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Steroid tablets

(52 Posts)
OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 07-Dec-12 16:49:03

Been prescribed prednisolone by the gp to try and get on top of my inflammatory arthritis while I wait for the rheumy. One week at 30mg then taper down.
I'm rather scared to take them! Worried about my mood changing drastically (it's quite low atm) and worried about picking up bugs as I keep picking up colds and tummy bugs anyway. Also worried about ballooning up, though I could do with putting a bit of weight on. Also scared that it will send my heart rate bonkers.

So what are people's experiences? Should I be brave and go for it?

giraffesCantFlyLikeReindeer Fri 07-Dec-12 16:53:55

Doesn't sound like you will be on them for very long so the side effects shouldn't be too much of an issue.

I am on 40mg for a week-10days about 10ish times a year.

They are amazing tablets and work well.

Worst thing I get is very sensitive teeth and insomnia/hyper feeling when on them - I get loads of house work done!!

Longer term they do cause problems but you would need to weigh up the need for them against those issues. But for 30mg for only a week, then reducing I can't see their been too many issues if any.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 07-Dec-12 16:58:22

Sensitive teeth sounds odd! The insomnia worries me as its already difficult due to pain. I'm telling myself that the gp wouldn't prescribe them unless she thought it was important.

I've only had short week long courses but I love them because they work (for my allergies).

When my UC is bad I take 40mg. I think the worse side effects are the insomnia and the rounding of the face.

As for being a bit low, the steroids wills help. You'll feel full of energy despite having very little sleep and the world looks a much brighter place. This is a bit embarrassing but when I first started taking them DS3 and I went into a BHS store and had some lunch (With hindsight it was shit) and I was saying to him "Aren't we lucky to be here eating this lovely food! We're so lucky that we have such lovely lives. Aren't we lucky! I love you so much. I'm so lucky that you're so lovely etc..." I had to stop myself from going around a counter and hugging a shop assistant for doing so well in giving up smoking. I loved the world and everyone in it. grin

However, when my dosage was down to about 15mg I was very depressed. Suicidal a lot of the time. Many times I thought about going to the local woods and hiding in the trees and cutting my wrists. I cried all the time. That lasted about four or five weeks I think. I should have gone back to my Dr but I was so embarrassed I just muddled through.

You will have an increased appetite but if you satisfy yourself with low calorie foods rather than crisps and chcolate then you shouldn't end up gaining a stupid amount. I gained just over a stone but I wasn't terribly careful about what I ate.

I also suffered a bit of joint pain in my knees, hips and shoulders and my legs swelled up regularly but it was more of an annoyance than any thing else.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 07-Dec-12 17:27:53

Maybe I should save it for over Christmas so I have that festive cheer and a real appetite grin how long we're you on the 40mg oldbag? I can't really afford for my mood to crash like that and I'm a bit prone.

digerd Fri 07-Dec-12 17:28:11

I don't know what mine were called, but was told it was Cortisone to fight an infection of my Thyroid years ago. I too had to start on the highest dose, which for me was 1 plus a quarter tablet ( I did not look at the actual dose), and after 30 mins, I was rejuvenated 20 years with super human energy and stamina. All the bad side effects expected were reversed - BP rising actually reduced, and as I was on the go without feeling any tiredness, no weight gain at all. Bright eyed and bushy tailed first thing in the morning - unheard of for me. DR, said for some people they are "supergirl pills". Not everyone who took them had my amazing experience, though.
Each week I had to reduce by 1quarter, I aged a few years, and by the time I was on the last quarter, back to being the good old me < sad face>.
I had no bad side effects. I had no insomnia, but unusually did not feel tired when going to bed - but didn't take long before getting to sleep.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 07-Dec-12 17:38:32

Digerd, that sounds amazing! So I could have a rather happy and productive week? I was going to ask how long they take to kick in mood wise. I guess the pain reduction will take longer?

digerd Fri 07-Dec-12 17:38:59

re. heart rate. Mine had always been high, but that reduced too with me.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 07-Dec-12 17:40:11

Oh now that is interesting re the heart rate, practically everything I've taken recently has sent my heart rate soaring.

digerd Fri 07-Dec-12 18:17:25

It does depend on the individual, as everyone is different. DR was quite surprised at the extreme reaction I had, and so was I. I did wake up once at 3am and went to loo, and was amazed at how I jumped out of bed bright eyed and bushy tailed, as when that happened before , I was and still am a right ZOMBIE. I was only allowed to be on the highest dose for 1 week and was weaned off each week, but did not experience symptoms of depression.

