Patient Comments: Steroid Drug Withdrawal -Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with steroid drug withdrawal?

Comment from: CarolAnn, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: February 14

My husband was put on prednisone (gradually increasing the dosage until he was taking 60 mg per day) for myasthenia gravis. He remained on 60 mg per day for approximately 2 months and that put the myasthenia into remission. Then he began the weaning process. When he weaned by decreasing 5 mg per week, to the 50 mg level he began experiencing many steroid withdrawal symptoms; fatigue, lightheadedness, weakness in his legs, brain fogginess, orthostatic hypotension, foot and ankle edema, fine tremors in his hands. After consulting his neurologist he was advised to continue weaning at 5 mg less each week. He is now at 40 mg per day. He is still having weakness, lethargy and foot and ankle edema as well as shortness of breath. Doctor wants him down to 30 mg per day before he sees him again. Meanwhile, his primary care physician has taken him off blood pressure medications and is checking out any possible cardiac involvement since my husband does have a pacemaker. This is a very disheartening state of affairs. We keep getting told by neurologist this is not from prednisone but we are pretty sure that prednisone has a great deal to do with how lousy he is feeling.

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Comment from: Rosie, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 24

My husband is experiencing severe migraines after a 3 week course of prednisone. I wonder how long the withdrawal symptoms last.

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Comment from: Kit Kat, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 24

Due to chigger bites I was given a prednisone shot and then put on 40 mg daily oral. I was not given a reduced dosing and within 48 hours of the last 20 mg pill my withdrawal symptoms started. I am also hypersensitive to any drugs to begin with. I ended up the emergency room (ER) 72 hours after the last dose, with severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, passing blood, anxiety, dizziness, dehydration, fatigue and brain fog. The ER did not class it as withdrawal and sent me home with intestinal remedies for gastritis. Today, 5 days since the last dose I am still suffering with most of the above symptoms and my digestive and intestinal system is still not working properly. I have an appointment with my doctor tonight to possibly give me something to counteract the withdrawal symptoms. From now on, no prednisone!

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Comment from: alegrdl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I also am on prednisone 5 mg, for rheumatoid arthritis. I have gained a lot of weight, it's not from so much eating; it is the medicine that has me swollen. I decided to take myself off the steroid too, and I'm also going through withdrawals. I have bad headaches and joint pain, what everyone is going through to detox from this medication. I'm tired of feeling like this, and I refuse to go back on it. I also still exercise every day and after all the work I have done I still look chubby. I need to feel better.

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Comment from: suzieQ, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 19

My husband was on 4 mg of a steroid drug for 4 months due to spinal stenosis. He acted kind of hyper-euphoric at the beginning. Then he developed the moon face. He has been weaning off for the last 2 weeks and has been having a terrible time with many of the symptoms listed in this article including muscle weakness, tiring easily, light headedness, and now today, fever. I read here that they don't know how each dose effects different people. My husband has a very sensitive system and I will not allow any doctor to prescribe long term steroids in the future! This stuff is dangerous.

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