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Don't Get These Confused

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downhomeguy

If you ever get a bad back ache or severe rash they will usually give you Prednisone 5, 14 or 21 day pack and it is essentially cortisol.

 

Some peple have problems with there adrenals or thyroid and they may be placed on hydrocortisone at a dose anywhere from 5mg to 20mg a day for 6 months and maybe a year.

 

These are 2 completely different medications in that prednisone is 5 to 7 times stronger per milligram than hydrocortisone is. Prednisone can really weaken your immune system, raise your blood sugar levels and decrease your bone density. Hydrocortisone might do some of these things at a 20mg dose over a 5 year period, but it is unlikely.

 

I'm just suggesting that you can't use prednisone and hydrocortisone interchangebly. FYI

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Silver Shadow

I take hydrocortisone for adrenal insufficiency and it has definitely had many of the same side effects you mentioned but I know what you mean about the difference and being very careful as not to mistakingly interchange them. I believe prednisone is the steroid in disc inhalers like advair. I may be wrong but I know that when I was on advair, I had to ween off of it because stopping suddenly can cause respiratory failure. I will also have to ween off the hydrocortisone even though ive only been on 5mg bcuz stopping suddenly can cause adrenal crisis. I guess my point is to always be careful with starting and stopping these meds as well.

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Suzie

I have a long history with prednisone although I haven't been on it for years but only because I stopped on my own.. my gastro specialist wanted me to be on it indefinitely.  Now days they know better I think and only prescribe for short periods.  One time I was given such a huge dose for an obstruction that I literally couldn't sleep for over 20 days and even after that it was only a couple hours here and there.  It is a scary drug and it took months to taper off that huge amount.  And when I finally stopped taking it my adrenal gland didn't work right for a long time and I had weird side effects like facial mooning I think is what they call it.  Just recently a new specialist wanted to put me on it and said they have a new kind that has less side effects but when I asked how it's different she replied that you don't gain as much weight but it still had all the scary ones like your bones becoming brittle, etc.

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Way2old4this

I have a long history with prednisone although I haven't been on it for years but only because I stopped on my own.. my gastro specialist wanted me to be on it indefinitely. Now days they know better I think and only prescribe for short periods. One time I was given such a huge dose for an obstruction that I literally couldn't sleep for over 20 days and even after that it was only a couple hours here and there. It is a scary drug and it took months to taper off that huge amount. And when I finally stopped taking it my adrenal gland didn't work right for a long time and I had weird side effects like facial mooning I think is what they call it. Just recently a new specialist wanted to put me on it and said they have a new kind that has less side effects but when I asked how it's different she replied that you don't gain as much weight but it still had all the scary ones like your bones becoming brittle, etc.

Tapering is also one of the ways they induce your adrenal glands to start producing cortisol again. At doses below 7.5 mg a day, your own glands will begin to produce again. After being on 40 mg and tapering every two weeks, 20, 10, 5, and I kept going, down to 2.5 even though my Dr. Thought I could jump off at the end of 5mg.

My pulmonary Dr. seems to feel I'll be on and off prednisone regimes possibly forever but once I go through one series, he doesn't see me again for 3 months. I hope I don't have to be on prednisone every 3 months just because of the side effects that have been mentioned but it does help me breath better...but at what cost?

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2earls

Tapering is also one of the ways they induce your adrenal glands to start producing cortisol again. At doses below 7.5 mg a day, your own glands will begin to produce again. After being on 40 mg and tapering every two weeks, 20, 10, 5, and I kept going, down to 2.5 even though my Dr. Thought I could jump off at the end of 5mg.

My pulmonary Dr. seems to feel I'll be on and off prednisone regimes possibly forever but once I go through one series, he doesn't see me again for 3 months. I hope I don't have to be on prednisone every 3 months just because of the side effects that have been mentioned but it does help me breath better...but at what cost?

I've been on Prednisone many times and though I struggle with the side effects, I see it as the lesser or two evils. When you can't breathe, nothing else matters. I find that a more gradual taper works much better. There have been times that I've stopped at 10mg, only to immediately have the asthma symptoms return. One wise doctor told me that the patients often know what works better than he. He was also the only doctor that was willing to write an extra prescription that I could have on hand for emergencies. Now I use IOPS to keep a back up supply. It can save a trip to the ER. I can't imagine anyone wanting to take it if they didn't have to.

