Is anyone taking prednisone (or other oral steroids) longer term? I am thinking of asking my rheumy to prescribe for more than a standard Medrol pack. When I'm on steroids it's best I've felt - for days in a row - for years. I'm off them again now and I'm fatigued, a new joint has flared up, my c-spin is killing me, etc. I know there are side effects of long-term use . . . But might it be worth it?
I was on Prenisone for 1.5 years up to a max dose of 50 mg /day. I loved how it made me feel. But I gained significant weight and was taken off it. Recently I found out that the prednisone affected the way my body makes testosterone (i.e., it makes very little) so I have had to go on supplements of that - which for a woman is kinda hard to do, all the supplements are doses for a man. I take methotrexate by injection now and much prefer it to the Pred. Less side effects so far. Talk to your pharmacist as well as your doctor - it is ultimately a decision you have to make as a team I think.
I have been taking prednisone daily for the last 7 years. Currently I take 2.5mg (it DOES come in tablet form at that dose) and have 1mg tablets that I can take in case I feel a flare coming on. I took 5mg tablets for a long time and would double, even triple, that does if needed. I've had a bone density test and I'm fine. However, I can't get off the prednisone now or I develop Addison's disease. I ended up deciding to keep the prednisone and give up on most of the ibuprofen because my kidneys were starting to show decreased function. Ibuprofen is too hard on the kidneys so I had to reduce that medication.
I would advise against long term use. I work in a hospital and see a lot of people with bone density loss and severe bone problems after long term use. As always, it is your choice and you have to do what you feel is best for you. I avoid prednisone like the plague and stick with my NSAIDS, methotrexate, diet and exercise. Good luck to you!
My story is almost identical to Janets. After struggling with trying to decrease my dose even at half a mg I would flare or have horrible pain. My Rheumatologist finally gave the OK to stay at 5 mg and along with 200 mg of Celebrex per day and Remicade every 6 weeks I am consistantly doing much better. Good luck (:
I take 5 mg prednisone daily since 2008. Tried to go off it several times with no luck. Occasionally I bump it up to 10 mg for a day or 2 and then taper back down to 5. The rheumy who originally prescribed it seemed to think the risk was worth it, but at 60 I already have osteoporosis and my white cell count is usually high, both probably due to the steroids. The dose is low enough that I don't gain weight or have trouble sleeping. The long-term effects are not good, but the Humira and tramadol just aren't enough to keep me functional. I still do get an occasional flare-up, but nothing like before treatment.