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Short synacthen test?


Cons has sent for me to have a short synacthen test at the hospital this thursday, but I was reading up about it (because I'm a wimp and wanted to know what it would entail :P) and it said they didn't recommend it for people who have asthma or allergies (of which I fall into both categories). I'm guessing any severe reactions are quite rare, but I'm still worried...

It's to check if my meds are causing adrenal suppresion (I'm not on long term pred, just my inhaled steriods are slightly over the recommended dose for my age and haven't been able to get them down due to asthma being a bit wild).

Just wondering if anyone else has had it, and if asthma's any problem with it? Thanks x

3 Replies

Hiya caziii,

im a very brittle asthmatic and had a short synacthen test a couple of years ago also to see if i had adrenal suppression, i was admitted onto the clinical investigations unit which is a ward in my local hospital. they kept a very close eye on me doing obs every hour for the whole day, the test itself only takes an hour. i was very well looked after and had no reaction to the test except some nausea and vomiting but when you have adrenal suppression you get used to that lol!!!

the test itself is easy and uneventful, they take a small blood sample from your arm, inject you with ACTH and then wait an hour during which time you are to stay as calm and relaxed as possible as any stress can give false negative results. After an hour they take another sample from your arm. they may do what they did with me and keep a close eye on you for the rest of the day before discharging you. They only kept me in coz i react to everything and anything - im quite atopic!!! I hope this eleiates some of your anxieties its quite a straight forwards test and to be honest the risk of not doing it and you pos having an adrenal crisis is much worse...

Feel free to PM me if you need any further advice. Good luck and hope it all goes well for you and they sort you out soon.

KitKat Xxx


I was admitted to have mine done too again cos i'm super allergic but was absolutely fine.

Just involved 3 vials of blood being taken at timed intervals and an injection. Didn't feel any different at all not stressed or increase heart nothing which was contrary to what i expected having read some scarey stuff on internet (always a bad plan!) but then it did show my adrenals made absolutely zero response hence am now under an endocrine specialist!!


Thank you very much both of you for sharing your experiences, I'm feeling a lot more relaxed about it now (although not so happy about the time in the morning I have to get up at tomorrow to have it done!) x


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