Patient Comments: Steroid Drug Withdrawal -Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with steroid drug withdrawal?

Comment from: 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 12

I had giant cell arthritis, which affected sight in my left eye, now fully regained. I was whipped into hospital off the street and placed on a drip with 65 mg of prednisolone. Let home after 2 days, had difficulty remembering things like my piano lessons, moving at a quarter to half speed without realizing it. At all stages during slow withdrawal (one relapse, back up to 20 mg from 5 mg) I maintained my usual attendance at the local gym. I had to reduce the weights accordingly, continued to run shorter distances, all with reduced efficiency. Now I am down to 3 mg, I am functioning near normal levels and do not recognize the symptoms being described (for which I am grateful)! Yes, I did have the night sweats, which was so alarming, and mental sluggishness. Other than that, I seem to be nearly (fingers crossed) home free. I wonder if the exercise helped or I was just lucky.

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Comment from: gramjam, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 25

Our regular doctor put my husband on 15 mg prednisone to see if helped his peripheral neuropathy. Then his rheumatologist upped it to 40 mg to see if it actually was helping him! His pain, muscle weakness, inability to sleep was worse, he got severe headaches and his neck and face got very puffy appearing. Now he is being weaned off the prednisone. The side effects are horrible; muscle weakness and atrophy, severe abdominal pain, light headedness. The pain of withdrawal on top of the pain from the severe neuropathy is almost more than he can bear!

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Comment from: Hurtinforcertain, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 21

After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis I was placed on 20 mg of prednisone and started acting too euphoric. My workmates called my wife who is a nurse of 44 years. She stated I needed to lower my dosage as it was way too high and was producing this effect. I am now down to 8 mg to 7 mg and got to 4 mg a day. But pain is so severe and I even have severe plantar fasciitis and constant severe runny eyes to the extreme. At 7.5 mg prednisone all things are great. I gained 25 lb. but I know I can start stationary cycling as I had operations on both knees for torn meniscus. My knees are just slightly stable.

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Comment from: Joma, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 30

In order to ease my bronchitis, I was put initially on 40 mg of prednisolone for 3 days. After a 3 day break and a consequent visit to the general physician, I was put on 30 mg for a further 5 days. Since the first doctor made quite clear not to extend the initial 3 days and upon reading the problems related to the steroids, I stopped the second cycle 'cold turkey' after only 3 days. That was 2 weeks ago and so far my days follow the following pattern. Feeling ok in the morning. By lunchtime I am starting to feel incredibly exhausted and tired, have cold shivers and tense up because of it. Then I have abdominal pains and headaches, and no appetite whatsoever. Towards the evening a fever of 39 degrees starts to build up, resulting in night sweats. Apart from that my period started half a month early.

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Comment from: Donna, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 17

I have been using a corticosteroid eye drop for several months, and a corticosteroid for a few weeks, and I suddenly quit taking them. I ran out of the eye drops, and the steroid inhaler I don't use all the time. And I started an exercise program at home, and I became sicker and sicker until I ended up in the hospital. I had very low blood pressure, and the doctor gave me 2 liters of saline, and when that failed to bring up my blood pressure, the doctor was baffled. I have no doubt that it is the steroid withdrawal, because all the symptoms are exactly like adrenal insufficiency, and I mean I was terribly sick, never felt so horrible in all my life, and that is no exaggeration! People need to be very careful with steroid withdrawal.

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Comment from: Chris, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 06

I was on prednisone for 10 days to relieve severe lower back inflammation as I cannot take NSAIDS (I am on blood thinners). Wow! That worked better than any pain killer I've ever used for my back pain. And being in my 60s, I have all kinds of joint pains elsewhere, which also disappeared while on this drug. It was wonderful! I felt like I was 30 again. But then the end came. I know I can't take it all the time, but it made me feel so like I want to feel. Able to do things, freedom from pain, full of energy. I really miss it. Except for one thing. After I stopped, I seem to have developed asthma. I had asthma all my life, but only when I got within 30 feet of hay, so it never bothered me after early childhood because I knew what to avoid. Now I'm having 2 or 3 asthma attacks a day, and no hay anywhere near me. I can't find any reference to this withdrawal symptom, so thought I'd mention it.

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