I'm trying to decide whether I should start taking a course of Prednisone or stick with twice a day mesalamine enemas. I've had UC for about 14 years and have only had to take Prednisone once, about 12 years ago. Ever since then the mesalamine or cortenemas seem to have calmed any flare (as long as I catch the flare right away).
This time though I have horrible abdominal cramps (which I think I remember having during the flare 12 years ago, but its so long its hard to remember). I can't eat anything without running to the bathroom so for the past week I've barely eaten more than a cup of soup and some crackers.
I'm going on vacation in 3 days and my doctor said I could keep taking the enemas for awhile and see if that works, or start the Prednisone if I want to get over it right away (before vacation). She is suggesting the following Prednisone regimen:
6 weeks, tapering each week starting at 40mg, then 30mg, then 20mg, 15mg, 10mg and finally 5mg the 6th week. Just wondering if that course of Prednisone is what most doctors give and how long it usually takes to work (if its going to work)?
I think I'm mostly afraid of the side affects. The last time I took this stuff I had to go up to 60mg for a week then 40 for 2 weeks, etc....I was on it for about 3 months. The side effects were horrible, especially each time I tapered (joint pain that made it hard to walk, couldn't sleep, super hyper). That was a much worse flare though as I was bleeding quite a bit then. I haven't noticed obvious blood this time, but still running to the bathroom 10 times a day and not having normal BM's for over a week with horrible cramping - I'm pretty sure its a flare of the UC.
Just looking for advice: Is that a pretty common course of Prednisone to knock out a flare? Will 6 weeks give me the same side effects? It sure would be nice to be able to eat more than 500 calories a day, and would be nice to do more on vacation than lie in bed. :)
Thanks for the advice,