Tapering Prednisone!!! What should I expect?

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/5/2009 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been taking prednisone since late February.  Started at 40mg then tapered down to 20mg.  Had a reaction to 6MP so I held steady at 20mg until I could get thru the first 2 Remicade infusions.  This week I have started tapering again, now at 15mg, and I'm just curious as to what I might expect.  I've noticed more joint pain this week (its been rainy though) and I am shedding hair at about 5x the normal amount.  Is this normal?  I think I read somewhere on here before about someone loosing hair during their pred taper but I can't seem to find it now.

SMALLS - 30 year old female - Tennessee
Moderate Left-Sided UC sinc Jan 2008
New GI in Feb 09 (thank goodness!!!)
First Remicade infusion April 2009
Lialda 2x per day
Prednisone - tapering down from 40mg
Calcium with vitamin D 2x
Iron sulfate 2x
Canasa 1x per day

Post Edited (Smalls) : 6/5/2009 2:27:45 PM (GMT-6)

Jen O
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 6/5/2009 4:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I lost MOST of my hair the last time I tapered off Prednisone and for quite a while after I was done with it. My docs did all kinds of blood tests to make sure it wasn't anything else. Chalk it up to the Prednisone was the final story.

After really hating the way I looked, I did a lot of research into vitamins and minerals and hair. I'm taking Biotin, now, a B vitamin, 5 milligrams per day. B vitamins are safe, even in "megadoses" like that because they can't build up in our bodies, if there is extra, we just pee them out. My hair grew back REALLY fast. I'm wondering what will happen when I get off the Prednisone this time around.

Age 34
Diagnosed with UC September 2008
Current Meds:
Prednisone 30 mgs in the am, 10 in the pm
Just started taking Asacol 1200 mgs 3 x per day 5/7/2009
Biotin 5 mg
Vitamin D 2,000 IU per day
Calcium 1500 mg per day
Flaxseed Oil 2000 mg per day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 6/5/2009 8:20 PM (GMT -6)   

I started 40 mg. on Feb. 1, down to 30 and then 20.  Stayed there a couple weeks and now down to 10 mg.  I have white hair (I am a senior) and have not noticed any hair loss YET!  Hope I don't.  Tapering did cause some joint pain to return (it was so good for the arthritis at 40 mg.).  Also, you lose that prednisone energy - darn!  I am hoping to get off it entirely after seeing the specialist on June 18.


Senior - New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008   Tried, Colozal, steroid enemas, etc. - started working but severe side effects occurred. No mesalamines!!
Started on prednisone Feb.7, 2009 - tapering to 20 mg. - upped prenisone to 25mg. on my own (bleeding returned) - 6MP - 50 mg. 2/28/2009 - staying on 10 mg. prednisone also until visit with specialist.
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD, Gas-X, vitamins, Calcium/D
Tylenol for knees and arthritis.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 6/5/2009 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
     Smalls.....I loss hair on the 6MP.  Try Nioxin.  You can purchase it from your hair dresser.  It  may take a few months but you will notice your hair improving.  Good luck!
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Meds as of June 09: Colazal (6 per day), 6MP (50 mgm), Probiotic (upped to 3 per day), Fish oil capsule, calcium, multivitamin, Cort enema nightly, Canasa in morning.  Also taking Benicar and Toprol to control high blood pressure.  Getting old is a b****.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 6/6/2009 3:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I tapered off of Prednisone too quickly and got a taste of what it is like for people who have arthritis-- joint pain in my hands. My joints also sounded like popping corn when I walked down the stairs. It was scary.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting; Colitis Dec 06 (also have IBS); Currently in remission

Figuring out how to reduce a flare or get into remission is a trial and error experience. Don't expect your GI to have all the answers. He was trained in making diagnoses, prescribing medications, and surgically removing the colon. He was not trained in alternative treatments. That's why they are called alternative treatments.

Lexapro (for stress), Probiotics and Vitamins, Anti-inflammatory foods, No pro-inflammatory foods when flaring, No HFCS, No foods high in fructose, No artificial sweeteners -- Fecal transplantation worked, Prednisone stopped working, Colazal stopped working, Asacol stopped working

Mommy pooh
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 6/8/2009 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
   I get massive headaches no matter how slow I taper.  I also have hair loss after steroid use (pred. or Entocort) for a few weeks.  Now I know what to expect and always make my GI give me some Lortab to have on hand for the withdrawal headaches. 
  • 26 years old, married, Stay-at-home Mommy to 2 1/2 year old daughter and currently off of BC pills
  • Ulcerative Colitis since Sept. 2004
    • 1st flare Sept-Nov 2004
    • 2nd flare Aug. 2007-July 08 
  • Currently taking:75mg 6MP, 4 Lialda, Loestrin 24, Allergy meds., Digestive Advantage Sustenex, Maxalt when I get a migraine, Zanaflex to prevent migraines, and allergy shots once a month 
  • 10/6/08 Found a 1cm kidney stone in right kidney.  Had the stone blasted and passed the fragments.


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