How long does it take for oral steroids to work ?

Hi - newbie here.

I've had an asthma cough for about 15 years. I only get it after i've had a cold, which luckily for me, is rarely - this is the first one for about 2 years.

My cough is generally kept under control with inhalers and it usually lasts for a month or so, then i'm fine and have no other signs of asthma, until I get a cold again.

This time, my cough is the worst i've had, so I went to see my doctor, who prescribed oral steroids, 5mg, 6 times a day, for 5 days, to supplement the inhalers.

I'm now on my third day on the steroids, but my cough hasn't improved much at all. How long should it take for them to have a noticeable effect ?

And I can't get past 380 on my Peak Flow Meter (doc said I should be up to 500)

12 Replies

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  • it seams very strange to me that your doc has prescribed you 5mg tabs to be taken 6 times day ive been taking pred for over 20 years and it has always been prescribed as one dose taken 1st thing in the morning for example if it was your dose i would be taking al 6 tabs in the morning if was you i would go back and querie this?

  • it seams very strange to me that your doc has prescribed you 5mg tabs to be taken 6 times day ive been taking pred for over 20 years and it has always been prescribed as one dose taken 1st thing in the morning for example if it was your dose i would be taking al 6 tabs in the morning if was you i would go back and querie this i usualy start to feel the effects within 24 hours so u should be getting some improvement by now your peak flow still isn't dangerous as its still in the 75% so dont worry to much about that it will improve

  • Cheers Andy - I think i've made a boo boo.

    It says on the label on the tablets 'Take 6 tablets daily'.

    I've been taking one tablet 6 times a day.

    Looks like its my mistake - not my doctors :-(

  • I agree, whether its 6 or 8 tabs I have always taken in one dose, when on a course first thing but in an emerg start it at any time of day or night. I also get start to get affect within 12 hours and fully within 24 hours.

    Snowyh

  • My daughter is on the same dose as yourself and, like the others have said, all six tabs go down at one time in the morning. However, we are now on the third of five doses and only just seeing an improvement so I assume it depends on what is going on in your lungs and each individuals body? I'd hoped for a big improvement in 24 hours but it didn't materialise. She's getting there now though. Hopefully you will too:~)

  • I feel such a fool.

    If I'd read the label properly I might have been ok by now.

    I've just taken the full dose - I work nights so its still 'morning' for me :-)

    Fingers crossed now.

  • I have just been prescribed oral solable steriods and I have to take 8 5mg tablets once a day for the next 5 days as well as 1 500mg amoxicillin 3 times a day. My doctor told me that if I am still struggling ot breathe and feel like I still have a 10 toin elephant sat on my chest after 3 hours of taking the steriods then I must dial 999. He wanted to do this while I was sat in surgery but because I had my 5 year odl daughter with me he allowed me to go after have 10 puffs on my inhaler through a spacer as the surgery nebuliser has broke and they don't have a spare to use. Hope fully once you have finished the course ypou should be feeling the effects or be 100% better before then course has finish

  • This has come as a complete surprise to me. My pred label said 4 a day. Which I took to mean breakfast, lunch, tea and supper. Did that last year too. Perhaps that's why, now 10 day course finished, the PFs have stayed low - I've been taking it wrong. Will ask asthma nurse next week when I go back to see her. Crossing fingers won't need any more.

  • hi collstoke

    Steroids work realy quick and should feel a bit better the next day.lol Glynis xxx

  • daft question coming up

    So.. does the fact that I took my 4 lots of pred not in one go but spread through the day - see earlier post - mean it wouldn't work in quite as good a way as taking in the one go?

    PuzzledMo

  • Well - I took one 6 times a day for 2 days, then 6 a day for the last 3 days.

    And i'm still coughing as bad as ever.

    Back to the doctors first thing on Monday

  • OK, short course pred is always taken as a single dose of all X amount of tablets in the morning after breakfast, the doctor or pharmacist should have made that clear, and not as 4 or 6 separate tablets throughout the day, also in the PIL, but there are exceptions and the GP would tell you (hopefully) atthe time of prescribing.

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