First time on prednisone....please, any positive stories from those with experience?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 3/25/2009 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I just started pred for the first time in my UC history. I have suffered alot over the years trying to avoid it and finally had to give in as a result of the worst flare I have ever after giving birth. I have started at 40mg and it already seems to be working which makes me so happy (taking care of a newborn while being sick has been very hard). But I am also aware of all the harsh side effects ect. that come with it including not being able to get off without flaring again. I would appreciate some success stories using it ....... has anyone been able to use it over a period of years off and on to successfully treat flares? Has it continued to work well for you in that you can do short rounds and then be off again?
Thank you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 3/25/2009 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Joma, I'm on my first round of prednisone too, and I can definitely sympathize with you about having a newborn and being in a first one started about four weeks after my son was born, so on top of being so sick, I was really scared, too, not knowing what was wrong with me! Anyway, pred is working great for me so far. I've been on it since last week on Monday. I did 40mg for 5 days, and am on my last day of 30mg. Tomorrow I go to 20mg for 5 days, then to 15mg, and I see my GI on April 7 to discuss further tapering.

I'm down to 1-2 normal BMs/day (after being up in the 10-ish urgent BMs/day range) and am feeling great. My only side effect so far is a bit of moonface. Other than that, I've been sleeping great and don't think I've been overly moody.
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, 40mg 30mg of Prednisone (quick taper), Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 3/25/2009 10:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes. I have used prednisone for flares for more than 20 years, and it still works when I need it. The side effects for me have always been temporary. No bone density problems and blurry vision, moonface, face fuzz all go away once I'm tapered off. It is really an amazing drug, benefits worth the risks for me.

That said, I'm eager to try the new biologics because I am never symptom-free.
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 wheat/gluten, other intolerances; eliminated all wheat/gluten from my diet. Probiotics (Ultimate Flora, 50 billion), trying Curamin. 
Flaring, seasonal? or supplements too harsh? Back on prednisone, tried to taper but now back up to 20-30 after several really bad days. Waiting for insurance decison on Humira...soon... 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 3/25/2009 11:02 AM (GMT -6)   
My doc put me on 40 mg with a quick taper about a year or two back to treat a relatively mild flare. I immediately felt much better and was able to get off it with no problems and no side effects. However, I do alot of other things (see my signature) that I believe helped me to bounce back quickly and taper without issues.

BTW, the book Coping with Prednisnone is a great source of information... I recommend it to anyone who has to take pred for chronic health conditions.

Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine. Probiotics, l-glutamine, vitamin D and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Mostly grain-free and dairy-free diet. Long-term remission with only minor blips.

Post Edited (princesa) : 3/25/2009 10:05:38 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 3/25/2009 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   

I do think the longer you are on it the more prone you are to side effects, but everyone is different.  I've been on it 3 times and have not had any noticable side effects other than the jitters the first day or two.  Definitely don't let the horror stories get you down, it does make things better and that's what important when you're taking care of a newborn.   

Diagnosed January 07 - but realize I've been living with minor flare-ups for 10+ years. 
Asacol 3 pills/3 times a day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 3/25/2009 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I was bedridden when I first took Prednisone. Prednisone reduced my flare so that I could go back to work. However, I couldn't get off it once I reduced the dosage to 25mgs. So I did fecal transplantation, using the feces of my granddaughter, who was breast feeding at the time. The fecal transplantation put me immediately in remission, and it had no side effects either (other than giving me great BMs, getting rid of my bloating problem, and reducing my gas issues).
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission
Don't expect your doctor to cure your health problems. Your health is your responsibility.

Lexapro (for stress), Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Avoid HFCS, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
When flaring: eat anti-inflammatory foods, avoid pro-inflammatory foods
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/25/2009 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I've done very well the 2 times I've taken it. I usually stay at what ever level it takes me to. The side effects are not too bad. Alittle insomnia on the high dosage but gets better as I taper. As a matter of fact, I'm about to see if he'll put me back on to see if it will take me the rest of the way to remission. I'm so close!!
Dx leftsided UC July 08.Can't handle any masalamine or 6-MP
Been on steroids twice. Do well on those.
Suppliments: Aloe MPS, probiotics, enzymes, C and E, Curcumin,CoQ10,Grapeseed extract, Selenium, Cal.-Mag w/D, Multi., Vit.E enemas, Three-lac
Meds: mild blood pressure. Prilosec, Wellbutrin, steroid suppositories

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1439
   Posted 3/26/2009 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I was put on it as soon as I was diagnosed to get my current flare under control. It worked unbelievably fast, I was feeling much better in the course of a few days. I'm on a tapering dose and almost done with it, but I'm still feeling great. The only issues I've had are the mood swings/increased appetite that are common side effects, but they're completely worth it to feel like a person again.
21, female, diagnosed 3/6/2009
Currently taking Asacol (3x/day) and Prednisone (tapering dose)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 3/26/2009 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   

I need to put in a call to my NP.  I still love prednisone - took care of every ache and pain like supersaw said until I got two weeks into 20 mg. and blood streaks appeared again and still there.  Everything else is about same - 2 to 3 BM max a day, not much cramping or pain - some lower back aches.

BUT - I am on 6MP for nearly 4 weeks - no problems just not doing anything but I understand it takes a while.  Wondering if I have to go back up to 25 or 30 mg. - stop and bleeding and work down again.

Southernbelle - why could you not take 6-MP?  Just wondering if I should be looking for something else to happen.  So far - no problems with it but only on 50 mg. and doc talked about 75 or 100 mg.

Glad I tried prednisone and using it to stop flaring certainly sounds reasonable - keeping an eye on vision, joint pain and other problems.

NOW - please go get me a donut!!  hee hee


Senior - New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008  Cannot tolerate mesalamines, Canasa, etc. Tried, Colozal, steroid enemas, etc. - started working but severe side effects occurred.
Started on prednisone Feb.7, 2009 - tapering to 20 mg. for two more weeks and then down to 15 mg.etc.  Added 6-MP Feb. 28.
Added Anusol suppositories - March 16 - see doc in 3 months. 
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD, Gas-X, vitamins, Calcium/D
Tylenol for knees and arthritis.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/26/2009 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Had a bad flare right at the first of the year. Went on Pred 40mg a day. Now down to 10mg and still tapering with no symptoms. It's a useful drug that has served me well over the last 10 years. Side effects started to subside once I got below 20mg a day. Don't be tempted to rush the taper! It's been a good drug for me. I have a bad flare about once a year or once every two years. That's about how often I need to go on the Pred. I've always been able to taper off and return to a somewhat symptom free life...until the next flare. I've never been on it longer than 4 months.
46 year old man
Diagnosed left side UC 1998
Asacol 4x3 
Rowasa nightly 

Post Edited (DeanC) : 3/26/2009 11:12:22 AM (GMT-6)

Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 3/26/2009 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
My gastro started me at 40 mg. daily in 1993 when a flex-sig showed that the lumen of my colon was close to blocking due to severe inflammation. A very scary situation!!!!!!! The Pred definitely helped me right away & I was able to taper dosage about every 7 days. I developed moonface in the 6th week of use, which went away in 2-3 weeks, as I recall. That & increased appetite are the side effects I remember. / Old Hat (30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])
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