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Guest

I have had similar experiences with prednisone. I have allergies, bad allergies to many things. One of which is aspirin. Actually the correct medical term for my allergies is "hypersensitivities" as I go into anaphylactic shock and have all kind of other weird symptoms...my joints freeze up, extremities swell, etc. my sensitivities come and go pretty crazily too. Prednisone has been a life saver, literally for me. But the side effects are ghastly. I must say I have only been on short courses of the med...never intended to be a permanent thing. Thank God.

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Bks3080

where is a legit source to get prednisone? I have severe bursitis and the doctors here are hard to get any amount of prednisone.    thanks!!

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Suzie

where is a legit source to get prednisone? I have severe bursitis and the doctors here are hard to get any amount of prednisone.    thanks!!

​Contact Starlite and ask for a menu... they have it.  They are in the International Section

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Mr. R0B0T

Has anyone had good luck with dexamethes0n for a locked up back or neck? My back went out a few weeks ago when I aggravated one of the herniated disks in my neck - doc gave me 12mg dex until I could get back in for injections. It worked extremely well but gave me the hiccups for about 24 hours straight! Literally about every 20 - 30 seconds... And a few days later de eloped shingles for the first time. Doc said the shingles could be related to the dex affecting immune system..

 

Edited by Mr. R0B0T
Added detail

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DippityDoo

Old and rarely-frequented thread but just wanted to add a few thoughts affirming those posted above.  Every post above is absolutely correct that tapering down off prednisone slowly, in 5 mg steps or even smaller 1 mg, is absolutely critical.  Prednisone is one of the cheapest drugs on the planet, but if overused or abused daily in large doses and then suddenly stopped without doctor input, your body will begin to shut down from an adrenal crisis or you'll slowly suffocate to death if you already have COPD or asthma; either way, this cheapest drug on earth if suddenly stopped can make death seem like the more pleasant outcome.

Prednisone is a miracle drug; it can give breath to COPD patients desperate for air.  Via injection, it can stop an asthma attack in seconds.  The patent ran out long ago, so if your pharmacy is charging you $1 a pill or more even without insurance, you are being robbed in broad daylight.

Even when taken as directed by an experienced physician, at higher dosages some do experience side effects like moon facies, ravenous appetite and edema severe enough to justify the use of diuretics.  However, to get to this stage of side effects, you must be under an experienced doctor's care who can weigh benefits vs side effects with you. 

Prednisone can save your life but it can also take it.

Prednisone is a tiny little pill that costs mere pennies to make, but it is powerful.  RESPECT THE PREDNISONE.

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Jools

I've been on prednisolone ( prednisone for the US guys) on and off for over 10 years. They are the drug the doctors have a love/hate relationship with as they work but side effects and long term health problems are not a known quantity really. Long story short, in the 40's they used pregnenolone in high dose, 400-500 mg for rheumatic disease but a chemist found that cortisol worked well and quicker then pred was made much more cheaply and so it began. 

There are so many diseases of the inflammatory nature that this works with and the highest I've been in is 60mg to start. I have Crohn's and Wegeners granulomatosis so pred is the first drug you get and when you find it stops working , so etim s before, they will start you on what they label as steroid spareing drugs. The ones I've had were Azathioprine first then methotrexate, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, 6 MP and if you don't do well with these and your life is threatened then we, in the UK, are then allowed the biologic drugs. Infliximab ( Remicade ) Humira and Rituximab but these biologic drugs have to have a special dispensation from the government due to the high cost. In most cases they will use them to get into a remission then use the steroid spareing drugs all over again

As you can imagine, the steroid spareing drugs all come with their own dangers. I've gotten to a stage where the drugs actually make me feel worse than the diseases and I have gone rogue and will not take them. I am on my own regimen of DHEA, pregnenolone and B complex, methyl folate, Red Krill oil, vitamins E, wild oil of oregano, mega dose of magnesium malate, Zinc, calcium with d3 and a tablet that comprises of ginger, circumin and bromelian. This is a bunch of hormones and supplement that work on inflammation. So far I habe been lucky and am in a remission although I still won't tell my doc that I am not taking the drugs. I was so pissed off at not being able to go into the sun, having a moon face, spots and abscesses so big I had to have General anasthaetic to cut them out. I was having random sweats like I can't even explain other than me being so wet that it looked like I had just been in torrential rain. 

