What is considered long term prednisone use?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 4/20/2012 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Researching the bad side effects of prednisone it is always described as "long term" use. What exactly is considered long term prednisone use and at what doseage?

Is starting at 50mg and working through a taper for 4 months considered long term, or is long term more like 10mg to 50mg everyday for a year or more considered long term?

I was on pred for about 4 months and am trying to figure out how much permanent long term damage I did to my body?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 4/20/2012 3:03 PM (GMT -7)   
well....any pred use is too long haha. Prednisone and me have a love/hate relationship. Only thing that worked for me and took care of all my symptoms. I had been on pred off and on for 2 years...8 months straight.

I just posted about my DEXA scan and I have osteopenia/borderline osteoporosis and I am only 28.
ulcerative proctitis diagnosed October 2007
As of 11/11/10 - I have inflammation and ulcers in my terminal ileum (ileitis). Now saying I have indeterminate colitis since I have UP and now ulcers in my ileum. Could have crohns...who knows!

Current Meds:
Humira shot every week
MTX 1 shot/week
Meds that don't work/don't take anymore:

nightside of eden
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 552
   Posted 4/20/2012 5:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been on and off for a year and a half and I am 31, so I hope I am not doing too much damage!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 682
   Posted 4/20/2012 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
borderline osteoporosis ALREADY?!!?!? YIKES!!!? :(

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 4/20/2012 7:16 PM (GMT -7)   
4 months is considered long term red use.

Moderator, Ostomy Forum

Ulcerative Colitis- 1987-2001
2001- opted for j-pouch surgery

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 682
   Posted 4/20/2012 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2242
   Posted 4/21/2012 3:34 AM (GMT -7)   
This is not an easy question to answer, from what I understand, it also depends on the age and 'total condition' of the subject.

For (otherwise) healthy subjects, more than 1 year will be considered as a long term use but for a frail, elderly, even 3 months could be long term because the 'damage' caused by Pred may outweigh the benefit.

I am on and off Pred for more than a year and now on Pred since Christmas, till be another 8 weeks before the course finishes, so IMO it is long term use.

Again, if you are healthy otherwise and taking care of Pred side effects by supplementing Vit D and Calcium plus regular exercise, the damage caused can be minimized (again, this statement does not take into account the overall health/condition of the subject, purely theoretical comment)
Diagnosed March 2007 with left sided UC at the age of 30.
Currently on,
Colazal 9 daily, Imuran, 200mg daily, Vit. B12, 1mg, Multivitamin, 1 tablet daily, Fish oil 2400mg daily, Vit D 2000 IU daily.

Verapamil 240mg for migraine, Migraine episode now at least twice a month,
Ibuprofen 400mg is the only solution (but leads to bleeding). Looking for alternatives.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 4/21/2012 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   
At what point have some of you that describe yourselves as being on and off pred for years had a bone scan etc to check density? Should it be done regularly? Have you asked you doc or has your doc suggested it?
Diagnosed 1999 with left-sided UC.
Meds: asacol, various enemas, suppositories, foams etc. Pred for flares.
Also, slippery elm, marshmellow root, quercetin, curcumin, bromelain, glutamine, calcium, vitamin c/d, folic acid, fish oil, probiotics and psyllium husk.
Low sugar, organic, whole foods diet.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 4/22/2012 7:33 AM (GMT -7)   
The person who gave me my bone density test said 4 months is longer term. I had been on 3 separate 1 month Pred tapers (40 mg with 10 mg step down) over an 8 month period and then had to go on a 7 month Pred course (100 mg start) to get rid of drug induced bullous pemphigoid. Dr. at MGH in Boston suggested I get a bone density test based on the # times I'd been on Pred. I was 57 at the time. My PCP agreed and the test showed very mild osteopenia in my neck. She suggested I take 1500 mg of calcium and 800 IU of D3 daily and will retest me in 2 yrs. She said, once I was off the Pred and at my age/health and with taking the calcium, it should reverse itself. Hoping that happens. I had weight gain (about 10 lbs) which took about 2 1/2 months to get rid of. The other key side effect to look for is cataracts - vision will start to have cloudy spots, If that happens, get our eyes checked.
Dx with pancolitis Aug 2010; took 14 months to get in remission; Curr Meds: Asacol, Mesalamine Enemas; Supplements: VSL #3, Turmeric, UltraInflamx, Phoschol, Fish Oil, Ground Flax Seed, Calcium, D3; Diet: following low FODMAP, nor dairy, no sulfites, no carageenan, no alcohol, no wheat, no sugar alcohols.

