How long does it take for Prednisone to start working?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 6/23/2008 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I know that's unique to each person; however, I was just wanting to see how long it took for some of you guys so maybe I will have a ballpark idea as to when I can see some improvement.
I am taking 40 mgs and tapering down over an 8 week period. 
I have also just began taking Imuran, 50 mgs to start.  BTW, did this give any of you guys diarrhea?  Of course, I am sure that some of you already had diarrhea, so that's probably sort of a dumb question :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 6/23/2008 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Beth,

I went off asacol cold turkey on 9/7/07 and started 60mg pred the same day (medical reasons) and I went into a huge flare until I took cipro and hydrocortisone e's, two weeks later, I began to improve and went into remission. I started Imuran 11/07.

I tapered down to 5mg of pred end of April. 2nd week of May I took aspirin and flared (not sure if caused by aspirin or I failed imuran). I have been on 40mg of pred for almost a week now and am doing much better, not losing as much blood, getting formed bm's - sometimes, and urgency is better.

I guess I am trying to say that the first time, it took a while and the second time it did not, there are so many factors, which stinks, b/c I always want to know what to expect!!! I guess I am just glad it is helping.

Beth, 32 ~ small flare - hoping caused by aspirin - hydrocortisone e's
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07
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 40mg 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Tekturna 150mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your blood protien level!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 460
   Posted 6/23/2008 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Whenever I have started prednisone, I've started to feel better within a few days of being on it.  Of course, it takes longer to get all the way better but it helps pretty quickly for me.
Female, Age 37
Diagnosed w/c.diff 7/02 when pregnant w/1st and only child during 2nd trimester(wasn't on antibiotics)
C.diff flare within weeks of delivering baby 1/03
Diagnosed with UC 2/03
Current Meds:
75mg 6-MP
Cortenema as needed
Ferrex Forte
Sacchromyces Boulardii 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 6/23/2008 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Within a few days for me. It'll take longer for total healing but you should feel the effects pretty quickly. Good luck
34 year old female, Diagnosed Ulcerative Colitis 5 years ago
Current Meds: Remicade every 6 weeks, Prednisone 10mg (tapering), Prevacid, Sustenex, Lialda, Lexapro (anxiety), Synthroid, Iron, vitamins, Fish Oil
Expecting first child 12/08 via gestational surrogate!!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 6/23/2008 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Pred always kicks in within a few days for me as well. Although, I will say that it seems to take a bit longer with each round.
Wearing many hats: Mother, Wife, Daughter, Professional, Sister, Friend
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)
- Multi-Vitamin (1x per day)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 6/24/2008 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
i was on 20 mg for almost 2 weeks for me to get back to normal and get the flare under control.  I would assume if you're on 40 you'll prob see results much more quickly!  Good luck!  Oh and I already had D so I don't know if pred caused it.  But I can tell you that from people I know that pred usually has the opposite effect on them. 
3x3 colazol a day (non-generic)
1000 mg canasa bedtime
3 entocort a day
20 mg prednisone daily
2 cortifoam enemas daily
prenatal vitamin
28 weeks pregnant with our first's a girl :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 6/24/2008 12:31 PM (GMT -6)   
It used to work with ONE OR TWO DAYS when i first started taking it but it now takes a bit longer, sometimes a week or even more.
                                     keep the faith 

         asacol/proctifoam/Zoton (lansoprazole)/pred/colofac


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 6/24/2008 5:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for all of the replies!  I really appreciate your thoughts and advice.

I am going into my fourth day of Pred.  I "feel" good, but that's never really been an issue for me.  The symptoms seem to be a little better, I guess. 

Anyway, I have been reading some of the posts and it looks like some people feel they do better on a lower dosage of Asacol, or whatever maintenance med they are taking. 

I am taking 3 Lialda, 1 Canasa, 40 mgs of Pred, and 50 mgs of Imuran.  I started the Imuran and the Pred at the same time, but I have been on the Lialda and Canasa since January.  The inflammation is limited to the left side of my colon and lower.  The doc said the biopsies from the rest of my colon didn't show any inflammation.

So, the point of my babbling is that I think I might see what happens if I only take 2 Lialda.  Maybe I am in a bit of an overload.  But, I want to be a good patient, and do what the doc says to do, you know?  But then again, they don't know EVERYTHING, and I am the one who has dealt with this for the last SEVEN years of my life!!!! 

Maybe I will give it another week with the 3 Lialda and the rest of the meds and see what happens.  Do you guys think that a person's size has anything to do with dosing?  I am 5 feet and weigh 110?  Probably not with the Lialda, though, because it's pretty much topical, right?  Since Pred is supposed to be the wonder drug, I'm not going to mess with the dosage of it or the Imuran.

