The power of Prednisone!

I got my first steroid shot this past Monday and started on the Prednisone on Tuesday...WOW!!! Now I know what all of you are talking about. This is the first time my flare has been so bad that my rheumy has offered me steroids to help. After 1.5 years of suffering with RA, I actually feel almost normal again. I know it isn't something I can stay on (I have severe Osteoporosis), but it sure would be nice. :-) He has me on 10mg a day for 7 days, then 5 mg a day for another 7 days. I guess I will just enjoy the relief while I have it. :-)

27 Replies

  • Wow, both an injection and oral steroids at the same time? Never been offered that.

  • Know what you mean - I was like Wonder Woman, my course tailored off over three months then just as I was finishing off on 0.5 of a tablet every day I discovered during an annual blood test in connection with something else that I had Type 2 diabetes so watch out.

    At the moment I've being given three months to watch my diet and exercise and they are hoping that because it was steroid induced things will go back t normal once the prednisolone is out of my system.

  • I know. I've heard that horrible things can happen if you stay on them too long. I'm SO sorry about your diabetes diagnosis! Hopefully, when the steroids get out of your system you will go back to normal. Hugs!

  • Thanks, I'm really hopefull things will settle. I don't think that happens to everyone, I have friends who are taking much larger doses than I was and for much longer periods of time.

    I obviously have a predisposition towards heading that way :(

    The rheumy I saw stressed the importance of having my eyes checked for the hydroxy and didn't mention anything about the steroids and unfortunately I didn't know that could happen.

    It's a pain but it's hard to say whether or not I would have turned them down. The results were magic and it was amazing being pain free and not creaking around the place. It's a long time since I felt like that.

    The hydroxy seems to be working but I'm a bit more creaky than I was with the steroids.

    Enjoy the lovely break the steroids are giving you.

  • Steroids are brilliant to have with the help they give,but oh boy try getting off them. I am now happily off them. Try to manage without them when this course is finished if you can.Hugs.xxxx

  • Thanks Sylvi! I know I can't stay on them. :-( But I found it interesting that he gave me a prescription for 60 tablets with 2 refills. In the course of the two weeks I'll be on them, I will only take 21 tablets. I guess he wants me to have them if I flare again. I don't know.

  • I know what you mean!! When I got my first steroid shot I was running around town like a madwoman the next day :) I hope you'll enjoy your 'steroid holiday'. xx

  • I had an elderly aunt who was given them when she had osteoporosis. My mother, her twin sister who also did all her shopping and ran around after her like a mad thing used to go mad when she first got the steroids because the first thing auntie did was go for a round of golf!

  • Can't blame her :) !! I (literally!) ran into my GP on my way into town the day after I got my first steroid shot and she told me off as well :D

  • Try and use your 'steroid holiday' wisely and be careful not to overdo things. If you have extra energy use it to do things you don't normally do. Clean out or rearrange things which you would not normally do that will make things easier in the long run. Farm

  • I've had RA for 2. 5 years,as well as Polymyalgia Rheumatica. I haven't been able to come off steroids completely. At the moment, I'm on 7.5mg ( Perhaps you could try that as an interim step between 10 and 5.). If I go as low as 5, out comes the loo riser, Zimmer frame, wheelchair. I'm aware of the risk ( I too have osteoporosis) but I want a life! I'm 71 and am aware that however well controlled this disease becomes, I'm not getting any younger. None of us are, but I found a sense of urgency when I hit 70.

    I should add that, as well as the Prednisilone, I'm on 25 mg Methotrexate and Rituximab. I've only had one cycle of the latter, so my hope is that it will become increasingly effective and I can then reduce the Pred. Jora

  • I hear you Jora. There's a quality of life thing here as well. I'm currently only on Hydroxy. My rheumy wants to see how I react to the steroids after I come off of them. He said if I go back into a flare, then he's going to add Sulfasalazine to the mix. I've been putting him off of that idea because I really don't want to add a drug that could possibly eat my liver, but I will if it will help. I guess we will just have to see how this plays out.


  • I haven't taken steroid tablets, but was offered a steroid shot on diagnosis. It was like magic - basically taking me back about 4 years :) It was so wonderful that I have just booked my first holiday in 7 years, planning to ask for a steroid shot just before it! :D

  • I can see why you would ask for a shot before going on a vacation. It would make your trip so much more enjoyable. Good for you! And I hope you have a wonderful trip! Hugs!

