almost off prednisone question

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 2/17/2009 7:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been on pred since my diagnosis in Aug.
Dosage hase varied from 40mg now down to 5mg.
With the hopes of being OFF in a week or so.
At 5 mg. now  having increased bm's and looser bm's
No blood, no pain, no mucous
Should I continue my taper and be off this in a week or so....or should I go back up again?
I want to be off it....I can deal with loose stools if that's all I am going to have
Please let me know your experiences/thoughts - thanks so much!
Newly diagnosed August 2008
Currently on 15mg prednisone, 12 Asacol per day, Mesaline enema nightly,Multi vitamin, Omega 3 and Calcium
Realizing that disease is a real pain in the ass!
Mother of a 5 year old and 12 old trying to get through each day with a smile on my face!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 2/17/2009 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   

Not sure to tell you it is time to increase a bit again (tapering is often a two steps forward one step back process in my experience)  but at the very least I would hold off any more decreasing for at least a couple weeks if not more.  I am sort of in your boat- down to 7.5 mg- and do not believe docs who claim that below 5 doesn't make any difference.  At low levels even tiny changes make a difference.  I wish 1 mg prednisone was readily available to help taper the last part.  I'd sooner stay on 2.5 mg pred say for years than be at zero and bounce back to 30 or 40 every few months by blindly following a doc's tapering instructions.  For my part, if I can't get to zero within a few months, then I will pursue surgery now that I am on Remicade, which has certainly helped - but the jury is still out.


Pancolitis >20 years, allergic to all 5ASAs
Tried everything under the sun (natural and alternative)
Some partial success with TSO but was too expensive to keep up 
Currently Remicade and lots of probiotics, tapering pred again, maybe surgery this year

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 2/17/2009 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Probiotic...I am currently trying to taper myself and am taking it very slow (1mg every 2 weeks) and like you, just going down 1 mg, i have noticed symptoms slowly coming back.  I do feel better today so i am hoping my body is adjusting a bit to the new dose and i can taper again, but if not i will try to stick out the 9mg until i do feel ok to taper again.  I want to be off of this drug so badly, like you i will put up with some of the symptoms, just not a full blown flare again.  Good luck!
First Diagnosed with Microscopic Colitis 10/07
Diagnosed with UC instead 3/2008
10mg Prednisone
50mg Imuran
75mg 6-MP
Calcium + Vit D
Entocort 9mg daily
800mg Asacol 3X daily

UC in Memphis
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 2/17/2009 11:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I was doing great with the Prednisone since I started on Christmas Eve. I began tapering down and got to 10mg 4 weeks ago. For the first 2 weeks of the 10mg I was feeling better than I have since long before I was diagnosed. Then 2 weeks ago my GI wanted me to stay on 10mg for the next 2 weeks (which ended yesterday) while starting 9mg of Entocort. Well that first week of Entocort (and 3rd week at 10mg of Pred) I started regressing. Not too bad but more BMs and looser BMs. GI wanted me to drop to 5mg of Pred after that 2 week period of 10mg of Pred and 9mg of Entocort. Things haven't gotten any better but I am going to try it for a couple more weeks (5mg of Pred and 9mg of Entocort) as I have an appt with the GI in 2 weeks. If I completely regress though, I will be calling him and requesting a different setup. Seems the Entocort has made me "unstable" again, for now anyway.

Hope that wasn't too confusing.  lol

Male, 30
Dx:Moderate-severe UC 12/24/08
Lifelong GI issues including an intesusception at age 4
Current meds:
Lialda (2x) 12/24-present
Entocort EC 02/17-present (9mg)
Prednisone 12/24-01/05 (40mg), 01/06-01/19 (20mg), 01/20-02/16 (10mg), 02/17-present (5mg) 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 2/17/2009 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Michelle - I have been down the pred taper path hundreds of time.  If you are experiencing worsening of your symptoms, you MUST not taper any further.  Stay put until things settle down.  If they are getting significantly worse (eg return of bleeding, etc) then you should slightly increase the pred for a short time.
I also highly recommend getting pred in 1mg tablets.  Once you get to 10mg this really is critical. Whenever I taper by just 1mg, i feel terrible for a week or two. Seems like a tiny amount but it makes such a huge difference.  I am currently stuck at 4mg.
Take care
Abatacept Trial since Feb 2008 (Maintenance Period)
Back on Pred - 1mg - Steroid Dependent :-(
Azathioprine 150mg
Colazide x3
Actonel 35mg, EPA Fish Oils
Predfoam Enema - Had to stop as not allowed during trial
Asacol x 9, Lialda (Mezavant)
Remicade every 8 weeks  (Stopped working)
Aloe Vera Lily of the Desert Juice  Gave me the worst D !
Primadophilus Reuteri Probiotic

Mamas Boys
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1460
   Posted 2/17/2009 2:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I would definitely stop the taper for now - but no need to increase just yet.  I would even add in a canasa suppository in the morning to help stop the inflamation.  After things settle down I would try to continue on a very slow taper.

Mamas Boys (aka KTM)
Colazal, Azathioprine, Remicade
Culturelle, MultiVitamin, Folic Acid, Viactiv
Status: Remission!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 2/17/2009 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
My GI is attempting to have me taper every 10 days. Started at 40 and was there for ever. Am now down to 12.5. He has me call him at the 10 day point. If I haven't leveled out and am normal again... he has me stay at that dose and call him again in another ten days. He doesn't want me reducing again until I have "normalized"
Glad to hear the advice about taperin below the 10 mg point. I'll have to talk to him about 1 mg prescription. See what he says. I want off this horrid drug... but not at the expense of regressing.
38 yr old male, NE Ohio, diagnosed Aug 2008, but been with symptom since Nov 2007
30 mg pred, 9 balsalazide, rowesa nightly, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol, 2 probiotic, 2 aloe vera tabs
Following gluten free diet as well as spinach/sunflower regime
**down to 25 mg of pred 12/25/08 **down to 20mg of pred 1/7/09**down to 17.5 mg 1/22/09
**down to 15 mg of pred 2/3/08**down to 12.5 mg of pred 2/13/09
MED CHANGE: 1/13/09-- 4 Lialda, 2 Pamine Forte, 1 Florajen3 probiotic, 2 Aloe Vera tabs, Rowesa every other night, 20 mg of Pred, Lomotil as needed, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 2/17/2009 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
If prednisone works - why want off it so bad.  Right Now I am enjoying it finally doing something all those other meds didn't.  Just following doc instructions to tapering,etc.  Feeling so good!!
68 yr. old granny
New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008
 Colonoscopy 10/28 showed only few cm. left to heal in rectum - tried Proctofoam for weeks - no luck.
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD
Inderol for hypertension,Xanax,Lipitor, multivitamin, calcium w/D, Tylenol
Tried hydrocortisone for two weeks with no change.
2/3/2009 - sigmoidoscopy showed about 30 cm. involved but mild - starting on prednisone only 40 mg. taper on 2/7/2009.

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