Taking steroids for ulcerative colitis is very common. Most of the other UC patients that I have met have been treating their ulcerative colitis with prednisone at some point in time. It turns out that prednisone is one of the older drugs that exists for treatment of UC symptoms.
Like any medication for any disease, the big question most people have is what can be expected after you begin taking the medicine? It’s a great question, and one that usually has a unique answer for everyone. I think that if we gathered 100 UC people, we might get close to 100 different answers to the question on how did prednisone treatment go. But this is nothing to be alarmed about. Medications just have an interesting way of affecting people in different ways.
Some frequently asked questions about prednisone and as you can see they are often about the side effects:
How do you get rid of facial hair from prednisone? The majority of people get rid of facial hair when you are finished with tapering off prednisone. Although facial hair growing especially on women can be very annoying, it does go away when the prednisone is over.
Does prednisone cause problems with your teeth and make them decay? For some people, prednisone can cause severe tooth sensitivity. This is likely due to the prednisone eating away at the calcium in the teeth and bones. Definitely talk to your doctor about what you can do to reduce the tooth discomfort that it can cause to some people. Some doctors recommend a calcium supplement while taking steroids/prednisone.
How fast does prednisone work for ulcerative colitis? For each person this answer is different. Much depends on how severe the flare up was before taking steroids, but also the amount of prednisone in the dose also can make a big difference. Some patients report that their UC symptoms have gotten better within as little as one day after starting a course of corticosteroids. For other people it may take several days for the medication to take effect and reduce symptoms.
Is Uceris better than prednisone? One of the main reasons people consider uceris vs prednisone is due to the reported lower side effect profile of uceris. Some people have reported better results with uceris, others with prednisone. It really is a case by case situation.
Does prednisone make you poop? Not usually. It is not something that is recommended to get rid of constipation.
Will you get moon face from prednisone? Not everybody who is taking prednisone will end up with moon face. There are some interesting details on personal experiences with moon face in the prednisone survey here.
How do you taper off it? Talk with your doctor about the best taper schedule for you if you are taking prednisone. It is unique for everyone but it is absolutely essential to taper on a timeline that your doctor has prescribed. You can become very sick and vulnerable if you taper off incorrectly.
Does steroid prednisone make you moody? Some people will notice(or more likely, their friends and family will notice) that a persons mood and temper can change when taking a moderate or high dose of steroids. Although it can be awful, it is not uncommon so don’t be totally alarmed if you start acting a bit off from your daily normalness. Maybe it would be best if you told your close acquaintances that you are potentially going to be acting like a different person so they are warned.
From my personal experiences, I can remember the first day I took prednisone for my colitis. It was right after I had my colonoscopy and was diagnosed with the disease. We went to the pharmacy and picked up the steroid pills, and I immediately popped two 10mg pills in my mouth. The taste was definitely not very pleasant. Prednisone is one of those pills that you want to swallow quickly and not leave in your mouth for long because it tastes nasty. But anyways, I can remember how within about an hour, all of a sudden I had an incredible amount of energy, and I told my wife I thought I was cured from the disease. It’s true, the prednisone gave me a huge burst of energy and my pains in my abdomen seemed to go away instantly. This was strange, especially since I had been dealing with 10 plus bloody bowel movements per day for quite a while, but at the same time it seemed like a miracle was happening.
Well, after a few more hours, it turned out I was just on a quick and temporary “steroid high”. So, no, my disease did not miraculous go away that time. The steroids did give me more energy to some degree. They also raised my appetite a little bit, which was good as I was loosing quite a bit of weight with the active colitis I was dealing with. As for an interesting side effect from the prednisone, I was one of those cases who had a hard time sleeping at night while on a high dose of the medication. And by high dose I mean 30mg and more. At my peak, I was up to 60mg/day of prednisone. I think the difficulty sleeping was the worst thing that happend to me from the medication. Other people I have talked with have reported a side effect known as “moon face” where your face gets all puffed out from the steroids. I know this sounds horrible, and I am sure it is hard to cope with along with UC, but everyone has also reported that the moon face goes away once you end the use of the steroids, which is at least good to know if that happens to you.
Of course, I think the biggest question everyone has is when do you see results with the steroids? That’s a tough question to answer. Some people who have taken steroids for UC with very mild symptoms have said they noticed their inflammation going down within one to two weeks. Other people have had different cases where they started with more severe colitis, and the drugs worked, but over a longer period of time. It really just depends on each persons case. The good news is, steroids do definitely work for some people, and that is why doctors prescribe them.
Be sure to ask your doctor about potential side effects from the medications like insomnia, and weight gain, moon face, and anything else. This way, if you do experience some side effects, you won’t be as alarmed.
One side note, I definitely remember several doctors saying that the tiny red dots that once appeared all over my back, literally thousands of them was called steroid acne, Jen calls it backne. And they attributed it all to the steroids I was taking at the time. And yes, it all went away once I discontinued the drugs.
So go read through the comments below and when you are ready you can read the prednisone reviews submitted on this page.
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I started site and the eNewsletter(you can join that below) shortly after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in October of 2008 with severe pancolitis (when my whole colon was inflamed).
For me, it was a very rough start with severe symptoms. Getting bounced from medication to medication was not easy or too helpful. But, I did meet another UC’er, changes several parts of my diet, and of course the rest is history.
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