The doc told me husband that I had severe inflammation.  So, it really doesn't seem to me that the Lialda was doing a whole lot.  Oh, well - just a thought.

Thanks for listening!


40 mgs of Pred
50 mgs of Imuran
3 Lialda
1 Canasa at night

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/21/2008 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I wouldn't reduce your Lialda dosage. I did that same exact thing while I was taking 5 mg of prednisone thinking that the Lialda was the cause of me feeling bad. Within 2 days I started having a flare. I was only off of Lialda for 5 days. Then my flare got very severe. I am now taking 40 mg of prednisone and will likely increase the dosage to 60 mg. When i told my doc that I quit taking the Lialda because I thought it was making me sick, he got a little upset. I learned to question him when he wants to try something new. But, after he states the facts and reassures me that he knows what he is doing I learned to trust his judgment. I also ask other doctors at the Naval Medical Clinic here in Corpus just for backup to make sure that I'm not getting poisoned. Every time, they agree with him.
Diagnosed with UC protosigmoiditis: May 2008
Didn't believe it so I got scoped again in August, definitely have UC
Current Meds: 40 mg Prednisone, 4.8 g Lialda, 1000 mg Mesalamine suppository
Currently in a flare!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 678
   Posted 8/21/2008 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I took pred for the first time ever a few weeks ago. Surprisingly it wasn't for UC, I had a raging case of poison oak. I had a completely normal solid BM the very first day I took the pred, I was on 40mg for the first 5 days then tapered. I felt great the 3 weeks I was on it. I guess that's just long enough before the side effects start?
31 yr old female, currently pregnant.
Diagnosed 2/29/08 with Mild Universal UC
I've had UC since 2000 but was in remission for most of those 8 years med free
Lialda Colazal & Asacol made symptoms worse, MUCH worse
Not taking any more meds for now. Trying a holistic approach.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/26/2010 6:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,

I am new to this site and i'd like to start by saying how excellent this forum is and how great a thing all you guys are doing by sharing your experiences. I have had IBD since November 08 but following numerous investigations, doctors cannot fully diagnose whether I have crohn's or colitis and thus have been labelled with crohn's/colitis. Following several flare-ups and a few courses of prednisolone, I was stabilised a few months ago on 1.6g Asacol daily, 150mg azathioprine daily and 5mg prednisolone daily. A few weeks ago, I started to see quite a lot of blood when opening my bowels. Having spoken to my consultant 8 days ago, he suggested increasing steroids to 30mg daily for 2 weeks, then reducing by 5mg weekly over the next 5 weeks. Unfortunately I have seen no improvement in symptoms even after 8 days and am still seeing fresh blood in the toilet. I am quite surprised as I have normally responded to high dose steroids fairly quickly in the past and therefore am not sure whether to be concerned that the bleeding has yet to stop. Is it common for prednisolone to sometimes take longer than the normal 2-4 days to kick in or should I be worried? I'm due to fly out to Africa for 2 weeks on Wednesday and really hope I don't have to cancel!! All advice/help/suggestions are much appreciated.

Thanking u guys in advance,


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2011
   Posted 6/26/2010 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Prednisone always helped me within a few days. None of my meds have ever made things worse. I was on Asacol and started 125mg Imuran while I was on that (but not on Pred). Three weeks later I stopped the Asacol (I think I tapered). No problems an everything went great =)
20yr old female diagnosed with UC in 2005 at age 15
Flaring (and away from home)
125mg Azathioprine 1xday
450mg Boswellia 1xday
Also: asthma, acid reflux, and Raynaud's Syndrome

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/14/2010 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
ive been on prednisalone now or 3.5 weeks and still bleeding started at 6a day for a week and now on 3 a day, 3 more weeks left, any dvice is great
4 asacol a day also

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/14/2010 5:19 PM (GMT -6)   
For me, it started working within the first day I took it!
Sick, throwing up, bloody diarrhea in the morning, and in the evening I had no problems.
Current Medications:
Apriso - (4) .375gm once a day, Advair Diskus - 100/50 twice a day, Azathiroprine - 75mg once a day, Allegra - 60mg twice a day, Nexium - 40mg once a day, Vitamin D - 50,000 IU once a day
Past Medications:
Colozal, Iron, Lialda, Prednisone

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/14/2010 5:21 PM (GMT -6)   
its driving me mad, the side effects way out the uc for me, like i said im half way throu and still bleeding, ty for the reply

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/14/2010 5:25 PM (GMT -6)   
maud said...
ive been on prednisalone now or 3.5 weeks and still bleeding started at 6a day for a week and now on 3 a day, 3 more weeks left, any dvice is great
4 asacol a day also

