Prednisone use for special occasions

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Paul L
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 647
   Posted 12/20/2007 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Has anyone here used a short course of prednisone to get through a special occasion? I’m talking about a few weeks to a month. How did it work for you? Was it hard coming off it? How was your doctor with it?
 
I’m asking because I have been in a nasty flare for over 2 ½ years and nothing but prednisone seems to help. We are planning an Alaska cruise for next July/August. No time in the last 2 ½ years have I felt well enough for this trip but we really want to go.  We will be gone for almost 3 weeks.
 
I asked my GI about it and he doesn’t like the use of prednisone. He is confident that the Abatacept trial I’m on may start working and told me to wait and see. He said we can talk about it closer to the trip. I just want to know if the option is there so I can book the trip and use prednisone if I really need it. Apparently these cruises sell out fast in the New Year and I need to book now to guarantee we get the cruise we want.
 
I took prednisone about 5 years ago for 6 months and it worked miracles for the fist month, then the side effects hit. It was terrible after that and I swore I would never take it again. I thought I could go on it a few days before the cruise then wean off it a few weeks later. Last time it only took 2 days to start working.

Paul
Diagnosed in 2000 at age 43 with UC extending half way across transverse colon.
Allergic reaction to Asacol, Pentasa and Dipentum - can’t take any more 5ASAs.
Prednisone - worked well for 1 month, then side effects became unbearable.
6-MP - blood tests showed not metabolizing properly.
Corticosteroid enema, Flagyl, Ciprofloxin, VSL#3, Adacolumn Apheresis – no effect
Methotrexate with Remicade - 7 infusions with no improvement
Folic Acid and B12 injections.
Currently in Abatacept trial - waiting for remision
 


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3437
   Posted 12/20/2007 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I say give it another go- each time I've been on it (3 courses now, ranging from 3 motnhs to 6+ months...yuk!) the side effects were all different. The first time they were awful, but they did lessen with each course of pred. Now, this most recent course, I barely noticed any side effects until recently. And even then, it's only been psycho mood swings. "Only", I say! redface
diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade infusions
Imuran- 100mgs/day
Prednisone- 10mgs/day
 


expecting226
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 12/20/2007 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I have only ever done short courses of Prednisone. Two courses of an 8 week taper, and one course of a 4 week taper. Tapering by 10 mg each week on the 4 week taper was a little more difficult, but overall, not bad. I have only ever used it to help me out of a flare - never for preventative measures.
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)
- Iron (2x per day)


Meesh
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 12/20/2007 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   
The Prednisone will work pretty fast once you start to take it, so if your doctor wants to wait till closer to your cruise to what's up, I'd agree and wait. I am possibly steroid dependent at this point, although still hoping the Remicade will let me get off the Pred. But I do know if works within a day or two when you start to take it, so you have a bit of time to wait and see.

Have fun!!!!
Diagnosed UC April 27, 2006
Remicade infusions: 7/21/07; 8/18/07; 10/13/07; 12/15/97;
Lialda, 4 tabs in the morning; Protonix; Prednisone 4/27/06-present, was almost off, back to 40 mg; 12/1/07 - 12/29/07 weekly Venofer (iron sucrose) injections; 9 mg Entocourt EC; Xanax as needed; Lexipro 10 mg, Rowesa; Asacol; Colazal three 750 mg capsules 3X day; Bad reactions: Imuran( 2/07)


Paul L
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 647
   Posted 12/20/2007 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone. I plan to use prednisone only if my condition doesn’t improve by the time we go on the cruise. For the last 2 ½ years I have had 3 to 15 BMs every day with blood and extreme urgency every single day, even on days of only 3 or 4 BMs. In that time I never had an entire weak without at least one day of 8 or more BMs. I am absolutely sick and worn out from this not to mention my arthritis problem. The last time I used prednisone it made me feel perfectly normal for about one month. If I use prednisone for our cruise I will start it a few days in advance and start to taper off it 2 to 3 weeks later. I expect to return to my pre prednisone condition shortly after tapering off it. Last time symptoms returned after reaching 20mg per day.

