Prednisone and your bones

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 436
   Posted 11/10/2008 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Whoa, I have a post about "UC and Joint Pain" and you all should read buckeyeinfl's response to it on 11/8/08. It'll scare you a little. it talks about Osteonecrosis or bone death due to prednisone usage. I had never even heard of this, so I'm glad I read it...
I currently have a stiff neck and a mini flare but today, my Gastroenterologist would not prescribe me anymore steroids until after I get another bone density test. I have been on steroids for most of my 3.5 years with UC, but only about half the year this year and never prescribed over 40mgs.
Has anyone ever been denied prednisone by a doctor b/c of the longterm side effects? I have to give my GI props for looking out for me.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 11/10/2008 3:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I have to disagree with you. Your GI has been negligent letting you remain on prednisone for 3.5 years. You might not even discover the long term negative side effects until you taper off the drug. I think you should work with your GI to make it a priority to change your regime.

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

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 11/10/2008 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I got AVN from using Entocort, which many doctors still say is not systemically absorbed. It usually strikes the hip, shoulder or knee and since only the hip is viewed on bone density films, good results there don't rule out AVN in another joint.

It is a very painful and destructive condition. I've had two shoulder surgeries and have loss some of the range of motion in my shoulder.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

UC Fighter
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 11/10/2008 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on Prednisone for (most of) the last 1.5 years. Today I'm seeing my GI about switching to Imuran so that I can get off the Pred.
 Current Rx:
 6 400mg Asacol 6x / day
 40mg Prednisone / day
 Mesalamine Enemas (nightly)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 11/10/2008 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I have recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis in my lower spine. I really don't feel any different, but I can't stop thinking about it. I really haven't used steroids that much in the last 17 year of UC. Most of my usage was with Entocort enemas, which I was told are non-systemic.

I would urge everyone with UC to have a bone density scan done the minute the doctor prescribes steroids or even before. If I had known the loss of bone density occurring in my spine I would have not taken the Entocort enemas.
UC (Pancolitis) diagnosed in 1992. Medications: Dipentum, Pariet

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 11/11/2008 2:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I had been on prednisone for years, but on a lower maintenance dose, but still suffered waaay to many of the side effects. My goal in life was to come off steroids, but I was unable to. I was able to come off of them with drinking my Haldi, with my only other option being surgery. I just got lucky I guess, but if you remain on steroids, it is very important, as your doc seems to agree, that you follow up on bone density, and try to taper down to a reasonable maintenance dose. good luck,



diagnosed 1998

now off prednisone and colazal

drink 1 Haldi daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 11/11/2008 8:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Any doctor who prescribes long or frequent courses of pred should order bone scans for their patients. And yes, you could certainly be denied pred - particularly if you're already at risk for osteoporosis.

The good news is you CAN rebuild bone density once you're off the pred. I was diagnosed with osteopenia (the precursor to osteoporosis) from pred use, but was able to rebuild to a healthy bone density range through healthy diet and exercise - particularly heavy weight training.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Long-term remission with only minor blips.

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