Prednisone and Fatigue

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lizzieliz
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/4/2009 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   
It is my first week off of Prednisone after a 5 week period in which I started with two weeks at a 40 mg dose, then tapered off by 10 mg for three weeks. During the entire time I was on Prednisone, I experienced many unpleasant side effects (mostly painful edema of the lower legs and feet) but otherwise felt great (lots of energy and could eat anything).

However, since I have been off of it I have had very bad fatigue. I am so tired all the time! I can sleep for 8 hours and still feel exhausted. I work full time and it is very difficult to concentrate. I am at the point where I am drinking Red Bull to stay alert, however this makes me feel shaky and slightly nauseous. I don't generally have tons of energy, as I have had Ulcerative Colitis for over two years and have multiple allergies, etc. but I am only 21 years old and feel that this is not normal.

I have heard that the fatigue can be caused by the adrenal glands working overtime after the corticosteroid is out of the system, and I'm hoping this is the case!

Has anyone else experienced/heard of this happening or know a possible cause?

Dr-A
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 6/4/2009 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
lizzieliz said...
It is my first week off of Prednisone after a 5 week period in which I started with two weeks at a 40 mg dose, then tapered off by 10 mg for three weeks. During the entire time I was on Prednisone, I experienced many unpleasant side effects (mostly painful edema of the lower legs and feet) but otherwise felt great (lots of energy and could eat anything).

However, since I have been off of it I have had very bad fatigue. I am so tired all the time! I can sleep for 8 hours and still feel exhausted. I work full time and it is very difficult to concentrate. I am at the point where I am drinking Red Bull to stay alert, however this makes me feel shaky and slightly nauseous. I don't generally have tons of energy, as I have had Ulcerative Colitis for over two years and have multiple allergies, etc. but I am only 21 years old and feel that this is not normal.

I have heard that the fatigue can be caused by the adrenal glands working overtime after the corticosteroid is out of the system, and I'm hoping this is the case!

Has anyone else experienced/heard of this happening or know a possible cause?


Fatigue would more likely be caused due to the lack of function from the adrenal glands from the use of corticosteroids. Will take time for them to ramp back up again. While taking the steroid your adrenals realize they don't need to work so they may slow down drastically during that time. When you stop the pred it will take them awhile to kick back in. Some people are just much more sensitive to that transaction than others. Caffeine can be counterproductive to this happening so be careful.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Golimumab study (100mg every 4 weeks)
L-Glutamine 5000 mg + 600 mg pyridoxal alpha-ketoglutarate
Probiotis/VitD3 5000IU+Ca/1000mg DHA


vancan007
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 6/4/2009 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
same thing happened to me when I decreased my dosage. It took some time but to get my energy back. Hang in there !
Diagnosed December 2006
Asacol 400mg 3 x daily


AMK77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 678
   Posted 6/4/2009 1:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I felt fatigued and weak for a while after I stopped the pred too.
32 yr old female
Mild Pancolitis
I've had UC since 2000 but was in remission for most of those 8 years med free
Cannot tolerate mesalamine - starting 6mp soon?


lizzieliz
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/4/2009 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the replies! So helpful. I still have a lot of the swelling as well, which I really want gone! I am assuming that, like anything, it must take some time for the prednisone to get out of my system.

Supa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 748
   Posted 6/4/2009 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh yes-the fatigue is, from what I have heard, par for the course when tapering. I was exhausted too when I tapered and then got off of pred. It took a while for me to get my energy back, but it DID come back.

Hang in there-it is rough, but this too shall pass.
Laura
 
34 years old, stay at home mom of 2 girls, ages almost 4 and 2.5
 
Diagnosed in 2007
Currently on:
Asacol 6pills/day
Biweekly injections for Humira clinical trial-going well so far!!
Off of canasa because of severe joint pain (side effect)


RH_Texas_Gal
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 367
   Posted 6/4/2009 3:11 PM (GMT -6)   
my husband MADE me walk and do light exercises when I came off my prednisone ... the first few times was sheer torture but I do believe the exercise ended up helping my fatigue because it helped me achieve a deeper, more restful sleep. It doesn't hurt to have a tub with jets in it to soak in after a tiring day!

