I was on long term prednisone to treat another existing condition. After surgery I was weaned off, and within a couple of weeks went into terrible fatigue, along with many other symptoms. I had many tests done along with ACTH test, and the specialist said that my adrenal gland was asleep because it was relying on prednisone to do it's job. He wasn't sure if it was permanently asleep or just temporarily.
He put me back on prednisone..10 mg..then slowly weaned me down to 7 1/2 mg, then to 5 mg...I was to try to slowly wean down from the 5mg....when I first went back on, it was if my life was changed, the fatigue went away, and the tied up pain and stiffness I had in my muscles left within a day or two. I felt my best on 7 &1/2 mg. When I went down to 5 mg, some of the symptoms came back, although it was tolerable. When I tried to go under 5mg (eg..4 mg) the terrible fatigue set in again, and the pain and stiffness as well. After trying this several times and not succeeding, the doctor diagnosed me with a permanent sleeping adrenal and told me not to try to wean down again but to remain on the 5mg permanently.
I find when I'm under stress, I feel that terrible fatigue and stiffness setting in regardless of the 5 mg, and think I should be on slightly more atleast temporarily, yet my doctor won't increase it. My question, if I ask for another ACTH test, will taking the 5 mg of prednisone daily affect the results of this test and show it to be sufficient.. or if it's insufficient will it show up regardless of the medication I'm taking?
I've been on prednisone for aprox 20 + years. During flares of an existing condition...short term of anywhere from 10-15 mg to get symptoms under control...otherwise daily maintaining at 5 mg.
No CT scan of adrenal gland.
My GI tried to taper me first...with 5mg...then half of that...for a month and a half ...never did get beyond that without having symptoms so had to be put back on 10..then 7.5 then 5mg. Tried more than once...
My Reumatologist...also tried 10 mg for 4 weeks...then 7.5 for 3 weeks then ...then 5mg for 4 weeks..and then I was handed back to my Family physician to do further tapering..
My Family doctor prescribed 1 mg prednisone tabs, so I took ....5 mg one day, and 4.5 mgs the next for several weeks and came back with symptoms so couldn't go on..this was tried more than once...so had to go back to 5 mgs daily...seems I am symptomatic at even 1/2 mg less then 5.
Yes, I am taking the whole 5mg in the morning...I was able to wean down to that, but anything lower causes wipeout symptoms, muscle pain etc.....
I wonder what would suggest to your doctor that your adrenals should work again. 20 years is a very long time to be taking prednisone even for short periods. I would think your adrenals have atrophied long ago & that you have adrenal insufficiency because of it. Just my opinion. There are many many people who have had their adrenals shut down because of using steroids for one thing or another for a much shorter period. Nasal & steroid asthma sprays included.
You might do better by taking 4mg in the morning & 1mg about 4 or 5pm. I used this dose for a couple years. Even taking that 1mg earlier in the afternoon if you have trouble sleeping would be better than taking all 5 at once. Going from one morning to the next a long time between doses.