Patient Comments: Steroid Drug Withdrawal -Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with steroid drug withdrawal?

Comment from: Carolina, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I was on prednisone for 2 weeks. I was given it for a bronchial problem and cough due to mold. I already had minor joint pain especially in one knee but I noticed the joint pain in the knee and shoulders was gone. I thought this drug was wonderful! However after stopping the regimen the joint pain returned much greater than before. I mentioned this to the doctor and he suggested Tylenol. I now get a rash and nausea and mild diarrhea. I get a bloated feeling whenever I eat and cannot finish my meals. It has been three weeks and the joint pain in my knee and shoulder and wrists still continues. I can barely sleep without Tylenol.

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Comment from: Iowagal, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I tried to withdraw from prednisone use for almost 2 years. As I taper I experience extreme fatigue and weakness which contributes to muscle mass loss and depression due to deteriorating physical condition and inability to do normal physical activities. Each time when I must increase back to an immune suppressing dosage I experience a return of hot flashes and inability to sleep, in addition to listed side effects. Do not go on this drug unless you know your life is in danger otherwise. I was on it for a short time 2 weeks before I experienced dependency.

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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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