It is up to the individual but I am not so enamoured with life that I will accept staying indoors and watching TV. My GP knkw that its ALL about quality over quantity for me and he is cool with that and doesn't report to my specialist on this. 

Pred was hell for me. Cutting HAS to be done very carefully and especially when down to the last 10 mg down. I had flare of disease each time I got down to 5. Until they really do find a cure then I will continue on my way of trying to keep,to an anti inflammatory diet and supplements. 

I do have depo injections of methyl prednisolone for my chronic and acute joint pain and that is acceptable and doesn't affect me like the oral route. 

Yes, steroid like a pred can be a life saver very literally but I would rather not be than to live the way I did while on them and the other ones. 

I hope this may help but each to their own. I have osteopenia and am still around 24 pounds over the weight I was when I first started on pred. You will always feel starving and crave sugar. Fungal infections will be regular and moods will be awful. Rod rage often. Acne. Sweats, not being able to sleep are just a few of the side effects and you may also have steroid induced diabetes but that will go away with stopping. 

Not for me. Good luck to ALL who suffer. 

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trinity
On ‎02‎/‎09‎/‎2016 at 3:12 PM, Jools said:

I've been on prednisolone ( prednisone for the US guys) on and off for over 10 years. They are the drug the doctors have a love/hate relationship with as they work but side effects and long term health problems are not a known quantity really. Long story short, in the 40's they used pregnenolone in high dose, 400-500 mg for rheumatic disease but a chemist found that cortisol worked well and quicker then pred was made much more cheaply and so it began. 

There are so many diseases of the inflammatory nature that this works with and the highest I've been in is 60mg to start. I have Crohn's and Wegeners granulomatosis so pred is the first drug you get and when you find it stops working , so etim s before, they will start you on what they label as steroid spareing drugs. The ones I've had were Azathioprine first then methotrexate, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, 6 MP and if you don't do well with these and your life is threatened then we, in the UK, are then allowed the biologic drugs. Infliximab ( Remicade ) Humira and Rituximab but these biologic drugs have to have a special dispensation from the government due to the high cost. In most cases they will use them to get into a remission then use the steroid spareing drugs all over again

As you can imagine, the steroid spareing drugs all come with their own dangers. I've gotten to a stage where the drugs actually make me feel worse than the diseases and I have gone rogue and will not take them. I am on my own regimen of DHEA, pregnenolone and B complex, methyl folate, Red Krill oil, vitamins E, wild oil of oregano, mega dose of magnesium malate, Zinc, calcium with d3 and a tablet that comprises of ginger, circumin and bromelian. This is a bunch of hormones and supplement that work on inflammation. So far I habe been lucky and am in a remission although I still won't tell my doc that I am not taking the drugs. I was so pissed off at not being able to go into the sun, having a moon face, spots and abscesses so big I had to have General anasthaetic to cut them out. I was having random sweats like I can't even explain other than me being so wet that it looked like I had just been in torrential rain. 

It is up to the individual but I am not so enamoured with life that I will accept staying indoors and watching TV. My GP knkw that its ALL about quality over quantity for me and he is cool with that and doesn't report to my specialist on this. 

Pred was hell for me. Cutting HAS to be done very carefully and especially when down to the last 10 mg down. I had flare of disease each time I got down to 5. Until they really do find a cure then I will continue on my way of trying to keep,to an anti inflammatory diet and supplements. 

I do have depo injections of methyl prednisolone for my chronic and acute joint pain and that is acceptable and doesn't affect me like the oral route. 

Yes, steroid like a pred can be a life saver very literally but I would rather not be than to live the way I did while on them and the other ones. 

I hope this may help but each to their own. I have osteopenia and am still around 24 pounds over the weight I was when I first started on pred. You will always feel starving and crave sugar. Fungal infections will be regular and moods will be awful. Rod rage often. Acne. Sweats, not being able to sleep are just a few of the side effects and you may also have steroid induced diabetes but that will go away with stopping. 

Not for me. Good luck to ALL who suffer. 

Very informative post

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US Army Veteran

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