Three years ago we were on our first cruise (in the Caribbean). I was in a semi remission state with 2 to 3 BMs per day and only mild urgency. It went very well. Cruises are fairly UC friendly because there are lots of washrooms every ware and you can always go back to your cabin if you are not feeling well. The worst part is the flight to and from and the land excursions. The cruise we plan to go on makes 5 different stops. If I’m not feeling well I can always stay on the ship.
Paul
Diagnosed in 2000 at age 43 with UC extending half way across transverse colon.
Allergic reaction to Asacol, Pentasa and Dipentum - can’t take any more 5ASAs.
Prednisone - worked well for 1 month, then side effects became unbearable.
6-MP - blood tests showed not metabolizing properly.
Corticosteroid enema, Flagyl, Ciprofloxin, VSL#3, Adacolumn Apheresis – no effect
Methotrexate with Remicade - 7 infusions with no improvement
Folic Acid and B12 injections.
Currently in Abatacept trial - waiting for remision
 


marty1976
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 12/21/2007 1:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I would start a small course if it were me and i had exhausted all other treatment routes. I'm sure you've done them all Paul.I've done very short courses e.g. 5 days which improved things within 24 hours. I really hope that whatever you do you have a good time.
Marty
                                     keep the faith 

         asacol/proctifoam/Zoton (lansoprazole)/propranalol



        http://www.myspace.com/martybuzz1<FONT]


Paul L
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 647
   Posted 12/21/2007 7:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I booked the cruise. Now we have to wait and see how my symptoms are just before we leave. My wife, 6 year old daughter and I plan to fly from Toronto to Vancouver on Sunday July 27 and spend a few days in Vancouver. The cruise leaves the following Wednesday. It arrives in Anchorage the following Wednesday with several stops along the way. My wife has a cousin who lives in Anchorage with her husband and daughter. We plan to stay with them for another weak. We will then fly back to Toronto from Anchorage. If you are interested here is more information on our cruise:
 
 

Paul
Diagnosed in 2000 at age 43 with UC extending half way across transverse colon.
Allergic reaction to Asacol, Pentasa and Dipentum - can’t take any more 5ASAs.
Prednisone - worked well for 1 month, then side effects became unbearable.
6-MP - blood tests showed not metabolizing properly.
Corticosteroid enema, Flagyl, Ciprofloxin, VSL#3, Adacolumn Apheresis – no effect
Methotrexate with Remicade - 7 infusions with no improvement
Folic Acid and B12 injections.
Currently in Abatacept trial - waiting for remision
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/21/2007 10:40 PM (GMT -7)   
All my docs, past and present have all agreed that for vacations/trips a course of pred is a good back-up, but too low a dose to start never usually has much of an effect, you need to go high and tapper...typically for me, 40 mg for 2 weeks then tappering 5mg per week from there on out until down to about 3 pills a day, then tappering by 1/2...from 3/day a week to 2 1/2 a day for a week, ect. Or lt least getting a script of pred to take with you if you need it, if you don't end up needing it then you can spare yourself.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23549
   Posted 12/22/2007 3:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Paul you lucky duck! I am so envious........I've always wanted to go on a cruise. It looks like a great time. I have no advice on the pred but I will keep my fingers crossed that you can enjoy this trip.
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc -'92 - Colazal (9 daily), 6mp (50-100mgs), Prilosec, Biotin, Forvia, Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa** ~Allergies -Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome - '04 - Norvasc~Fibromyalgia - '06~
To help Healingwell - click here: DONATE
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"The quality of my life depends on the quality of my thoughts."
 
 
 
 

 
 


Paul L
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 647
   Posted 12/22/2007 10:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks pb4 and Sherry,

This will be my second cruise but it isn’t my preferred type of vacation. Before I had UC I backpacked throughout the Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong on 3 different trips, each 4 or 5 weeks long. Very little was prearranged. We would purchase our transportation and accommodations as needed and change our plans if something interesting presented itself, something like the Amazing Race. Since UC I couldn’t do those types of adventures anymore. A cruise is much more UC friendly and at least it stops in a few different locations. The type of vacation I can’t stand is going to a tropical Island and staying at a resort for a week. That would drive me crazy.
Paul
Diagnosed in 2000 at age 43 with UC extending half way across transverse colon.
Allergic reaction to Asacol, Pentasa and Dipentum - can’t take any more 5ASAs.
Prednisone - worked well for 1 month, then side effects became unbearable.
6-MP - blood tests showed not metabolizing properly.
Corticosteroid enema, Flagyl, Ciprofloxin, VSL#3, Adacolumn Apheresis – no effect
Methotrexate with Remicade - 7 infusions with no improvement
Folic Acid and B12 injections.
Currently in Abatacept trial - waiting for remision
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/22/2007 11:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, sounds like you had quite an adventurous life before UC (STUPID DISEASE!!!) But I'm happy for you that you are at least able to go on a cruise (never been myself), have a great time and I hope your UC behaves itself so that you don't have to go on the dreaded pred, but hey, bottom line is feeling good, so have a ton of fun!!!

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

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