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Pred - kidney pain

I took pred for the first time today - only 10mg. About 20mins after taking it, I got lower back pain on the left hand side of my back. Another 20 mins later, I also had it on my right side. I think it was 'kidney pain' (I've always been slightly bemused by people saying their kidneys hurt, but I reckon that was it!) I was getting a bit worried because my mother used to have kidney issues (SLE??), but I've never been told that I need to be careful or anything because of her issues. About 2 hours later, it got better on its own.

I'm going to try and phone my doc (I'm out of the country), but incase I cant get hold of him soon, does anyone have any words of wisdom?

I'm having a bit of a horrible splatt, but am very new to this whole pred thing, and happen to be thousands of miles away from home...

I've been feeling really awful all day, but probably have to give the ventolin and asthma credit for that as well as the pred.

3 Replies

Hi there C,

I'm sorry you are having problems while you are so far away from home - it must be an additional worry not to be near to family and your own medical team.

Firstly, I really doubt that the pain was caused by the pred - from your description, it would have come on too quickly after taking the pred, and it doesn't really fit with any known pred side effect. To me, it doesn't really sound like 'kidney pain' either. There are two main things that cause pain in the kidneys - stones and infection. Pain from stones would usually be very severe and distinctive and would have had you rolling on the floor, and probably would not have cleared up so quickly. Pain from infection would be associated with frequent, painful urination and cloudy urine, as well as making you feel pretty unwell generally, and would also be unlikely to settle down so quickly. The fact that your mother had kidney issues is probably irrelevant - the early stages of kidney damage due to SLE or anything else are usually not painful. I would say, however, that when you are travelling, especially if it is hot, it is important to drink plenty of fluids, as dehydration can contribute to developing infection or stones - so make sure you are well hydrated.

Pain from the kidneys is also not usually in the lower back - the kidneys are actually quite high up in your back. There are many things that can cause pain similar to your description - the most likely thing is simple muscle strain or spasm (from sitting in the car for prolonged periods?) but there are other things that can also cause pain like this.

The thing that worries me more is the fact that you are having an exacerbation of asthma, you are out of the country, and you are not seeking medical attention. If it is a 'bit of a horrid splatt', as you describe, why are you only taking 10mg of pred? I am worried for your safety, being far from home and travelling, and I think you need some advice on how to manage this exacerbation more effectively.

I don't know what sort of travel insurance you have, but I would strongly suggest that you see a doctor where you are, so that they can make a proper assessment of both your asthma and this back pain. It's not going to be very easy for your own doctor to safely advise you over the phone, just as it's pretty much impossible for us to safely advise you over the internet.

Take care

Em H


Hi C, as a suffer of kidney stones which causes renal colic (kidney pain) I can say it is agony. Supposed to be almost as bad as child birth. Well having given birth to 4 children I would say it is far far worse. It is unmistakable and is not in the lower back either. I would say this problem is something other than kidney pain.

Trust me kidneys don't just hurt they really really hurt!



Hi guys,

I took another 20mg today, with much less 'back pain', so it was probably a complete coincidence. I've started responding to ventolin much better now, so am less worried.

I am absolutly convinced that car air con is really, really evil... Had to make a somewhat swift exit off a motorway.


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