Fairylea Fri 07-Dec-12 18:20:54

Haven't read the whole thread but my mum takes a high dose for crohns disease everyday and has done for the last ten years and shes fine on them... no side effects. It's the only thing that controls it and it's very severe, several ops, had it since she was 14.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 07-Dec-12 18:25:42

Thanks all smile
Will be brave and take my first dose in the morning. I'm a very tired, sore and creaky creature at the moment, so if it were to give me boinging energy and allow me to actually get on with what I need to , as well as sorting out the arthritis that would be fab. But if you see me saying strangely angry and psychotic things on the boards please can you gently tell me they aren't working well for me!

digerd Fri 07-Dec-12 18:33:37

There are different kinds of steroids for different purposes.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 07-Dec-12 18:35:12

Oh that's true digerd, I'd lumped them altogether.

digerd Fri 07-Dec-12 18:43:29

OP I did not have any pain, with my Thyroid infection, so can't help you there
I am much older now and do suffer from arthritis, as I have other health problems - nothing to do with the cortisone I took 27 years ago- I am soldiering on and DR has not given me anything for it, as pain comes only when I do certain activities, which I try to avoid now and goes away when it's ready to.
Let us know how you feel. I took mine on an empty stomach and in 20 -30 mins I felt WOW.

Metalhead Fri 07-Dec-12 18:44:10

I'd been on prednisolone for over a year, just come off it a week ago. Started at 20mg, then gradually came down by 5mg every 3 months once things had stabilised. I didn't have any of the dreaded side effects like weight gain, and didn't feel any different either - apart from being full of energy for the first month or so!

I think if it's prednisolone you're going to be on and it's only a low dose then you've got nothing to worry about. Good luck!

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 07-Dec-12 18:52:09

I'm def feeling better about it now - thanks! It's a bit of a last resort I think for the gp as I'm on maximum anti inflammatories as well as pain killers.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 07-Dec-12 18:57:24

You guys are way better than google, cos theres only bad tales out there of people turning into crazy ravenous swollen blimps!

digerd Fri 07-Dec-12 21:17:15

I met a beautiful woman at our bus top, who told me she was 75, but didn't look older the 58, and she was taking Prednison, which is similar, but think it is milder, as she was on the permanantly. She said she had a bit of pain in back of her neck and she loved being on them as made her feel so good.
And she was slim.
But steroids affect people differently, I was very lucky, I know.
So, just to say good luck.

giraffesCantFlyLikeReindeer Sat 08-Dec-12 00:19:07

Was pred I was on too. Same as most of us asthmatics.

I was terrified when I first went on them, the benefit of them out weighed anything else though.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 08-Dec-12 07:32:10

I took my first lot half an hour a go. So far so good!

crashdoll Sat 08-Dec-12 09:34:45

I have been on 2 courses of steroid tablets for Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had a short course where I had a tapering down schedule and then a few months on them with no end in sight. I came off them recently because it was affecting my mood (feeling low, tearful and angry) and I have a history of MH problems. However, despite the mood swings (which were worse for everyone else than me wink) it really helped. I felt semi-human again. I didn't feel any hungrier on them than usual but I was so thirsty. Apart from that, no side effects but it really gave me my life back for a few months.

Good luck. I hope you get to see the rheumy soon. Are you taking any anti-inflammatories? The max dose of celebrex is fabulous for me and makes all the difference.

digerd Sat 08-Dec-12 09:55:39

No surge of energy ?

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 08-Dec-12 11:16:20

Crashdoll, I'm on the max dose of meloxicam, after a bit of trial and error to find one that suited my tummy. I'm sorry that they affected your mood so much but it's good that they helped in other ways.

