Prednisone (Thread 192396)

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Pat Kienholz Says:


My husband died in our living room and I called 911. He was revived after they broke 3 ribs and had a major surgery and was hospitalized for weeks. When I panic I get short of breath. After Bill (husband) was taken to the hospital I had a panic attack and couldn't breathe. I called 911 and ended up in the hospital myself. At no time did anyone ask me about my history, what happened or anything. They just began giving me Prednisone. I had no idea what it was and took it. The take-down dose when I left the hospital was 20 mgms. three times a day for a certain period, then 10 mgms for another period and now I am down to 5 mgms per day and have been taking it for over a year. The hospital refuses to tell me what the dosage was when I was hospitalized but because of the 60 mgm daily take-down dose I know it must have been a great deal. All my life I have had shortness of breath when I panic but no one ever asked me. No history of any kind was ever taken...I was just given the Prednisone. On top of that, when I was released from the hospital the doctor who had been treating me refused to see me any longer and told me to find another doctor. At that point in time I did not realize the damage that had been done and I wrote him a letter telling him I did not blame him. In retrospect, I now realize that he knew he had overdosed me with Prednisone and he was afraid to do anything else so he simply refused to see me any longer. I can only imagine that the hospital dosage must have been huge and by the time I had reduced the dosage to 5 mgms daily the damage was done. A side effect of this medication is that I have lost my short term memory. The loss was immediate after taking the medication. I have to write everything down and post notes near wherever I happen to be working or sitting so that I don't forget to do anything, i.e., put the bread in to bake when it is raised enough. I have always been a very smart and alert person and I am now a woman who can no longer remember anything for more than a minute or two...and then the memory is gone. There are those who think this was caused by my age (I was 73 then) but I can assure you I was not then, and am not now, the least bit senile. This medication caused an almost overnight loss of short term memory to the point where it frightens me. I will be 75 in August and no longer drive simply because I think that old people cause accidents because their driving skills deteriorate with age. In addition to this, I now have a problem with my hands shaking. Most of the time the shaking is so bad I cannot write. My penmanship is a disaster. I have been given a tranquilizer for the shaking and it works to a point but I can no longer do many of the things I was able to do prior to the administration of the Prednisone. I do not look upon these problems as being those of aging because the onset was too sudden...and it immediately followed the high dosage of the Prednisone I was given in the hospital. To be perfectly truthful, whatever the dosage was when I was hospitalized, it enabled me to walk around, breath easily, and not tire. However, after a very short period of this feeling of wellbeing the other symptoms began to appear in rapid order. I have never been told what the dosage was while I was hospitalized and nothing appeared on the billing giving any indication. I would love to be able to take a subtitute for this drug but I am told there is not one. I do not like taking it but have found that I can no longer function without it. Changes in the weather have an effect on my breathing also. During the rainy season I have a much harder time than in the summer as long as the humidity is not too high. The more moisture there is in the air, the harder it is for me to breathe. I have been told that now that I am taking this medication I cannot stop and must continue with it as long as I live. I have to take vitamins to decrease the osteoporosis which I now have getting worse. Worst of all, I think, is that this medication causes depression and I find I have to fight that constantly. Surely there must be something I could take that would not destroy my life as Prednisone has done.



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Pat Kienholz Says:

In addition to what I've already stated, I have gained 20 lbs and have not been able to lose it. I eat one meal a day (breakfast) and occasionally dinner (not often). During the day I drink Diet Coke and occasionally eat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. In no way am I overeating...but I still have lost no weight. Our dog, Bear, also likes the Reese's so he gets some of every pack I open so I'm really not eating an entire pack...lol. I am at a loss to explain this and was hoping someone else might have an answer. Also, I do not drink alcohol except on occasion. In the summer my husband and I go to a patio restaurant and take Bear. We usually have two drinks and go home. That is the entire intake of alcohol for me. We do not drink at home. In the winter we do not drink at all as we live in Spokane, WA and it's just to cold to sit outside anywhere. We do not party at all and during the winter we rarely have anything alcoholic to drink. Both of us drink Diet Coke and/or coffee. In the mornings I have a slice of toast for breakfast with a glass of Slim Fast (not for the diet part but because I like the taste of it..lol). I'm a chocoholic and eat some every day. We both smoke. That's it.

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JJH Says:

It sounds like you're on the prednisone to help with your breathing. The VERY best thing you could do to try and get off prednisone and any other medicine for your lungs is to quit smoking (both of you!). Even still, there are other newer medicines to manage lung ailments such as asthma, COPD, emphazema, etc. You really need to get yourself a new pulmonary doctor, maybe a young one who might be more familiar with the newer treatments available. And ask him to give you your specific diagnosis as well, so you can keep up on new treatments yourself via the internet! Good luck!

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linda Says:

I also lived in spokane. Are you still here? Would like to talk to you! I take prednisone also for over 30 years please reply.

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Arlene K Says:

I have been on this medication also, quite a few times for Crohn's Disease, but not such a high dosage. I did not want to take it any more because of the side effects. My doctor has now put me on Entacort, which is a steroid type drug, but doesn't have all the side effects. You may want to talk to your doctor about this alternative. Maybe it will work for you. Good luck and hope you get to feeling better!

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Greg Says:

Seems to me, as a pulmonary patient taking prednisone, that your side effects, both short and long term, are pretty common and should have been revealed to you with the info sheet from your pharmacist. The loss of short term memory is one thing I have begun to realize recently but it's one that I was warned of awhile back and I am disappointed in that. However, all of the side effects considered, and I have had this conversation with more than one Pulmonary Physician, is that the panicthat I suffer when I cannot breathe is a quick trade-off if it will allow me to either prevent or quell the immediate inflammation that allows me to breathe as normally as I can.
Let me make clear to all that read this. Not all breathing issues are due to smoking. I'm so tired of hearing questions, an assumptions lead to, that smoking was your mistake. My breathing issues were caused by an industrial incident that left me with an incurable lung disease that will eventually be my demise. Giving people smoking advice is both useless and sometimes demoralizing to patients of whom may be suffering from something far removed from tobacco.

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dawn Says:
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Does prednisone let you urine a lot,I found myself rushing to the bathroom often.

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