Welcome to HealingWell. Are you sure you're allergic to all 5-ASA's? Some who don't tolerate Asacol can use Colazal or Sulfasalazine as their maintenance drug. You need to be sure you truly can't tolerate any of these options before writing off 5-ASA's.
Silent Lucidity is absolutely right. Prednisone is a "quick hit" drug to induce remission, and should be started at a relatively high dose and tapered, discontinued within three months. Long-term Prednisone use can have some side effects that make the short-term effects such as moon face, weight gain, irritability and insomnia, seem like a walk in the park. If you truly cannot take any of the 5-ASA's, the normal next step would be an immunosuppressant such as Imuran (Azathioprine) or Mercaptopurine (6-MP.) These take two to six months to take full effect, so should be started at the same time as the Pred generally.
If immunosuppressants don't do the trick for you, there is a whole newer group of medications called the biologicals. These include Remicade and Humira, which have been extremely successful for many of us. So don't despair, there are still many treatment options available.
If you aren't already, you need to be on a good probiotic to help keep the "good" bacteria in your colon at a healthy level. This helps prevent infection from pathogenic or "bad" bacteria, and helps many of us to have better colon health. Commonly used probiotics around here are VSL#3 (quite expensive, but backed by research), Culturelle and Primadophilus Reuteri. Or you can visit your pharmacy or health food store and select from what they have. The most effective probiotics generally are refrigerated.
Finally, many of our members have discovered various alternative therapies that have helped them feel better. If you browse through the posts here, you'll find a lot of suggestions. Be aware that different things work for different people.
Good luck, and I hope you're feeling better soon.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
Colazal, Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.