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  • Did Prednisone make my Addison's worse??

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    Old 08-19-2003, 03:09 PM   #1
    nate930
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    Question Did Prednisone make my Addison's worse??

    Hey all!

    I stopped taking Prednisone about two months ago (I took it for a little more than a month. I replaced it with Hydrocortisone which I stopped about two weeks later. Since then, my hair has been falling out and I've been much more fatigued than usual. Could the drugs actually make my Addison's worse??

    Thank you
    nate

     
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    Old 08-19-2003, 11:30 PM   #2
    orion
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    If you have Addisons, you can never stop taking hydrocortisone and/or prednisone or you will die. So yeah, stopping will make you feel worse til you drop dead in a pretty short time. Since you are still alive, two weeks later, I wonder what kind of Addisons you have?



     
    Old 08-26-2003, 12:45 PM   #3
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    Whether or not you have Addison's, why not google prednizone and the other drug? I always heard if you went off prednizone suddenly, you'd die, that you have to taper off gradually. I don't know if the other hormone saved you or what. Keep us posted, okay? We are all learning a lot. You might save yourself and someone else as well.

     
    Old 08-26-2003, 05:10 PM   #4
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    I had no idea that you would drop dead if you weren't taking some sort of cortisone. I've been mysteriously ill for 10 years and just recently found out my adrenals don't work so well. They don't produce enough cortisol and I just found out today that I barely make DHEA (a hormone that your adrenals produce). We're still waiting for the Pregnelone results. My doctor doesn't want me taking Prednisone, personally, I don't want to either. It didn't help me at all, I felt my body responding negatively to the Pred and hydrocortisone. So she has me on adrenal glandulars, siberian ginseng, and now I'll be taking DHEA.

    Could I possibly not have Addison's disease and still have adrenal insufficiency. I have so many symptoms related to the problem.

    Thank you,
    nate

    [This message has been edited by nate930 (edited 08-26-2003).]

     
    Old 08-27-2003, 11:34 AM   #5
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    You need cortisol to live. That is an absolute. I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency 11 years ago- after feeling like hell for months. I was being IV fed and was in and out of the hospital before they figured out just what the heck was wrong with me. (I could not keep anything in my stomach- it all came back up).

    It is a very serious problem and yes you can die.

    The answer is cortisol replacement and the primary way most of us with this problem achieve that is with one of the various cortisone meds that are out there. Some come with side effects for some of us and others not. I have heard of the glandulars but never tried them myself.

    I have gone several days without my Cortisone before (why doesn't matter) and I started going downhill... fatigue, weakness primarily. The Dr. told me that it could take a couple of weeks before I lapsed into a coma with very little chance of return.

    Could be that you body is still producing a small amount so you didn't experience that fate. After taking replacements for a while- that will no longer be the case.

    Don't mess around with it. Orion's right- you'll most likely be looking at a short life span if this is what you have.

    Adrenal Insufficiency is not exactly Addisons but my endo used the term interchangeably as they are so very close. The affects are the same.

    Best of luck to you. There is a lot of uncharted territory involved in this disease.

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    Old 08-28-2003, 09:54 AM   #6
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    OK, you guys are scaring the crud out of me!! But explain why I have felt bad for 10 years and never took cortisones and didn't die??

    nate

     
    Old 08-28-2003, 11:41 AM   #7
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    Nate:

    Sorry- was not my intention to put the fear of God into you. More so it was my intention to emphasize that cortisol replacements are nothing to fool around with.

    Why have you been feeling bad for 10 years and not died? I'm not a Dr. but I know I felt pretty bad for a long time before I felt "bad enough" for the Drs. to start looking for something like an adrenal problem. One guess they had for me was that I was borderline for a long time and then my 1st pregnancy finally caused things to really start to shut down. It would explain why I felt so bad for a long time but with "vague" symptoms, never anything specific that they could find.

    Even had one tell me it was all in my head. Boy would I like to bump into her someday!

    I really am sorry about scaring you. You don't need that on top of feeling so awful. Just keep pressing- keep pressing for an answer. It's out there- it's just hidden right now.


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    Old 08-28-2003, 02:03 PM   #8
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    PVC,

    My situation is very similiar to yours. I felt "crummy" for years, but it wasn't until I had my son 3 years ago that I really started to feel bad. I guess pregnancies can be hard on the adrenals.

    I'm going to talk with my endo Tuesday. Hopefully, she can help me with the cortisone issue. I had a really hard time taking Prednisone and hydrocortisone. Oh well, we'll see!!

    Thank you for you help!
    nate

     
    Old 08-28-2003, 03:04 PM   #9
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    -

    [This message has been edited by itskt2u (edited 08-28-2003).]

     
    Old 08-28-2003, 03:05 PM   #10
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    When I first took HC I had to start out at a very low dose, 1mg and worked up to 20 over a period of several days (probably was over a week). Initially started the first day at 5mg and what a mistake as I had an anxiety reaction to it... so next day I started out very low dose by dissolving the HC in a few cc of water! I do just fine on it now. I had to do the same thing when I first started on DHEA. Maybe starting very low might help you, too?

