Am I flaring or is this normal for pred taper?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 7/15/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
First, I want to say I read the forum every day and appreciate all the information and experiences everyone shares. I have posted in the past, but not very often. Here are my concerns and look forward to your opinions.

I have been tapering my prednisone the last few months. My GI had me lower the dose 2.5 mg every two weeks until reaching 10mg. He then had me taper 2.5mg every four weeks. I just started 5mg today. I am also on Humira (1 shot every other week). The taper had been going well until the last few days. I average 1-2 BMs per day with occasional (1 time per week) blood on the last of the BM. GI feels that it's my hemorrhoids. I have a tendency to push hard towards the end.

Anyway the last few days I have seen blood each morning. I phoned my GI and he again felt it was the hemmies and said I should start on the 5mg today. Well, today I have had 3 soft and formed BMs. I have not had 3 BMs in a day since early May.

Do you think I am starting to flare since my pred has dropped to 5mg? Am I worrying too much? My GI says 1-3 BMs is normal. Whenever I see blood, I worry even though I have had hemmies diagnosed since my first scope in 2006.

Also, how do you stop yourself from worrying all the time about the next flare? I have had only one flare (May-June 2007). Since then, I have been doing fine, but have been on pred the whole time. This is the closest I have been to getting off the stuff.

Thanks again.
UC since April 2006; first flare May 2007, hospitalized 28 days.
Remicade infusion brought symptoms under control, but caught MRSA infection from PICC line.
2nd Remicade at 14 weeks, severe reaction, no more Remicade.
tapering prednisone (10mg/day down from 60), started taper 4/10/08 (2.5mg every two weeks)
Humira - 1 shot every two weeks (since December 2007)
Calcium - 2x per day

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 297
   Posted 7/16/2008 12:31 AM (GMT -6)   
You may be flaring because of the never know with UC. Try not to worry, because there's nothing you can help by worrying. I'm back on 40mg Pred after being off the last run for only a week. I didn't even talk to the doc yet either. I just left a message telling him I'm gonna get back on it cause I'm in bad shape. I might take up smoking to just have some peace in my life.
Age: 30
Sex: Yes please!
Location: Missouri
Diagnosed with UC in 1997.
Medications: 100 mg Azathioprine a day, Blech 40mg Prednisone
Supplements: calcium, and multivitamin
No. of colonoscopies: 5
Last scope: 6/7/08-everything looked ok.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted 7/16/2008 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   
I just went down to 15 mg today. I was at 15 a few weeks ago and had to go back up. I see blood about once a day but it is small amounts and my stools seem to be under control so I am just going to try to keep tapering. If I get lower and I have trouble again my doc's going to do another scope. I can tell where the blood is coming from because if it is a hemi it is loose and if not it is mixed in with mucus.
Jessica 26/F 30mg pred
dicyclomine 10Mg as needed
Citalopram 20 MG
Culturelle once daily
omeprazole(for acid reflex)
Tried (Entorcort EC 9ml/day and Prednisone, Asacol ,colazal)

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 7/16/2008 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   

Hey Orangeman,

I am in an identical situation as you, and it's sucky.

I have pancolitis, and now I am approaching my 4th flare in the last year.   I started flaring at the beginning of April, and was put on the pred in May.  I was on 40 mg for 2 weeks than tapered off by 5mg each week... Last week i began 5 mg ( i even had a countdown to when i would finally be off prednisone).

After my second day at 5mg i started not feeling well and having diarrhea, each day got much worse, lots of blood and mucous and excructiating pain by day 4.. one night i had to get up to go to the washroom 5 times (i think i even fell asleep on the toilet once).

Anyways, I was holding out because I am over in Hong Kong on an exchange for 6 weeks, and was hoping it was a case of traveler's diarrhea (i think it would be funny trying to explain to a *normal* person how i was hoping i had traveler's diarrhea)...It felt exactly like a flareup, I contacted my GI, and he said he can't tell for sure but he's pretty sure it is my UC, and i am back up to 40 mg again : ( *sigh* another 2.5 months again, i don't think i'll start a countdown this time as i don't want to have to get my hopes up.

I hope this gives you piece of mind that it is very possible that u may be experiencing a flareup and not just hemmies.  Just the 2nd day of being on a higher dosage of the pred again, I am starting to feel a little better... i hope this continues!!

Good luck.. and hopefully it;s not a flareup!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 7/16/2008 11:40 AM (GMT -6)   
is it just the 3 BM thing that is bugging you or are you seeing more blood?

3 BMs is definitely normal (we do eat about 3 meals a day). i have been pred-free and in remission for a year and i average 1-3 BMs. it's almost always 1 but if i have 3 i know it is just from some kind of food or maybe stress but it certainly doesn't indicate a flare.

i would say don't start thinking flare unless you're seeing more blood, having D, or pain.

many people have a couple of days of feeling a little worse during a pred taper before feeling back to normal again. try not to worry, don't eat anything that might make things worse for you, and just give it a few days.
29, happily married, stay at home mom to 2.5 year old son. due to have another boy 9/17/08
UC (probably pancolitis, but no c-scope yet), diagnosed June 2006, started having major symptoms sometime in January 2006, about 3 months after childbirth. 2nd flare (minor) may 2007 after taking caprylic acid for 2 weeks.

-Prednisone 8/28/06-2/28/07. and again may '07, 8 week course.
-Prayer! asacol, probio, ground psyllium husk, prenatal, folic acid, cal-mag

may you live all the days of your life.

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