My advice is, stop going down on the medication!
If the symptoms are still there, you shouldn't taper off it!
Talk to your doctor, about possibly raising your dosage, back to where it was before, then slowly taper off when things get better.
Current Medications:
Apriso - (4) .375gm once a day, Advair Diskus - 100/50 twice a day, Azathiroprine - 75mg once a day, Allegra - 60mg twice a day, Nexium - 40mg once a day, Vitamin D - 50,000 IU once a day
Past Medications:
Colozal, Iron, Lialda, Prednisone

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 8/14/2010 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
day two I notice, seems to work well for me
diagnosed late at 45 Mar 2009 on Imuran

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/14/2010 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I too seem to have the same problem with prednisone. The first time I was put on it through IV in the hospital and continued it orally at home and it worked amazingly! Now that I am on my second flare which seems to be much worse, I am taking 60mg of prednisone orally compared to the 40mg I was taking the first flare and unfortunately it seems to be taking much longer to work. My physician explained to me that it's kind of like putting out a house fire with a spray bottle of water. It's one thing if you have one section of your colon affected but since I have my entire colon affected severely, it is going to take much longer which means I need to stay on high doses of steroids for longer periods of time which I'm not thrilled with but I guess I have no choice.
27 yr old Severe Ulcerative Pancolitis Sufferer
Current medications: 60mg Prednisone weening off 5mg/week, 12 Asacol a day, Ferrous Sulfate, Digestive Advantage probiotic for Crohn's & Colitis, 2000mg Vitamin D, B12, 1200mg Calcium

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5968
   Posted 8/14/2010 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Seaside...hate to mention this but your condition sounds like you are, or soon to be, prednisone dependent. Did you consider surgery?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/15/2010 2:38 AM (GMT -6)   
thanks all, i am not so sure why its not suiting me!

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/30/2010 11:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on oral prednisone for 10 days straight now, at 60 mg. daily, with one hydrocortisone enema nightly and 2 tables of azathioprine orally as well. I continue to have violent, bloody bouts of diarrhea that wake me up at 3 a.m. Up to maybe 24+ trips to the toilet a day.

My doctor now is trying to get me on a remicaid infusion if my insurance approves it...

I am getting so sick of this (I'm getting cramps, sore rectum, cranky, tired)...if the remicaid doesn't work, does that mean I will have to get an ileostomy?

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/12/2012 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys. I've been showing UC symptoms since December 2010, it took almost a year for them to get round to my colonscopy and diagnosis. They put me on Pentasa at first, but once they realise that my disease was predominantly leftsided put me on a 4 Mezafant XL pills per day. I had nocturnal symptoms and up to and over 10 bloody BMs a day, so on December they started me on 40mg Prednisolone, tapering off by 5mg a week over the course of 8 weeks. My health really improved, although my mouth ulcers came back once I got below 15mg pred, and got me down to around 1/2 BMs a day, no blood. This lasted for a little over 2 months, now I'm flaring again and they've given me another 8 weeks on pred, starting at 40mg again. Started on my pred again on Saturday and felt much better (only 1 BM on Saturday, the same on Sunday!) However I drank a lot of alcohol and ate a lot this weekend, and now am worse than ever in terms of the blood. There is really a lot of blood coming out of me today (I'm at work aswell, which doesn't help).

So it's day three of Pred now and I'm pretty concerned that I'm still bleeding, and that this time I may not react well to the Pred. If you respond to it the first time will it always work for you, or does it not work like that? Should I be worried, or do you reckon it'll starting working in the next few days? I'm seeing my GI on Wednesday anyway to talk about azathioprine so hopefully I should be OK until then. Really worried though. Going to start eating sensibly again and pack in the booze for a while...

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/14/2015 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
when I start to take prednisone it takes me 3 days for the diarhea to stop. I was on mesalimine, but I still get diarhea. For quality of life, I will tk eprednisone for 1 omnth, then taper off until I get another flare up. Other meds simply do not work. They only stop bleeding. I prefer to take my chances of an unwanted side effect so I can have a life. I can't keep my job or go on vacation if I am pooping myslef.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2016
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 10/16/2016 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all

I started on 40g pred 5 days ago and saw results straightaway. For me it was stomach ache that was unbearable and pred got rid of it. However, once I take it I become very light headed and not able to function as well. I usually take the pred in the morning after breakfast. What I find though is that the effects wear off in the evening and the light headiness goes and is replaced by stomach ache. Anybody had a similar experience?

Thank you

~ chicken wings ~
Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2016
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 10/16/2016 4:19 PM (GMT -6)   
A day or two. I can go from frequent bloody diarreah to two or three well formed stools within days.
Current drugs: Infliximab, prednisolone
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