Bacon Girl
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 5474
   Posted 4/22/2012 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on prednisone for 3.5 months and I think that was just torcher! I think that is a pretty normal amount of time to be on it though. I do have osteopenia, costochondritis, and neuropathy in my left foot. I will never go on it again because these side effects will probably stay with me for life now.
Joanna, 22
no meds. doing fecal transplant at the hospital soon.
i am taking- earth powder, psyllium, probiotics, vit d, slippery elm
i've tried- canasa supps, pred, 6mp, remicade, rowasa, lialda, cortico enemas, l-glutamine, vit e enema, VSL enema, aloe vera, NAG, prilosec, zofran
diet- no meat, dairy, eggs, gluten. include-fresh juices, fruits, veggies, greens, grains, soy, beans, nuts, seeds

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 4/22/2012 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
My primary doctor was in shock when I had told him that I had been on prednisone for 4 months and that I was still tapering for the next 6-8 weeks. He sent me straight away to another GI for a second opinion. However, my 2nd GI was not surprised at all because this is the typical course of treating someone with a bad flare. Both my GI's are associated with Mount Sinai in NY which is the #5 hospital for Gasteroenterology. They both felt that some people are more sensitive to the side effects of prednisone and they need to be careful about staying on it for long periods of time or multiple treatments. Pred was my miracle drug when I was first diagnosed and within days at 60mg my symptoms cleared up. Currently I am on predisone for the first time since diagnosis and it took a full 8-12 weeks to get down to 1 BM a day. Each time I taper I have withdrawl symptoms. I too have a love/hate relationship with this drug!
Dx with Pancolitis in May 2005, Severe Proctitis Jan 2012
Maintenance Plan: 2 Colazal three times a day
Vitamin C, Probiotic, Multivitamin, Fish Oil, Folic Acid
Treatment during Flare-Up : Cortifoam, Mesalamine Enemas & Prednisone (40mg & taper) increase Probiotics
Other Supplements: L-Glutamine with almond milk, Peppermint Tea & honey with Chia Seeds
Mother of 2

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/13/2014 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
ive been on prednisolone 18 months started on 20 down to 15 now on 12 they want me too drop down too 7.5 and then will be on that does rest of my life

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 8038
   Posted 3/13/2014 5:33 PM (GMT -7)   
5 minutes is TOO long !
diagnosed with pancolitis december 21, 2003
in submission - no meds
current supplements: vit D, cal/mag, Wild Harvest Inflamma Shield -
no gluten, rice, corn, or soy & limited sugar - just good, healthy food, lots of all natural well water, exercise, sleep as much as possible & enjoy this great life that God has blessed me with -

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 9088
   Posted 3/14/2014 7:00 AM (GMT -7)   
gaz - that's crazy. What kind of a Doc would do that to a patient? What country are you in? Even if it keeps you in total remission it's not worth it. The prednisone will destroy your body is so many ways it will so be not worth it. You will wish that you had your UC back but it will be too late. We are in the beginning stages of doctors being accused of malpractice for prescribing long term prednisone.
Lialda 1 pillX2; VSL 1 pillX2; Prescrip Assist Probiotic 1 pill X 2;Vitamin D3;Grape seed extract 400mg X 3; Canasa every other night;Levsin & DAO as needed

Discontinued: Robinul; Zymactive, Renew Life Probiotic 80 billion, Florastor

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 3/14/2014 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
ok- I posted earlier about osteoporosis and pred use. At 37 due to pred I had osteoporosis diagnosis but after 3 years was able to reverse taking 800mg calcium citrate and weight lifting. My doctor still orders DXA every 3 years and this is covered by insurance using "prednisone therapy" as the reason. After initial dx of osteoporosis had DXA every year for about 7 years. Just went to lecture at univ. med school where they said 800 mg was good and issues with taking too much but that might be long term taking too much. All of you taking pred for 4 months + PLEASE ask for DXA scan as well. One other thing that occurs is prednisone increases ocular pressure so have a routine eye exam to test for that. This can damage your optic nerve. I HATE prednisone and this is why when I was flaring badly I decided to go with nicotine patch and not pred, and the nicotine is working very well for me. (other posts on nicotine use by several people ) You guys are just too young to have this dx- but I DO think you can reverse it with some work!
UC, 17 years, dx age 33
Asacol 16+ years, HD Asacol
and 50 mg Imuran
Canasa; Mesalamine enemas
have been on prednisone, Rowasa and hydrocortisone enemas
probiotics via homemade yogurt of: culturelle, Sacc boulardi, Primadophilus reuteri
Gluten free since 12.18.13 seems to be helping a bit

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/14/2014 12:07 PM (GMT -7)   
prednisolone is only one of my meds im on 12 mg pred 7.5 molexicam 40 mg amitryplin 7.5 zopiclone 2 calceos daily 60 mg dihydrocodine and Alendronic acid 70mg tablets
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, December 18, 2017 2:18 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,906,657 posts in 318,984 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 158323 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, 11:11.
218 Guest(s), 5 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Dahlias, Aset28, getting by, testuser1234, Szabo246