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Anyone been on prednisone ?

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Edie posted 5/17/2013 01:49 AM

My previously mild almost non existent asthma has over the last two months turned quite serious, attacks being brought on by cold and exercise amongst other things. Allergens not discovered yet, so it's all been very alarming and too many emergency hospital visits already.

The hospital wants to put me on prednisone to fight this current flare-up, but my anxiety levels are already very high (PTSD type panic attacks when I can't breathe) and so my GP thinks its a bad idea.

The side effects of the prednisone are indeed very nasty (sleeplessness, anxiety, suicide ideation, depression), but it's not clear if everybody suffers them or not.

Just wondered if anyone had any experience of it that coud shed some more light either way.

And any encouragement from fellow asthmatics to a new asthmatic would also be welcome, it's been quite a stressful and dark period, and I'm feeling almost housebound at the moment.

absolut posted 5/17/2013 02:27 AM

Not asmathic but I was put on it to treat an allergic reaction. I gained 10 lbs in 2 weeks, and it was pure hell. I hardly slept and had seizures.

pjkmkjm23 posted 5/17/2013 04:49 AM

It's a very powerful drug and nearly everyone on it puts on weight....and quite a few seem to develop a crazy appetite too. I take it as a last resort for a form of arthritis I have and Crohn's, and only when I'm flaring really bad. I don't like it because of the side effects but it does work for sure. Absolutely make sure you follow the directions you're given on how to take it and MAKE SURE you taper off of it properly is not a drug you just suddenly quit taking.

Good luck and good health!

downunder posted 5/17/2013 06:10 AM

I still have some from past use. The typical dose is for three days only. I think the side effects may be more relevant to long term users? I had no side effects and either have my children. It works on asthma, croup and allergic reactions. It is the foulest tasting medicine, even in tablet form.
My daughter had asthma but is outgrowing it. She used to use puffers, when they didn't work it was onto the steroids, no other option. If anything i found it calming because I could finally breathe.

Undefinabl3 posted 5/17/2013 07:41 AM

I was on it for like 7 days on a step down method.

DH is on it A LOT because he's got really bad Asthma that is allergy induced.

I got the sleeplessness part, but didnt gain weight and didnt get any of the other stuff with it.

DH got a little moody, but it wasnt bad, and he doesnt sleep well anyway so I couldnt judge that one very well.

And any encouragement from fellow asthmatics to a new asthmatic would also be welcome, it's been quite a stressful and dark period, and I'm feeling almost housebound at the moment.

I am not one, but my DH is and I will tell you that its very scary even from my point of view. DH has had it all his life and so its all he knows.

I had to push DH to go to the doctor and try alot of different variations and amounts of different drugs to help get things under control.

it took years, and it changes still, but at least we have a better handle on it.

The best thing he's done (mostly) so far were the allergy shots. Its made a world of difference. It used to be that if he mowed the yard he would need at least 2 breathing treatments he can be outside all day long and he's fine.

I would strongly suggest getting the allergy coveres for the matress and pillow cases. Just doing that helped DH breathing at night.

hurtbs posted 5/17/2013 07:42 AM

I've beeno n it short term (for asthma and other things like allergies). Short term (5 days or less) other than euphoria, zero side effects for me.

idiot85 posted 5/17/2013 07:44 AM

I take 6 of the soluble ones every morning for 5 days every other month as part of my asthma control- I've never noticed side effects luckily.

Hope my experience is helpful to you

Edited to add- I would never notice increased appetite to be honest so I might get this side effect but it's impossible to tell!'

[This message edited by idiot85 at 8:10 AM, May 17th (Friday)]

simplydevastated posted 5/17/2013 08:05 AM

I'm an asthmatic and have been put on it many, many times over the years, including childhood.

The only side effect I've experienced is the increased appetite.

It works wonders for me when I've been super sick (bronchitis ect...) If your GP is concerned, I'd listen. Also, talk to him about Singulair. I mentioned this in Jrazz's thread about her daughter. It's an allergy and asthma med rolled into one. My daughter takes and I used to take it (only because I always forgot to take daily meds, I'm awful that way), but it works great. We never have any issues with allergies and it keeps the asthma attacks under control as well. That's not to say you'll never have another attack, just they'll fewer and farther between. This may be another option for you.

Good Luck.

darkbeast posted 5/17/2013 08:20 AM

I was on it for a weird allergic reaction a few years ago. It was the first time in my life that I understood why/how people became addicted to drugs.

It was the greatest thing ever. Whoever developed it should have won the Nobel Prize--for a decade. I've described it as "If Superman and the Hulk had a baby, I was him".

That being said, I was on it for 10 days. The reason it works is that it shuts down your immune system. You don't *need* to sleep but you do need to feed the machine. I was going 100%, 20+ hours a day, 7 days a week.

Then came the day it cleared out of my system. Everything started to move in slow motion. I slept (and dreamed intensely) for hours and hours. It was truly miserable and it came on me quickly.

I remember my first thought when the super-powers were fading was that I needed to find more. That very moment was when I understood how addiction started and how an addict must feel.

I haven't needed or taken any since, but I am always more than happy to talk about my prednisone experience.

[This message edited by darkbeast at 8:21 AM, May 17th (Friday)]

jennie160 posted 5/17/2013 08:55 AM

100% what darkbeast said.

"If Superman and the Hulk had a baby, I was him".

I took a 10 day dose for a recurring bronchitis infection. I felt AMAZING, except for the sleeplessness. The sleeplessness was torture not because I was tired in the morning but because you think you should be tired but you can't sleep.

And any encouragement from fellow asthmatics to a new asthmatic would also be welcome, it's been quite a stressful and dark period, and I'm feeling almost housebound at the moment.