AmyWaffle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 6/4/2009 3:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with everyone else that this is totally normal. I am the queen of prednisone (self-crowned) and there can definitely be a 'down' period when you are first off of it.

Also, careful with the red bulls! Your colon might not like those! :)
UC since 1996 (age 20)
Mommy of 2 sweet little girls.
My life is one big flare.


Chester_Lampwick
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 6/4/2009 9:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, five weeks of pred? Mine was more like 15. Two weeks of 40mg. Then taper down by 5mg per week until 20mg then taper by 2.5mg until nothing.

I am finding myself a little fatigued. I think the pred really did increase my energy. I really did like waking up early in the morning for instance. Mostly it was because I had to pee usually twice overnight....

The pred worked great for me BTW. This was my first time on it. I had been flaring for two years, and I'd say I'm 98% normal now.
Male, Age 36
UC since July 2006 - entire large intestine

_____________________________________________________________
Current Meds
prednisone taper (currently 25mg)
4x1200mg Mezavant once daily


lizzieliz
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/5/2009 7:39 AM (GMT -6)   
From what I've read from everyone else, I think my GI may have prescribed a tapering schedule that is a bit extreme. I tapered by 10 mg a week, when it seems like everyone else tapered by only 5 mg a week. And my time frame was so much shorter! Maybe this is why I am having such severe symptoms now.
Thanks for all of the posts. Now I feel reassured that there is not something horribly wrong with me! I wish I could have the energy I had on Prednisone without actually having to take it!

fruitgirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 6/5/2009 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
My GI had me taper really fast and a lot of people on here disagreed with what he prescribed, but he hates pred, I wanted to avoid it (but had to give in to get out of the flare), and it worked! I took 40mg for five days, 30mg for five days, 20mg for five days, 15mg for a little over a week (waiting to see the GI to discuss what to do next), 10mg for a week, then 10mg every other day for about two weeks (waiting to get through a job interview before I quit completely). I didn't have any trouble at all, but then again, the only side effect I had was a tiny bit of moonface.
Status: Remission since late May 2009!
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 twice weekly, Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).


kemp27
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/10/2009 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I am so happy I found your post. I was doing a Google search on post effects of Prednisone. I've been off of it for about 5 days now and I am major exhausted and shaky. I am also lightheaded and sort of disoriented, (but laying down fixes that) and my body seems to ache so much. Are these all part of the "withdrawal" symptoms? How long will this last? Any way to speed up the getting back to normal stage?

lambkins
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 574
   Posted 6/11/2009 4:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Im the same have been off pred a week now but feel so tired all the time and really achy still not sleeping well which does not help.
  
  Diagnosed 22.5.08 with Lft sided U/C
  Meds Predfoam 20mg 2x day stopped started pentasa supps 1gm 26/6/08
 Asacol 800mg x2 twice daily
  Domperidone 10mg as needed
  co codamol 30/500 x2 when needed
  Asacol foam 2g nightly 19/3/09
  Prednisone 60mg 19/3/09 tappering after2wks


Meesh
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 6/11/2009 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on Pred for two years, it took me just about a year to stop feeling the effects of it. Just hang in there, take care of yourself, it it will get better. I once saw a post that had a ratio of how much time you were on Prednisone to how much time you're off it before you get back to normal but I can't seem to find it now.
47 yr old female, dx'd UC April 27, 2006; mild arthritis in lower back, dx'd May 2008; Osteopenia dx'd 6/08 Finally achieved remission mid October 2008!!

16 Remicade infusions, current scheduled every 6 weeks: 1st: 7/21/07; most recent: 6/06/09; Current meds & supplements: Lialda, 4 tabs in the morning; Xanax as needed (rarely); Rowesa and/or Canasa; multivitamin w/folate; Culturelle; Fish oil capsules, calcium chews and/or Tums; Vitamin D;

Past meds: Prednisone 4/06-4/08; Entocourt EC; Asacol; Colazal; Venofer (iron) injections Dec '07; Imuran (extremely bad reaction 2/07); Protonix; Lexipro


qazwsx12
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 6/11/2009 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Your adrenal glands are weakened and trying to recover. The caffeine will actually beat them up more and make the recovery take longer, so use caffeine sparingly as you can and avoid it on weekends when you don't need it. I will probably take you 5+ weeks to fully recover.
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