Pred, doses, and side effects?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 11/11/2008 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
After reading a few other posts this morning, I notice some said that if you are on low dose Pred, you may not get any side effects?
I understand that for some, a low dose may not be enough to help their flare, but was wondering.
Does the doctor start you off low, and of it doesn't work  increase the does?
I am more afraid of the side effects of the Pred, than I am the UC.
It took me a long time to get myself at an acceptable weight for my cholestrol,and arthritis in my knees and if I started gaining again, it would not be a good thing.
What is the usual, dose of starting on Pred, or is every doctor different about that, depending on how bad your flare?
I don't want to think that going on vacations are no longer an option for us, but my last one to Vegas was horrible, in more my worry I would need a bathroom, than actually needing one.  I don't want to put myself or my husband through that again.
Anyhow I would appreciate any help you can give on the Prednisone information.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 11/11/2008 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I have started on 20 then gone to 30 if I didn't get results (and that is the way is usually happens). Even 30 does not kick it quickly but the side effects are more tolerable than going higher. At about 15 my side effects subside (moon face, thumping heart, hunger).
I kind of prescribe my own doses after all these years, along with some attempt to follow the doc's advice...

While the side effects are uncomfortable, for me they go away and it is well worth it if your flare is bad. When you can't do anything without needing a bathroom every hour or more, that is true misery. Or being constantly worrying that you need one, as you say!

Going to unfamiliar places is tough, and sometimes just not worth it. Vegas is actually relatively easy, there are bathrooms everywhere! (if you can tolerate the flights). It's road trips I HATE. I hope your husband is as compassionate as mine is, he never complains.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed gluten, other intolerances; started diet without gluten, soy, dairy, tomato etc. Replete probiotic first, then Forte pills. 
Achieved remission for the first time in many, many years!? Seemed so, but colonoscopy Oct. 6 proved not so, heavy inflammation in ascending colon & will be using Rowasa again. But I AM better.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/11/2008 1:57 PM (GMT -6)   
for bad flares I start right off on 40mg, reducing by 5 every 5 days. until Zero. That assumes the does works. Generally it does. I often take pred enemas at the same time. I find this highish intensity attach gets me into remission and I try and stay there with ASA's. Longer term 20mg of pred is messy middle ground...punching it out is effective for me.
Right now I'm in hospital with a 43cm moderate flare..I'm on 4 X 100 IV shots and antibiotics. been on the IV for 7 days tomorrow. Its finally quenched and will now taper on oral steroids over the next 2 months....Hopefully
Age 37
Dx Proctitis - 1989
Dx - UC 1992 - Left Side Moderate
Dx - UC 1996 - Pan Colitis - Severe
Remission until 2005 (couple of mini flares inbetween)
DX - UC 2005 - Pan Colitis - Moderate Severe
DX - UC 2008 - 43 CM Moderate...
All of the above required a hospital stay and 5-7 days 4 X 100mg Steroids, Asacol and Prefoam Enema's (20mg).
I take predfoam for mini flares and rarely have had to take pred tablets inbetween remission
On Asacol 2 x 3 times per day since 2005

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/11/2008 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
My doctor started me out on 40mg and i saw results within 24 hours, it was great! I am also very lucky in a way that i did not receive many side effects, i lost 28lbs with my flare and i have been on prednisone for almost a year now and i have not gained a pound of it back. The only side effect i got/have is some facial hair (which i just go get waxed every 8 weeks, no big deal) and my hair falls out a lot and changed texture. Like others said, i would much rather put up with that than my UC symptoms anytime.
The only problem is my body became steroid dependant and i have not had luck tapering off at all. I can not go below 10mg without starting a flare so that hasn't been fun.
Diagnosed with UC 3/2008
10mg Prednisone
75mg 6-MP
Calcium + Vit D
Entocort 9mg daily
800mg Asacol 3X daily

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted 11/11/2008 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are worried about gaining weight on pred I would find a book called coping with prednisone. It has a diet in there that is low salt and will keep you from gaining weight. I followed it once and didn't gain more than 5 lbs which was water weight and once I didn't follow it and gained 35 lbs. The diet is kind of hard but if you stick with it it will work. Basically no processed foods, low low salt , and exercise every day.(which is easier for me when I am on the pred because I feel so much better)
Jessica 27/F
Entorcort 9ml
Lialda 2.4GM
Citalopram 20 MG
omeprazole(for acid reflex)
Tried (Entorcort EC 9ml/day and Prednisone, Asacol ,colazal, Culturelle, dicyclomine)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 11/11/2008 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
     about the weight gain and high blood pressure.  My blood pressure was off the wall while I was in the hospital...went up to 216/111!  Weird that all the doctors marching in and out of my room...internists, cardiologists etc , along with my GI doctors....not one of them mentioned taking a water pill.  Instead they gave me very high doses of blood pressure meds which made me feel like crap.  When my GI doctor placed me on 40 mgm of prednisone, once again, the end of September, I called a heart specialist who saw me about a year ago when I had to undergo a stress test.  He immediately placed me on a water pill and told me that whenever I go on prednisone to take a water pill.  The reason my blood pressure increases is that prednisone makes your tissues retain fluid...well duh...I knew that and obviously all the doctors who treated me in the hospital must have known that, but yet, not one of them gave me a water pill????  Needless to say, my blood pressure was well controlled while I took the prednisone.  I don't need the water pill now.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/ see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 11/12/2008 12:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I always was started off higher, 40mg, then weaned to a lower maintenance dose. The problem was just the long term use, even at lower doses I was loosing my hair(very distressing), and it would intefere with my work, as I never slept properly. To me those were the worst, even though I experience numerous other problems. I do believe stress levels increased my flares, but which came first , the increased stress or the flares??



diagnosed 1998

now off prednisone and colazal

drink 1 Haldi daily
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