All I can say is I think I'm wired up wrong hmm I feel really calm and chilled out and just a bit less eeyore than I have been recently. Pulse is in the 50s (which is a miracle considering the tachy heart rate reactions I've been having to different meds the gp has tried, including one that had me down at a&e earlier this week). Very sore today mind you.

digerd Sat 08-Dec-12 11:47:29

Wow - a heart rate of 50? That's a high performance athlete's pulse rate - no wonder you are feeling calm and chilled out. Sorry you are in pain hope it gets sorted.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 08-Dec-12 11:57:28

DH had them for a month to combat asthma.

The first 36hrs were the worst (had visions of decamping to mil with the cat under one arm and a suitcase under the other) for moods, he wasnt nasty just that if we had a disaggreement it got shouty quicker.

Other than that he said his brain was working too fast for his body to keep up.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 08-Dec-12 15:35:36

Tis so odd, (lowest heart rate was 57). I am really chilled. Didn't even get rageous when I lost dh for 15minutes in a shop, just got them to tannoy for him cos it was sore standing up. nor did it bother me when we got home and someone was parked across our drive so we couldn't get in with our Christmas tree. When they rushed out and apologised I smiled and told them it was fine shock

Left half my lunch and had a lovely nap. Dh is now hoovering around me while I'm sat here lazing about. Weird!

Sadly I do know that I have a bunch of things I ought to do, but sitting on my bottom is lovely.

digerd Sat 08-Dec-12 15:57:30

Just enjoy, while it lasts. Sounds as amazing as mine was in a completely different way, as I was buzzing around like a busy bee, and could not sit still. But I was happy all the time < unlike my real self>. But had no pain to contend with - has it magically vanished?

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 08-Dec-12 16:06:28

No the pain is still there, but I've had the flare for a couple of months, so I guess it's quite well entrenched.

Dh has now put the tree up. I'm sure we said we'd wait a couple of days, but that's ok, it doesn't really matter.

I think I might regret coming off this just before Christmas..... So I will make the most of being contented.

digerd Sat 08-Dec-12 16:51:28

Being contented is the best feeling, IMO.
Good luck

I hope the steroids help the pain soon.I've had great luck with sulfazalazine. still need max calexicob and paracetamol most days but stiffness much better and generally feel better. I hope you feel better soon.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sun 09-Dec-12 10:15:22

Thanks both smile

I slept pretty well until the pain kicked in good and proper sometime in the early hours. Tis bad today. Puzzled.... v. tired and can't be arsed. Perhaps they were just pretend tablets they gave me. One joint is much better though. confused

BadRoly Sun 09-Dec-12 10:21:32

I was on them earlier this year for chronic urticaria - the only noticeable side effects I had were chubby jowls (now going/gone) and indigestion towards the end.

The indigestion kicked in when I was on a reducing dose for 8 weeks which was my 3rd lot of Prednisolone. GP gave me something else to take for 1 month and that's all gone now.

Wish I could say the same for the hives confused

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Mon 10-Dec-12 20:41:10

What a shame they didn't sort out the hives sad

The majority of my joints are more comfy. My back is horrid. So wiped out too and don't want to eat. Not a happy bunny.

so sorry you are still in pain and no appetite! That's no good! I had a really bad flare recently when I had some sort of mad virus where I kept thinking I was getting a sickness bug but was never actually sick, it lasted about two weeks and I seriously thought I was going nuts. Joints went nuts as they seem to do when I get any type of virus.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Mon 10-Dec-12 21:35:41

Mine flares when I'm fighting off stuff too. I've picked up a few bugs recently which is actually really unusual for me.

giraffesCantFlyLikeReindeer Tue 11-Dec-12 01:33:42

How you doing lovely?

I am now on serc and am suffering bad insomnia...I seem to have stolen your steroid side effects!

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Tue 11-Dec-12 07:47:51

Awwwwww giraffes, insomnia is the pits sad colours everything.

Back pain is still there but a bit more manageable this morning and much more located around the arthritic joint rather than escaping around the back Other joints are def happier. Me however sad can't face food, weepy, tired and feel like I'm going down with a cold. Just want to stay at home with a bucket of decaf tea but work are really short staffed and I take too much time off anyway. I'm on a one year contract and so feel really self conscious about it.

