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Old 01-29-2008, 01:55 PM   #1
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Is there anything to help me sleep while on Prednisone?

In August of 2007 I began bruising to the point where it looked like I had been beaten severely. The slightest pressure on my body would bruise me. I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with ITP. At that point my platelet count went up and down between 20,000 and 25,000. He started me on a high dosage of Prednisone (steroids) and my counts seemed to be going up and my bruises started to go away. My doctor slowly tried taking me off of the Prednisone but my platelet counts kept dropping with the dosage. He gave me some options which included biotherapy (which are infusions of a medication called Rituximab) and a spleenectomy. I opted to start the biotherapy for fear of surgery. In between treatments my platelet count dropped to 7,000. I had a very strong headache, I couldn't keep anything in my stomach, and my body was covered in red dots (where it was bleeding inside). At that point I had to be hospitalized and I was forced to have a platelet transfusion to bring my count up. In the hospital I was given more steroids and pain medication because the headache would not go away. I finished the biotherapy treatment and started taking Prednisone again. My counts are stable now again but I am struggling with the side effects of the prednisone. I have gained weight weekly since I have taken the medication. I have changed my diet and started drinking more water but I still seem to gain weight. Does Prednisone make you retain water? I have a very hard time getting sleep at night as well. I feel tired but my mind does not shut down and go to sleep. I wake up feeling tired and the cycle goes on. My doctor suggested sleeping pills but I do not want to grow dependent on them. Is there anything out there that could help me go to sleep while I am on Prednisone?

 
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:32 AM   #2
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whatishappening HB User
Re: Is there anything to help me sleep while on Prednisone?

Hello. I am also on Prednisone 15 mg. a day. I find that taking "Melatonin" is a great natural way to sleep better ! You can find it at the health food stores. Just one pill a night works great for me. Good luck

 
Old 02-07-2008, 05:52 PM   #3
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Re: Is there anything to help me sleep while on Prednisone?

I don't know about the sleeping, but I do know as far as the weight gain goes it probably can't be helped. I asked my doctor and he said even if you taped your mouth shut and didn't eat anything, prednisone would still make you gain weight.

 
Old 02-14-2008, 06:21 AM   #4
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millym HB User
Re: Is there anything to help me sleep while on Prednisone?

hi
you have my sympathy, i was on high dose prednisolone ( 80mg) for autoimmune haemolytic anaemia twice last year & the effects the drug has on you are horrible. i put on 15kg even though the 2nd time i made a supreme effort not to overeat ( the pred makes you so so hungry all the time) you do retain water badly - i had gross swelling in my legs right up to my backside. i also was extremely 'manic' id get up at 6am & buzz around cleaning non stop ,( even though i had to keep stopping cos my red blood count was so low i could hardly move and i am not normally an early riser) i drove my husband mad!
are you taking your meds in the morning? there is less risk of sleep disturbances if you can take it early. i also found avoiding salt & salty foods helped a little with the water retention although it didnt go away. i also found on the high dose i woke up with severe pain in all my joints for hours & even strong analgesia didnt help, id be pacing the room in agony (couldnt sit,stand or lie comfortably it was hell) pred effects your joints,ligaments & muscles and you are at high risk of tears & sprains which wont heal quickly again cos of the drug (so be careful) i also developed the classic steroid 'moon face' where my face really puffed up, so not only had i stacked on the weight my face made it look as though i was even fatter than i was.
im now down to 10mg pred a day and slowly starting to lose the weight with a big big effort, ( so hard when you cant excercise vigourously because of my blood count being lowish) the best thing is though my puffy face has almost completely gone so at least i look like myself again.
i am also about to get rituximab.how did you find it?? any problems??

i wish you all the best, i hate hate hate being on prednisolone but i know without it at the moment i would be incapacitated & probably in hospital at least now i can work & live a normal life ( even if i cant fit into any of my clothes!!) good luck

 
Old 02-20-2008, 09:54 PM   #5
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Re: Is there anything to help me sleep while on Prednisone?

Hello,
May I ask how old you are? My son years back had out of control asthma, he was on 11 meds a day, one of them was predisone. He had to take the predison daily to help him breath, he was on preidosne for 9 months, when they tried to ween him off he became deathly ill and ended up in the hospital, from taking the predisone daily his adrenial glands had shut down, your brain signals your adrenal glands to release a natual steriod, well from taking the preisone daily, his adrenil glands got lazy and shut down, now he ended up with secondary addisons disease. He had a rough three years, he was 16 at the time it happened, we had to get home and hosipital tutoring for his education, it had taken us two years to get him off the predisone, it was a very slow weening off process but we didn't it with the help of an endocranoligst. Predione is a wonderful drug, it helps people in many ways but if your on it to long, there is a price to pay, I was unaware of it until it was basically to late, he ended up with some major health issue's, we had many hospital visits due to the secondary addisons disease. I always try to warn people becasue like I said, I had no idea that this could happen, no one told me if your on prediosne for a long period of time you most likey will get addisons disease, no one, no doctor or medical person said a thing, I just did what they told me to do and found out the hard way.
Karen W.

 
Old 02-21-2008, 01:33 PM   #6
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Question Re: Is there anything to help me sleep while on Prednisone?

One more thing, the reason I had asked about your age was because if you wanted to have children? Some people don't have a choice but to be on predison for a long time but I also feel that one should be educated to what the concequences are, don't mean to scare:confused you if I did.
Karen W.

 
Old 06-11-2008, 12:58 PM   #7
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Re: Is there anything to help me sleep while on Prednisone?

Marylou,
How are you doing now? Have you been able to taper prednisone.? I can tell you that if your platelet counts are above 20,000 you should slowly taper off your prednisone. ITP is a disease of remissions and exacerbations..like most of the autoimmune diseases. Steroids should be used to avoid an impending crises like platelet counts below 5000. Between 5000 and 20000 your platelet counts should be closely monitored. Yes, there is increased risk of bleeding with low counts but on the other hand there are short and long term side effects of medicines.. A lot of time just waiting it out can help.. it might take months even a year for remission but don't jump to splenectomy or cytotoxic drugs..

 
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