How long does pred take to work and does it always make asthma better?

I've been given a three day course of prednisolone, but I'm worried it's not enough, I don't feel much better (although I've had a slight improvement) and I have a feeling that if I go back to the GP they'll say it's not asthma again when I'm 99.99999% sure it is.

Any advice on how long it should take for maximum affect and whether or not it always helps asthma?


12 Replies

  • I find an improvement starts after 24 hours and continues to improve after that. The length of time and dose I need varies.

  • I agree - i find if its going to make a difrerence, it will help fairly quickly - unfortunately there are no guaranteed solutions to asthma, and i have had attacks and been hospitalised on high doses of pred, it happens! Don't let one bad experience with a GP put you off going back, better to see a GP than end up in A&E (if for no other reason than not wanting to wait until you're really struggling and THEN having to justify your asthma). sometimes a slightly longer course will help get you through a rough patch but it sounds like you might beed to step-up your preventer treatments! I'd just try to see a different doc to last time! hope you feel better soon :-)

  • I find I see improvement after two doses, but how much of an improvement I see varies, sometimes 5 days of 30mg is enough, sometimes (like this time - o can tell its gonnna be a tough one to crack) need more or for longer because although things improve, its not enough so I need another boost.

  • I usually see some difference within 8 hours, and after the second dose I'm better again. If it's not made much difference then I find that I need a higher dose, but I'm pretty good now at guessing what dose I need. My dose will depend on how bad lungs are in the first place or what has caused the attack.

  • Sorry to jump on this - Ely, I hope you got things sorted out with the pred and are feeling better now?

    I started on 25mg yesterday. 2 doses so far, not sure I'm really seeing any improvement yet though I thought I was a little yesterday till I walked home from the bus stop in the cold and set it all off again...

    My GP said, come and see him again Friday if it hasn't worked. I booked an appt with him for Monday (I know he has no regular appts this Friday and there's no point getting one with the GP who does because he never does anything at all) and figured if I didn't need it could cancel and someone would be glad of it.

    I'm guessing next step would be upping the dose? tbh I think 25mg would have been fine at the start of this flare-up to stop things getting worse, but after Wed when it did get worse and I'm using several doses of Ventolin within 4 hours, it just doesn't seem like enough and based on what I've read here I would think it should be doing more. Of course I saw my GP in the afternoon which is always my best time, so I didn't seem that bad I guess. If I keep the appt on Mon it is at least in the morning.

    Hopefully can wait till then, because not sure what OOH can do if already on pred - up it? My GP is normally good but I hope he doesn't take this dose not working as a sign pred doesn't work at all (since it seemed not to the first time I had it but did when I had a hefty dose in Oct). Just don't think it's enough really to deal with how things are now.

  • lol! i assume the doc was telling you 20mins so when you miraculously improved in that timescale he'd have 'proved' you were hyperventialting/maunchausens/summit else! how ridiculous - i'm sure you're not supposed to deliberately mislead patients!!!

  • Yes - from what he's said, there is still too much stigma in the system against mental health issues. Apparently there has been, perhaps still is, a very hostile attitude in some places towards people who take overdoses; they're very often seen as timewasters and get a lot of stick from some (I'm sure by no means all, perhaps a vocal minority but that is still too many) staff without much attempt to look into why they might have got to the point of doing that to begin with.

    He wants to be a psychiatrist and is interested in changing the way 'functional' disorders are treated, since psychosomatic symptoms are still very real but obviously can be harder to actually fix because they don't have an organic cause, and you can't just 'think' your way out of them!

    hmm interesting diversion there...not that I plan to be working in that area but it's related to brains :)

    Was talking to remedial massage person today (in between groans lol - but she is definitely helping my stupid shoulder injury) and she was asking how the asthma was - and said her 6-yr-old son's 'rescue' dose of pred is 30mg! So I think I do perhaps need to up it, but will give it till Monday when I am due to see GP again and hope it's doing something at least. I keep second-guessing myself and thinking 'oh maybe it is working...maybe not'. Hard to know if it's just wishful thinking at times.

  • I'm feeling slightly less blah already from this morning when I started on the pred. :-)

  • I'm feeling slightly less blah already from this morning when I started on the pred. :-)

    Great news, hope you keep feeling better!

  • Normally I improved within a day or two as does it always work I have been on it now 6 Wks with no improvement x

  • Well this is only my 2nd time on pred (both this winter at 40mg intitially for 5 days, first time ended up needing a further 7 days, this time, well we'll see).

    However for me I actually carry on getting worse to start with and then improvement starts after 3 or 4 doses. But I'm not really the allergic type of asthmatic (used to be but the allergies lessened as I got older), it's cold viruses etc (as well as exercise, cold air and strong perfumes/aerosole sprays) that cause problems for me so maybe that's why it takes longer for me (I suppose if the cold you have is still there it's still triggering the inflammation). I'm hoping this time it'll only be the 5 days as I'm not in as bad a shape as last time to begin with.

  • Thanks everyone (: I saw a vast improvement eventually, but unfortunately I seem to be pretty bad again!

    Not liking the idea of going back to GP but I think it might be my only choice.

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