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Vasculitis UK
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Hi I have been on pred for around 2 years now and for most of that I have been on 18mg a day . I started on 30mg and reduced to 17 but then my mg started to get worse again so used it to 18 mg and have been ok for the most part . My concern is my bones . I have already had the menapose and was also anorexic for many years . I know that the risk are higher the longer you take pred . Would 2 years been seen as a high risk ? . I would be very grateful for any advice given .

Thank you x

11 Replies

Have you had a Dexascan to check your bone density? You should be allowed one if you are taking pred.


Hi Jane1869,

What type of Vasculitis do you have and are you taking any other immunosuppressants apart from prednisolone?

Are you taking Calcium and Vit D tablets as well?

As Piglette has said the only way to assess bone density is with a DEXA scan.


Hi I have myasthenia gravis . I take lots of medication and have ivig for 5 days every 4 weeks x


Hi Jane,I was on high dose prednisolone for around 2 years 40 mgs,up and down.

I had a bone scan ( dexascan) and bone mass was down,however once you are on less than 7.5 mgs your bone mass usually goes back to normal as mine did.

Post menopausal woman should have a bone scan anyway and always when on a higher dose of predict.

Request one from your GP,and the you can take it from there.

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Also have a check for diabetes as I developed type 2 diabetes due to long term steroid use - longer than you in total but after 2 years of taking a steady 20mg a day.


I have type 2 diabetes from the pred . I take 18mg a day down from 30mg . I can't seem to get it lower than 18mg without my symptoms returning .


I have a couple of friends who were on high doses of pred for GCA - neither had any change in bone density at all and one of them wasn't even taking the supposedly mandatory calcium and vit D supplements. The other had had a hysterectomy in her 30s so had been on HRT every since so isn't really typical. I'd been on pred at above 10mg (well above for quite a bit of the time) for nearly 4 years between dexascans and there was no change. It very much depends on the person and a recent article in the BMJ claims the supplements don't actually make much difference to fracture risk - there is no real proof about the relationship between bone density and fracture risk, people with low bone density don't fracture, people with normal bone density do.

It is felt by some experts that the greatest change in bone density occurs in the first 3 months of taking steroids. Officially, if you are taking steroids you are classed as at higher risk so should have been sent for a dexascan at the start to have a baseline since without doing a scan then you can't say whether any low bone density that does appear is due to being you and your history or to the pred itself.

A dexascan is the best assessment of bone density. There are a lot of things to pay attention to to avoid the risk of fractures - most of them free and free from side effects!


I have taken the steriod for about 3 and half years and have had a couple of bone density scans which if taking steriods for a long time you should be having. On my last scan they have told me I have quite bad damage to certain parts of my spine so I dread to think what my bones are like, this makes it important take you have a scan and take a good supplement. Good luck xx natalya

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Hello there

Vit D & calcium supplements are good but also include Vit K2 which will ensure the calcium is deposited into your bones and not your arteries. Here in Australia the calcium supplements include K2. Also as they are both fat soluable vitamins they need to be taken with some good fats in order to be absorbed, otherwise it will not be effective. A bone scan is good idea as well as testing for diabetes. Good luck & take care.

Carmen - perth australia


What foods have k2 in?


Natty, a Japanese delicacy which has highest amount but is really acquired taste! Eggs. I take a supplement K2 180mcg & D3 1000iu every morning after brekky. I don't take calcium supplement now, try to get that from food. I am not on any medications now but have done the high dose prednisone "thing". Got a cataract out of it! Watch those bones & blood sugar..

Oh it's natto not "natty"


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