So I guess it's chin up and soldier on.

I hope you feel better soon, take care.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Tue 11-Dec-12 07:48:16

You know what, you guys are lovely. Thank you.

Metalhead Tue 11-Dec-12 13:32:01

Sorry to hear you're still not feeling much better. Are you due to see your GP again soon? Maybe he needs to increase the dose or try a different drug.

Funnily enough, after having felt great whilst on the steroids I now seem to suffer from withdrawal symptoms after coming off them over a week ago - not sleeping well, tired and rather depressed! I'm almost hoping my blood test from yesterday will show I need to go back on them again, though obviously that's not a solution for the long run...

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Tue 11-Dec-12 13:57:03

I'd read about the come down after steroids. You need to be really gentle and kind to yourself. I guess though, whatever gets you through Christmas and then deal with the fall out afterwards? When will you get the results back?

I'm back to the gp on Thursday. I don't know why it's working on most of my joints but not my back. Trying to work with little kids whilst on co-codamol as well is proving to be rather ermmmm..... Interesting! But I did manage a reasonablish lunch which is an improvement.

Metalhead Tue 11-Dec-12 15:56:34

Should have my results back on Friday, which means if I have to see the GP I'll probably have to wait until next week. Oh well... hopefully this withdrawal won't last too long! (Though if my mood gets any worse I might have to do something about it sharpish, otherwise I don't think I'll be able to cope with work)

Good luck with your appointment on Thursday.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Tue 11-Dec-12 16:18:06

ohhhh, might be worth trying to get back to the gp on Friday then? You need to try and support your mood before it slips more - {{{hugs}}}

Metalhead Tue 11-Dec-12 17:22:32

Thanks for the virtual hugs! smile

I think I'll see how I feel tomorrow and then make a decision on whether I need to see GP this week. Feeling a bit better again now, think I just had a bit of a moment earlier...

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Tue 11-Dec-12 17:29:08

Hopefully the moment will stay away again smile

I discovered the sewing machine and shit loads of meds dont go together. Poor dd has the most odd costume now. Plus the air was blue.

Metalhead Fri 14-Dec-12 08:58:24

How are you doing Kitten? Did you see your GP yesterday?

I'm still waiting on my blood results, but the withdrawal symptoms seem to have eased off now thankfully. Hope you're feeling better too!

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 14-Dec-12 10:13:20

I'm so glad the withdrawals are easing smile

gp has signed me off. No more steroids, last dose today sad even though they helped enormously with everything other than my back, though it was starting to on that. She said they were a short term fix only. So my cocodamol has been upped and I am in a sleepy soreish haze. She doesnt feel we can try anything else until I've seen the rheumy.

so here I am at home, ho hum. Hate being stuck at home!

Metalhead Fri 14-Dec-12 14:41:10

I'm sorry to hear that! Hopefully the specialist can sort you out and find something more permanent that will ease the pain.

My test results came back normal so it looks like I'll be staying off the steroids for now.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Fri 14-Dec-12 15:41:49

That is good news smile

wonkylegs Fri 14-Dec-12 15:55:50

I have had RA for almost 15yrs. At first I was on steroids whilst I waited to see Rhemy, I was also on them whilst trying to conceive, throughout pregnancy & whilst breastfeeding. High dose throughout, the benefits outweighed the side effects for me, I did get a 'moonface' but only after 6mths or so.
Once you see a Rhemy there are loads of fab drugs for IA, the only thing is that it may take a bit of trial & error to see what suits. Don't be scared of the drugs - the information leaflets can be very scary (most of the serious ones are extremely rare)but they only prescribe if the benefits outweigh the risks, they also usually monitor you closely when on them so any problems are picked up very quickly. My RA drugs have transformed my life and enabled me to do lots of normal things that would have been a pipe dream including living a relatively painfree day to day.
Hope you get to see your Rhemy soon, best of luck.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Mon 17-Dec-12 13:00:58

Sorry wonkylegs, I missed your reply. Thank you so much for your reassurance smile it's really good to hear.

I was hoping that the blast of steroids would give me some breathing space, but sadly not.

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