The biggest thing that has helped with my asthma is exercise. You have to start slow because exercise can cause an attack but it can also help prevent them. It helps by stretching your lungs and bronchial tubes so when you do have an attack you are better able to breath. I can't exercise outdoors because allergies trigger attacks so I have to go to the gym.

stupidstupidme posted 5/17/2013 09:16 AM

Wow, I must say I'm amazed by these posts, and I even looked to make sure I read it right - prednisone? Wow.

I have to take at least one round, sometimes two when I get poison ivy. I'm highly allergic. I have never noticed anything, and I'm very sensitive to medication.

My son has CF, and has been on it several times as well, and I've never noticed any difference in him either, but he's on so many meds anyway and is already a hyper kid.

tired girl posted 5/17/2013 10:04 AM

Major sleeplessness, some moodiness.

Can your Dr order you the Medrol dose pack? That can be a little easier on the system.

idiot85 posted 5/17/2013 10:04 AM

I don't feel any different when I take them but maybe I really am Superman

Nature_Girl posted 5/17/2013 10:06 AM

My kids had to take it when they had croup.

I have a child who takes a mild steroid, not pred, for asthma. I think it's saved her life.

Edie posted 5/17/2013 12:55 PM

Thanks everyone for all advice. I am highly encouraged so far by the positive reactions outweighing the adverse (in contrast to the very negative reportage out there on the web generally), but please keep responses coming as I am finding it all really helpful - thank you!

I am sorry that so many of you and your families are fellow asthmatics as these attacks (everything just closing down) have been very scary, and continue in a very debilitating way on a daily basis, so I really do hope the prednisone sorts me out, as currently it feels like my body is attacking itself (in terms of the immune system leaping so vigorously but frighteningly to my defence).

Have any of you done the whole get rid of all carpets, cushions and soft furnishings thing? (That would make this old victorian manse very very cold, but I may have to go that direction).

brooke4 posted 5/17/2013 13:04 PM

Oops. Just pm'd you and then saw this - do you know if dust mites are a trigger for you?

jennie160 posted 5/17/2013 13:13 PM

Have any of you done the whole get rid of all carpets, cushions and soft furnishings thing?

My house is all hardwoods and tile. I only have curtains in my bedroom and they are washed frequently. The only other fabric surface I have is my couch which I vacuum frequently. My house is pretty old (1920's) and gets cold, I have learned to dress warm, keep a throw on my couch and have space heater in my living room and bedroom to warm them up when in use.

Another thing that might help is getting your air ducts cleaned and replacing the furnace filter frequently.

Edie posted 5/17/2013 13:20 PM

@ Brooke - no, I don't - yet. I suspect not, previously only animals and chest infections made a bit wheezy, but now.... with the very cold air and exercise reaction I've been having, I don't know. Never had hay fever before either.

@ Jenny - thanks. A lot of our floors are wood and slate anyway, but I keep it well-curtained as an insulating measure. Am not aware that we have air ducts (house is 1850), but we have plenty of ventilation through the old windows . Co-incidental with this period is having run out of oil and not bothering to order more (it was April and May after all!!!!) as thought I would tough it out in the cold until the warm weather came, which it hasn't, so I think on top of everything else, I have asked my lungs to brace themselves too hard environmentally (house colder inside than out) - eventually got oil (and therefore heating), but has made no difference to the frequency of the attacks.

[This message edited by Edie at 1:21 PM, May 17th (Friday)]

simplydevastated posted 5/17/2013 13:23 PM

I could never get rid of any of that. I'm supposed to have plastic on the furniture, no carpets, plastic over my mattress and pillow (like that is comfortable). That's not going to happen.

My reality is: wall-to-wall carpet, uncovered furniture, and two bossy kitties (one who is trying to push me out of my chair as I type).

I had an allergy test and with all of my allergies my doctor told me that I basically only have two weeks a year when I would have a break from my allergies, but I'm also allergic to cats, so I never get a break.

You just have to do what you have to do to feel comfortable. I've lived with asthma all my life, I know which allergies are worse than others so I stay away from those. My cat allergy isn't nearly as bad as my dog allergy.

Attacks are awful. It feels like someone is squeezing my lungs and stopping me from breathing.

Once you're done with the prednisone your doctor will help you get on an asthma prevention plan and you'll most likely only have to go on prednisone when you're really sick (if you're anything like me.)

My current meds are Albuterol for attacks, ProAir twice daily to prevent attacks and I'm supposed to be on Singulair but I'm awful with remembering to take pills daily. But when I was on it, I was in heaven. No allergies or attacks. Definitely something to look into. I also have a home nebulizer for when I'm sick and my asthma is not fully under control.

I hope some of this helps you.

tushnurse posted 5/17/2013 13:51 PM

Edie, Have you seen a pulmonologist yet?
If not do. If they recommend it, then I would say go for it, with knowing the next 2 weeks may be unfun.

Once the cycle of inflammation starts, it can be very hard to break, and without something like Prednisone it may not. In addition with your asthma I am going to ask some questions that may seem odd but are totally relevant.

Are your asthma attacks at night when you are sleeping?
Many people silently refulx in their sleep and have what is called microaspiration of gastric juices (some acid going into your lungs) this can trigger an attack immediately.

Are you on a proton pump inhibitor medication like Nexium/Prevacid/prilosec?
95% of asthmatics have reflux or GERD. This needs to be treated, even if you don't have heartburn, again for the same reason above, but happening while you are awake.

Are you using an inhaler or nebulizers?
Nebulizers are much more effective in getting the meds into the lungs, and stopping the constriction.

Are you on an antianxiety medication?
Asthma is scary stuff, not being able to breath triggers a fight/flight response which in turn feeds the cycle of constriction and inflammation. If you can keep your nerves calm, on an antianxiety med this can break the cycle of it as well.

Good Luck.

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