pred that day.

It really stinks!!!!
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 5mg 1xday (tapered from 60 = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Enalapril 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.

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