gemini40October 21, 2012

I have been diagnosed with a condition, Temporal Arteritis, that requires me now to take Prednisone .I will have to be on it for at least a year.

I was upset when told about this because most people I know that were on it hated it for the the weight they gained. It's only been a week for me but I can see the increase in my appetite and this is going to be a battle, one that I wish not to lose.

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I was on it for almost a year, when I couldn't take any other drugs.
I hated it...but I satisifed the munchies with fruit, etc, rather than breads and desserts. Once I finished tapering off, the excess weight went down quickly.

My problem was not being able to sleep through the night - only 3-4 hours at a stretch, and I was hyper-active during the day. Things like a ton of house cleaning, and when DH took his last bite of a meal, I whisked the plates away to wash (by hand) almost before he could lay his fork down.

Otherwise, it did take the inflammation away, and allowed me to stay pain free until I could safely go on Orencia, which is not a TNF inhibitor. And, it's working fine. did leave my house with all closets cleaned, and organized.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:41AM
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Funy Monica I have noticed the same thing with the sleeping and with the ability to get more done in the ourse of a day..that is I will try to stick with fruits and veggies and more of a protein based diet..I have done that before and the cravings do subsist. Thanks for the follow up much appreciated.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 8:29AM
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Country Sunflower

I wish I could add something positive to this thread... but the only experience I have with prednisone is that my Lucy pooch takes two a day for a skin yeast condition.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 9:03AM
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After going into shock from eating seafood, I went to the Emergency Room and got a shot of adrenalin-epinephrine. Sent home with a blister-pack of prednisone. Told to take three a day, then two a day, then one, basically start at big dose and taper down. I really had no problems. Of course I was on it less than 2 weeks. My MIL was on prednisone or cortisone for back pain and eye trouble, she had a lot of water-weight gain (fluid retention). She got the full moon/ chipmunk cheek face.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 9:29AM
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I've had to take steroids from time to time over the years before Advair controled my asthma. I've also been on the graduated-pac doses for sinus infections.

When my MD prescribes this, I ask for a sleeping aid. I've used 5 mg. Ambien (the generic for it). I don't know if that would be appropriate for long term use, but you might be a ble to use something some nights.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Caregiver to DW's grandmother for a few years... I wont elaborate on the story but if my physician ever attempts to prescribe me prednisone I will look in in her eyes and tell her, in all seriousness, that I would blow my brains out first.

Sorry for the negativity Gemmi, but I'm sure you post questions to get honest replies.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:31AM
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I can understand OAH's feelings. My mother was on it when in a nursing home. It aggravated her osteoporosis to the extent that when she was picked up, her femur snapped in half like a matchstick. The new doctor I got for her said it was prednisone and she never should have been on it for so long. Actually she was supposed to have been re-evaluated for it after a month and never was. A friend of mine, much younger...her husband was on it and it caused necrosis in his hip. Had to have a replacement.

So, myself, I would be reluctant to take it and if I did, I wouldn't stay on it one second longer than I absolutely had to.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:41AM
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I was on it about a couple of months ago for one week and I had munchies by the end of the week but I also had a steroid when I was doing chemo and gained 30 pounds so you have to be careful....obviously I wasn't careful.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 11:55AM
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One other thought. Our Westie is on Prednisone for ten days for a skin condition that has come up at the same time he's healing from a minor surgery. The vet OK'd giving him 25 mg. of Tramadol at night. Big help. *I* have had a prescription for Tramadol 50 mg.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 12:01PM
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My niece had to take it before some tests she was having. She was NOT a diabetic, but it caused her blood sugar to skyrocket. Dr. told her then if she ever had to take it on a long term basis, she would become a "steroid-induced diabetic"!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 12:58PM
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It is one of those risk vs benefit medications.
My friend had temporal arteritis but it was misdiagnosed and he suddenly went blind in one eye.
He didn't do anything about it for over 24 hours and finally went to the ER. He was started on prednisone and was told he should have come in immediately because the blindness may have been only temporary.
You need to talk to your doc about risk vs benefit for you and then make an informed decision.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 1:26PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Unfortunately it is one of my daily meds, have been on it regularly for probably 2 years now. Doc has tapered me down to a very small daily dosage but it is still a daily med. One that I really do want to be able to get off of. I have definitely had weight gain from it and the other meds I am on unfortunately all of them have that side effect. The weight is puffiness more than anything. I am not any hungrier and don't eat more, I sure don't have any extra energy either, wish I did.
IT affects people very differently.
I am diabetic and it does not raise my numbers drastically it is a slight raise and we are very aware of it and make informed decisions based on that.
My A1C has gone up and is very difficult to try to get lowered while I am on it.

