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Nebraska Lady 03-23-2005 10:32 AM

Prednisone change to Cortef
Afer being diagnosed with Addison's in May, 2004, had been taking a low dose of 2.5mg Prednisone along with Florinef, Synthroid, Prempro. Anyway my new Endo comfirmed the diagnosis of Addison's and changed me to 30 mg of Cortef, 20 in the morning and 10 in the afternoon. I took my twenty this morning and have major energy - something really different! What do you think? It seems like a big change to make all at once to me.

sadie-mae 03-23-2005 12:53 PM

Re: Prednisone change to Cortef
Hi Nebraska Lady!

I'm happy the cortef is working better for you. It seems to be the drug of choice in most cases because it is the most similar to what your own body makes.

One thing to ask your doctor about is the dose he has you on. I think the standard dose to match what your body would make is 20mg of cortef per day. The less you take that still lets you feel good, the better-to avoid side effects like muscle weakness, jt pain, weight gain and osteoporosis. It is easier to start lower and work up than vice versa. My husband is panhypopituitary (his pituitary failed and he has Addison's, too) and he takes 15mg in the morning and 5 in the afternoon. When he gets sick, he increases the dose as needed.

I always hate to read about people who are put on too much and then have to wean back down again. It's painful.

Again, congratulations on the cortef and see if others will weigh in with thoughts on the dosing. You may also want to do a search online about Addison's and cortef and see what doses pop up most frequently. Enjoy the high---I know my husband was walking on a cloud the first day he took his cortef!! He finally felt human again!


gettin' better 03-23-2005 04:17 PM

Re: Prednisone change to Cortef
I take 20 mg. of Cortef per day: 10 in the morning, 5 at 1 p.m. and 5 at 5 p.m. That is plenty for me, so I agree your dose might be too high. You want to aim for the lowest possible dose that controls your Addison's symptoms, as too much has side effects. If you have trouble sleeping, I would say you are on too much. You should discuss with your doctor the possibility of scaling down a bit. You can always go back up if you find that 20 is too little for you. Everyone is different.

WandaB 03-23-2005 06:30 PM

Re: Prednisone change to Cortef
Nebraska Lady, The docs read in the text book that we should have 30mg a day. That is what they started me on....45 pounds later I learned from people on addisons forums that the max dose of 30mg might cause weight gain & a puffy face. My endo should have cut my dose when he saw how much I had gained. Anyway I tapered myself slowly by 2.5mg at a time with a couple weeks in between tapers.

With that big a change you should be eating everything in sight. Would have made good sense to start you on 20mg & increase if necessary.

When taking hydrocortisone (like cortef only different fillers) I take 5mg at 6am, get up about 7 or 7:30, take another 5mg, 5mg about noon & 5mg about 5pm. At the moment I am taking 5mg prednisone, split 3 times.

Take care,

Nebraska Lady 03-24-2005 03:10 PM

Re: Prednisone change to Cortef
Thanks everybody for the reply. These boards are great. So far so good, not too hungry and not gaining weight yet, so we'll see. Nebraska Lady

PunyDeb 03-27-2005 03:55 AM

Re: Prednisone change to Cortef
I've never understood why they give prednisone for adrenal insufficiency instead of Cortef (hydrocortisone) anyway. The risks (side effects) are so much greater with the prednisone. Look it up! I'm glad you're doing better. I only take 15 mg of Cortef in the AM and 5 in the PM, but I only weigh a shade over 100 pounds. They originally started me on 30 mg in the AM and 15 in the PM, and I had side effects. Once I switched endos and they dropped my dose, I did much better.

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