Asthma UK community forum

Steroid tablets

Hi, my first post and apologies for the essay but I really need some help. I've been on prednisolone of varying doses for 2 years and am now desperate to get off it. I'm already on 1mg/2ml pulmicort, salbutamol, atrovent nebules and singulair tablets.

Does anyone know how long it takes for all your bodys systems to revert back to normal or if there are any tests which can be done to check?. I've had a failed IVF cycle due to suspected HPA suppression so I'm desperate to get off the tablets. Unfortunately my asthma is out of control again so I'm on high doses again after getting down to 4mgs a day for the past month. Is there anything else apart from prednisolone tablets you can take to control asthma which wouldn't cause HPA suppression? In a catch 22 situation I'm getting stressed about still being on the tablets which is making asthma even worse. How quickly can you come down from 40mgs to nothing? I've been told I've got to do things gradually due to the length of time on the tablets but time is running out.Has anyone else experienced problems like this? Anyone else have several calf cramps when reducing or know wht to do to relieve them?

Any advice would be great as all this is vey new to me, many thanks


2 Replies

The problem with Preds is they do suppress the function of the adrenal gland and makes coming off them very difficult.

I was on and off them for 18 years but have been on them permanently since May 2000 and on a maintenance dose of 15mg. My consultant tried to reduce the dosage level because of side effects, noticeably spinal osteoporosis and steroid induce diabetes, but I had a worsening of my asthma and had to go up to 20mg for short while then reduce gradually to 15mg.

I dont know of any alternative to Preds but the side effects are offset by a better quality of life for severe asthmatics.


If you have been on them for a while you should not reduce by more than 5mg a week.

while it is infuriating trying to come off them, I have been on no less than 15mg up to 60mg for over 2 years now, you need to have patience.

There are other drugs your consultant may want to try to get you off the pred these tend to have side effects too and none of them are to be taken during pregnancy so I don't think they are the answer you looking for. If you have managed to reduce as low as 4mg recently, nebulised steroids may be the answer, seemingly they can help some people reduce by a few mg.


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