For me it was well worth taking it when my illness began and the fact that it did help very much in reducing the severe edema I had was a blessing. I never ever take it with out food, I am extremely cautious with my meds and how to take them which really does make a big difference.

When faced with the decision the condition you are in at the time may change your mind.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 2:12PM
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gemini, this is something you need to decide with your doctor, you could ask 100 people and get 100 different recollections of people who have had one experience or another. No two people will react in the same way.

I took it for 6 weeks, a huge dose that tapered gradually over the course, when I had hyperactive thyroid and my eyes got 'buggy', for lack of a better word :) It did what it was supposed to do. I do remember feeling jittery but I couldn't say if it was just the prednisone, or the busy thyroid too.

If you are taking it for a year you may want to watch your health carefully overall, make this the nudge to eat well and exercise. You might want to discuss with your doctor if you should be doing anything different or taking anything to protect your bones during the course if you are of a certain age and female.

For what its worth, a friend of mine has been taking it in combination with several things for a condition similar to colitis for the last two years and he does look heavier in the face. The advantage is that he has been able to work, socialize, and has not been tied to home and his bathroom. It can be a helpful drug...

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 2:12PM
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Hello gemini,

I was put on a 60 mg/day dose of prednisone 4 1/2 years ago while in the hospital for emphysema, & am still taking it. I am now at 5 mg one day & 2 1/2 mg the next day, a pretty small dosage that (I'm lucky so far) works for me. Prednisone has lots of side effects. The most immediate were euphoria for a week or so, & gaining 33 lbs over the next 7-8 months (I had never had a weight problem before, so quite a shocker). It took about 3 years to get the weight off. I had so many side effects the first year or two that I made lists of about 15 effects for the doctors to put in my file. Many of those have finally stopped, thank goodness.

All that said, I realized early on I need to take it to keep my airways open so I can breathe somewhat easier. I did work hard to reduce the dosage, & you could talk with your doctor about doing so, as well as other options for you. I guess I would rather have to take prednisone than chemo treatments from all the horror stories I have heard about their side effects.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Temporal Arteritis is a very serious condition. It can and does lead to blindness and strokes. My aunt and a dear friend of my mom's developed it. My aunt took her medication correctly and she was fine. Mom's friend was not diagnosed in time and ended up blind in a nursing home. This is not a condition to worry about putting on weight or other side effects. The side effects of TA are much, much more serious.

My MIL also developed TA. She had been having severe headaches and joint pain without success of a diagnosis. She also tried to self treat. Finally, she went to a new doctor and had a series of tests run. On Labor Day her doctor called her and told her to have someone drive her to the pharmacy immediately and to take some water with her. She was to take a pill as soon as she picked up the prednisone.

My MIL complained about the medication, and told me after about 6 months that she was weaning herself off of it. I asked her what the doctor had said, and she said that she hadn't been to the doctor. Well, I flipped out and told her I was going to call her my BIL and SIL who live in her area. She said she would go to the doctor the next day, if I didn't say anything. I told her to call me as soon as she had seen her doctor.

Sure enough, her sed rate was worse, so she had to increase her dose. It scared her enough to follow her doctor's orders to the T.

Please don't worry about the prednisone in this case. Temporal Arteritis is much too dangerous to mess around with.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Oh believe me I went on the prednisone thee day after the sed rate came , it was veyr high.Then I had a biopsy on the the right side of the temple , that came back negative..however the other side was not biopsied at that time.. so at some point they will do another biopsy. Negative results does not mean the condition is arrested. I have other symptoms. Not fooling around with this at all... Doing everything the Dr. tells me to do. Your input has been interesting and appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 6:06PM
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