  • Thank you :) It's not until July, so I have a long time to be patient! :D

  • I was offered a shot too but I'm a bit of a wimp and asked if I could have tablets instead. You have got to be able to comply well with taking the pills and I was taking other things in the morning anyway.

    It was really complicated - I started in three a day for a week, then 2.5 a day fir two weeks, then 2 a day for two weeks etc, dropping Hal's a tablet every two weeks until eventually I did two weeks with half a tablet and that was the end.

    Honestly I had the dates I changed over and what I should be taking written in every calendar and diary in the house. A jab would have been a lot less work.

  • It takes me a few weeks to get good at taking tablets - I am not a creature of habit generally, and have meals at different times, go to bed at different times, etc, so it's hard to get into a meds routine. I tend to forget about one pill in 3 or 4 during the first week, then get gradually better as I work out when is the best time to remember to take them!

  • I have one isolated pill to take at tea time and the number of times I forget to take it doesn't bear thinking about. It is always if I don't eat at home, although some tea I forget when I am home and it is right in frt of me, but I tend to forget about it then I find it lying there glaring at me when I sit down for breakfast.

    Fortunately it is something that I can probably get away with missing every now and again. I'm great with my morning ones and I just added the steroids to the morning lot.

  • I had two steroid injections just after being diagnosed and it was wonderful. So I know how you feel. Long may it continue and I hope you find something just as effective to replace it when you have to stop! Just pace yourself. All the very best.

  • Thanks Stbernhard! This is the first time my rheumy has seen me in such distress. Each time I went in before for regular scheduled visits, I wasn't in a flare so wasn't offered a shot or pills. This time he really took notice. But I have to laugh. I don't present as normal RA patients do. I don't have redness or swelling. I asked him if I was a mutant and he just looked at me and blinked (he's a very nice man, but not much of a sense of humor I'm afraid). Hugs!

  • I have very little redness and swelling, too. In fact, I'd've said I had almost NO swelling until I had the steroid shot - then it suddenly became clear my wrists, knees, feet and hands HAD had swelling before, because they shrank!

  • Flow4, it's good to know I'm not the only one that doesn't "present" as a normal RA patient. The only place I've ever had some swelling and a little redness was across my knuckles. :-)

  • You are certainly not alone. Apart from my knees, no other joints were ever swollen, even when they hurt like hell. But then I was never normal to start with and all people with RA are not normal because we are fighters and grinners and bearers. So we are special!

  • I find that the steroid pills play havoc with my blood sugar levels. The jab doesnt have this effect. But they only let you have it once every six months. Its a sticking plaster and will give you a holiday which is good.

  • Since being diagnosed March 2014 I have had injections in shoulder, elbow, wrist (twice) and knees. On top of this various courses of oral steroids.

    From June to Oct 2015 I was mainly housebound and hospitalised for 8 days, had 3 doses of IV steroids and on leaving hospital was on 25mg oral reducing down to zero. By second wk of Aug was back to square one.

    Had started Enbrel back in May but it was clearly not working!

    Daughter left midAug to work in Finland for a year and I was pretty down. booked to go see her at end of Oct ( with a huge degree of optimism that new treatment - Rituximab would have kicked in)

    Upshot was it did not kick in. I contacted specialist nurse with a cry for help. I was determined to make it to Finland but was not in good shape. Rhuematologist called me and booked me in for 3 IV steroid infusions over 3 days then the week I was due to fly he injected both knees with steroids. I also got oral steroids 30mg per day reducing down to 5mg by end of Nov.

    I made it to Finland drugged up with steroids! I managed to get around with the aid of a stick and had a nice catchup with daughter.

    Rituximab kicked in during Nov and I felt great right up to 10 days ago...but that's another story.

    Steroids do play an important role in bringing short term relief for RA but bring their own issues. I would love to live my RA life steroid free but sometimes have no choice.

    I am glad they helped you x

  • Oh my! What an ordeal Yooneek! I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that but so happy that they helped enough to enable you to have a good vacation with your daughter! I hadn't heard of having the steroids by IV. The only IV I have to have is once a year I have to go in to have a Ferritin infusion.

  • you now it was a bit of a nightmare at the tie but we just get on with it! I was being wheeled into the hospital at that time now I am walking with the aid of a stick. I have now had 6 steroid infusions - mainly to get me mobile as I was bad with a capital B which is why i got them....anyway keep on keeping on x

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