Medication question

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 8/31/2009 5:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Im in such a bad flare for the past month.i havn't left my house.My G.I wants to put me on 40mg of pred & then taper me down.I go to see him on Wed.The only meds i have ever been on is asacol,rowasa,&diphenoxylate.Im trying to avoid the pred because of all the side effects ive seen people post on here.they seen terrible :(.Is there any other drug i can ask him to put me on instead of pred? Thanks!
19 yr old female.diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in feb 08 :(
have been in a flare since the beginning of august 09.UC sucks!
Asacol 400mg - 4tab 3x a day
Rowasa enema-every night
a cup of aleo vera juice every night before bed
started vitamins - zinc,fish oil,slippery elm,b12,iron
I'll try anything to get better!!

Rio in Maryland
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 891
   Posted 8/31/2009 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Though prednisone is best avoided for long-term use, sometimes you need to take a short-term dose of it just to get your life back...and since you haven't left home for a month you should consider your doctor's advice about taking it.

Also, some people don't have noticeable side-effects from short-term use so it depends on how your body reacts. If you get on it, then just watch your diet and avoid sodium. That way any moon face or weight gain should be much less.

Once you get into remission, you can then consider other medicine choices, changing your diet, and finding supplements that can help you stay in remission.
Rio, 33 year old male. Diagnosed with UC in 2006
Azathioprine (stopped), 4800 mg Asacol
VSL#3, Metamucil
Vitamin E enema or Canasa/Mesacol suppository occasionally

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 8/31/2009 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I honestly wouldn't let the side effects you've seen on here scare you that much! Yes, pred CAN be damaging when used long-term in terms of osteoporosis and such (and for an unfortunate few, it can happen with very limited use), but the more common side effects from short-term use (insomnia, moon face, etc) are transient and go away once you're off it. And remember, there are lucky people (like me!) who tolerate pred very well and really don't have a problem with side effects.

You could try switching to a different form of oral mesalamine, but I'm not sure if that would really make that much of a difference. You definitely should add a probiotic, but you don't need a prescription for that. Another option would be to try steroid enemas.

I personally wouldn't consider some of the other prescription meds for UC, such as 6mp or Remicade before you give pred a shot, as they are all considered long-term meds and have some pretty serious side effects of their own.

Good luck, and I hope you get to feeling better soon!
Status: Remission since May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Currently meds: Apriso (4 0.375g pills ONCE!! daily), mesalamine enema twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, and Zoloft (currently tapering; 12.5 mg).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 8/31/2009 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   

Don't be afraid of short term prednisone.  I went on 40 mg. and in less than a week - maybe 4 or 5 days I felt so much better - the UC was somewhat under control.  Just be sure your doctor makes the duration and taper short and puts you on another medication for remission.  My side effects were minimal compared to the UC symptoms.  I got the slight moonface - now almost gone after a month off prednisone.  My arthritis definitely was better and my skin too.  I take Xanax and that helped me past the insomnia which was not that bad! 

Good luck!


Senior - diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008   
No prescriptions as of yesterday!  Hoping for best and possibly adding other supplements.
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD, Gas-X, vitamins, Calcium/D
Tylenol for knees and arthritis.

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30984
   Posted 8/31/2009 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
bella..welcome to the forum!

Explain how your flare is...symptoms, exactly.

How many times a day do you go?

Did you just start the Asacol and Rowasa Aug 9th?

Have you improved at all or have you gotten worse?

*Heather* Status: ...Asacol 3 twice daily; Salofalk enemas every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 @ 2x daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care + Primadophilus Reuteri). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 9/1/2009 10:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I also had success with minimal side effects from oral pred. I was in a flare that I could not get under control at all last year. I was having LOTS of bleeding. Like you, I tried multiple medications with no effect...I was on pred for almost three months...I had some water retention, some insomnia and a slight "moon face" that only I noticed... I felt so much better once I took the pred. My UC symptoms improved within a week or two. The side effects were not very extreme and they good effects of the pred was WELL worth it! It was the only thing that got me out of that flare. I would not advocate for long-term pred use but I would listen to your doctor's suggestion. Remember, he/she is there to help and is well aware of the risks vs. the benefits of the medication. While on pred, watch your salt in-take, drink LOTS of water, exercise and taking a benadryl helped me sleep. Before the pred I was getting up to go to the bathroom at night anyway so even a little insomnia allowed me a better night sleep than I was having with the UC!
Dx 2006 right after the birth of my daughter
Lialda 3 pills a day
Cort-enema nightly
Canasa in the morning
Probiotics Daily

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