     
    Old 11-05-2003, 06:39 AM   #11
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    Q. re Post #5, PVS

    PVS, In one paragraph of a reply, you said,

    "Could be that your body is still producing a small amount so you didn't xperience that fate (coma after a couple of wks w/out meds, no return).
    After taking replacements for a while, that will no longer be the case."

    You mean taking replacements totally shuts off what little production you might still have? My father was on prednizone for emphysema for several years, and when in a hospital for a heart attack, a doctor took him off prednizone suddenly, and he died. May have had adrenal problem. Since then, everyone I've heard say they took prednizone knew you don't go off it suddenly, something they were told going in.

    What would you do, ask for another doctor, in such a case?

    Last edited by Eagle; 11-06-2003 at 11:28 AM.

     
    Old 11-05-2003, 07:42 AM   #12
    HeatherW
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nate930
    OK, you guys are scaring the crud out of me!! But explain why I have felt bad for 10 years and never took cortisones and didn't die??

    nate
    Nate,

    2 Things here. If your adrenally insufficient you must have cortisone to survive. You can live years without much or any unless you come to a crisis. I am not saying you can live well here as you will hover on the edge. If you go into crisis without sufficient and extra cortisol you can and will die. Cortisol is the stress hormone all bodies (except our) produce.. .. Cortisol brings our boides out of stressful situations and shock. Stressful situations include but are not limited to : illness, phisical injury, and emotional stress. Next anyone taking any type of cortisol simulating medication is also repressing any adrenal function they may have. In effect by taking Prednisone you have shut down any function they did in fact have. You are adrenally insufficeint at this time regardless of what the test results have said in the past even if you were actually in the clear. Pred and other drugs like it (Hydrocortisone, cortef, dexamethesone, medrol, and Pred) must be tapered off of. By slowly tapering yourself off these drugs, if your adrenals were ok to start with, you should be able to restart them. Until such a time you are in danger of a crisis. You may in fact cause a crisis by quitting cold turkey.

    Now I have not told you this to scare the crap out of you. But it is imparative to speak to a doctor about this. Preferrably not the one who told you to quit like that. Please educate yourself about all of this. Learn as much as you can. If you do have Adrenal Insufficiency this means your life is on the line for someone to make a mistake like that. PS it is managable as I have had it for 28 years now. Also if the pred and HC did not work for you then you can still try one of the other meds there is one that should be suitable to you. Take care HeatherW..

     
    Old 11-06-2003, 11:33 AM   #13
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    Amen to That.

    What should a patient and/or their family do, ask for another doctor, if in a hospital in serious condition when a doctor wants to take them off prednisone suddenly? Happened to my father and he died. Almost immediately. Our fam didn't know what to do. I wasn't even there, since my mother tried to be optimistic and thought he'd be okay and I had small children, in another state.
    Anyway, I wouldn't have known most patients are told when they start prednizone that you don't stop it suddenly.

    Maybe that's true of a lot of medicines? Be careful, suspicious, and Good luck.
    I agree, don't ask the one who wanted you to do that. Paranoia keeps us alive sometimes. I'd change doctors for sure and say nothing.

     
    Old 11-06-2003, 02:07 PM   #14
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    Hi Eagle-

    Yes- That is what I meant. If you start taking cortisone artificially (ie- tablets, injections) then your body can interpret that it doesn't need to produce any on its own. THEN- if you suddenly stop taking the meds, your body can't recover fast enough. Since you need cortisol to survive- it can be a quick descent. I don't believe it would happen after just a couple of missed doses- I have missed a couple of days before and what I usually feel most is fatigue. In someone that is very sick I'm not sure how quickly it could affect them.

    I have been told whenever I am in the hospital the Dr. to speak with is an Endocrinologist as many of the others don't fully understand the effects of being cortisone dependent. If you are unsure of what a Dr. tells you- there should be no harm in asking for another opinion.

    I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your father.

    PVS



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eagle
    What should a patient and/or their family do, ask for another doctor, if in a hospital in serious condition when a doctor wants to take them off prednisone suddenly? Happened to my father and he died. Almost immediately. Our fam didn't know what to do. I wasn't even there, since my mother tried to be optimistic and thought he'd be okay and I had small children, in another state.
    Anyway, I wouldn't have known most patients are told when they start prednizone that you don't stop it suddenly.

    Maybe that's true of a lot of medicines? Be careful, suspicious, and Good luck.
    I agree, don't ask the one who wanted you to do that. Paranoia keeps us alive sometimes. I'd change doctors for sure and say nothing.
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    Old 11-10-2003, 11:16 PM   #15
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    There is a great book out there called "The Safe Uses of Cortisol" written by William Jefferies, a noted, now retired, endocrinologist from the University of Virginia. This particular doctor wrote about his successful use of "NATURAL" cortisol compounds as opposed to the artificially manufactured derivatives such as prednisone. If you are cortisol deficient, then you'll need cortisol to survive, but why destroy your body with all of the long term side effects of a drug like prednisone when there are better less harmful substances available? Yes, with a natural cortisol drug you would need to take it in smaller doses, and more often during the day . . . a small price to pay with the horrific side effects of prednisone as an alternative. If you are on long term drugs like prednisone, then perhaps you should be asking "WHY"

     
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