Patient Comments: Steroid Drug Withdrawal -Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with steroid drug withdrawal?

Comment from: Js1747, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 03

I am currently tapering off prednisone after being on it at varying doses (up to 60 mg) for several years due to Crohn's disease. My doctor has me decreasing by just 1 mg every 1 to 2 weeks. The longer you are on steroids the harder it is for your adrenal glands to figure out that they have to do the work again, so he says. I'm told that until your adrenal glands are making cortisol again, you may experience withdrawal that can be made worse by stress since your adrenals make more cortisol in response to stress. Regardless of how slowly I am tapering, I am experiencing horrible fatigue and muscle and joint pain. I am also irritable and my hormones are all screwed up; my period starts and stops and I have pimples. I also get lightheaded when I stand up sometimes. I can't wait for this to be over.

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Comment from: sirene1127, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 24

I take prednisone for lupus (SLE), and sacroiliitis. I have been on 10 mg for 5 years. This past month I got the wrong pills for my prescription and for 30 days I took 20 mg daily. My rheumatologist has me tapering back to 10 mg and I am experiencing extreme fatigue and irritability. It is the moodiness and irritability that affects me more than the fatigue.

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Comment from: CR, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 13

I was on 40 mg per day of prednisone for only 10 days to treat a blocked sinus. I stopped taking prednisone abruptly. The second day after stopping, I woke up very groggy, with blurred vision and light headedness. When the symptoms did not go away during the morning, I checked my blood pressure (BP) and found that it was 20 points lower (100/55) on both numbers for what is normal for me. My BP kept jumping around. I went to the emergency room (ER) and was given a 20 mg dose of prednisone and sent home with a prescription for 10 mg for the next three days. Today, I am having body and muscles aches.

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Comment from: PERICARDITIS, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: July 14

I was treated for four months with prednisone, which induced hyperglycemia, for which I had to be placed on insulin I had also an increase in blood pressure readings. But what is worse is when I discontinued the prednisone have had many symptoms, mostly CNS (central nervous system), blurred vision, aches and pains, severe weakness, insomnia (more than the one produced by the prednisone itself), and panic attacks that I never had before in my life. Definitely withdrawal of prednisone is worse than the benefits.

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Comment from: , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

I had been on prednisone for 8 months for temporal arteritis. My dosage began with 60 mg a day for 2 months and my doctor then started tapering down 10 mg a month. I am currently on 5 mg a day. Each time about a week after my dosage was lowered, I experience weakness, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, headache and feeling like I had the flu. After about a week, my symptoms get better but never actually go away.

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Comment from: pixie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I've been on 50 mg of prednisolone daily for almost four weeks. My normal doctor is on holiday and the stand-in refused to give me any more. I'm getting side effects, wonder if this is because of the sudden stopping. I have headaches, shakes, terrible spots that bleed, diarrhea, urinary problems, stiff aching joints, and flu like symptoms.

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Comment from: Iamtwo2blessed, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 23

I have been taking prednisone for 18 years nonstop. The minimum dose being 20 mg and the maximum 80 mg. The side effects that I experience are slow healing, thin skin, heavy clotty menstrual cycles, easy and frequent bruising, frequent and painful muscle spasms, severe heart burn and acid reflux, and stomach cramps and high blood sugars. Occasionally my doctor tries to taper me off but is not successful. The symptoms I experience during tapering are headaches, wheezing, shortness of breath, acne, more painful muscle spasms, change in menstrual cycle but still clotty, weakness, nausea, stomach aches, change in blood sugars (low blood sugars), low blood pressure, and feeling fatigue.

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