prednisolone to hydrocortisone switch

Hi, this is my first post but I have been lurking around some time.

My son is 14 and was diagnosed with asthma when he was just a few months old. Over the years he has been on just about every asthma medication imaginable and ended up as a last resort on long term prednisolone which he has been taking continuously for years.

This past year when because of his failure to grow (steroid side effect) it was decided a massive effort was in order to get his dose reduced as low as possible with the ultimate long term goal of him being totally prednisolone free. He was also referred to an endrocrinologist and has recently started growth hormone injections.

While reducing this past year there have been hiccups and set backs but 2 weeks ago the respiratory consultant finally discussed the last hurdle having gotten him down to 5mg and his asthma being managable and it was decided he needed a Synacthen Test before reducing him further.

We attend yesterday tea time for the results and it was decided that my son was switching from prednisolone to hydrocortisone tablets at 5mg twice a day. The explaination as to why was ''because his adrenal glands aren't working properly and the endo consultant will send you an appointment in about 6 weeks time''. I didn't ask to what extent they weren't working properly and I wish I had.

Now after much thought and in hindsight I have questions that I didnt ask because at the time I didnt even know I had them to be honest.

So I'm wondering if anyone else has been in this position. Is it likely that my sons adrenal glands will get back to normal or is a possiblility he will depend on steroids, god forbid, for the rest of his life. Are there any side effects of hydrocortisone that are not a side effect of prednisolone that I should be aware of? Is switching steroids like this normal and could he get any symptoms of withdrawl?

I don't think I can wait the 6 or so weeks until the endo appointment comes around so I will probably contact them long beforehand to clear up my worries but i'd appreciate any advice or reassurance if anyone has been, or is, in a similar position.

1 Reply

  • i started my long term steroids with pred, got switched to hydrocortisone, and now back to pred (7mg a day). generally i think hydro is better, less side effects than pred because pred is a glucosteroid, not hydro. i did experience some mood swings when swapping to hydro. hope this helps somewhat.

    Rose xxx

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