Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Day #1 after finishing prednisone burst

Today was my first day without prednisone after taking it for 8 days - 30 mg the first day and 50 mg each day for a week. It was for a really rapid and severe asthma exacerbation which started with a dreadful cold on St. Patrick's Day. Now, 12 days after the cold started, I think think the prednisone has done the trick. My breathing feels more or less normal. Highest reading is still 320. Hoping for 420 soon.

I stopped cold turkey as I nearly always do. Short bursts of prednisone normally don't require tapering to lower doses because your adrenal glands keep working for a couple of weeks despite taking prednisone. If you take it longer than that, the glands tend to stop working normally - so you have to taper. Stopping prednisone suddenly after a long treatment can cause something called an adrenal crisis - when your body is lacking hormones and you feel truly terrible. This has never happened to me.  Prednisone clears your body within 24 hours of the last dose - so the withdrawal is related to changes in your adrenal system not the prednisone itself.

I am having minor withdrawal symptoms today - including shaking/vibrating and feeling weak in the legs. I actually felt like that the last couple of days I was taking it so am not sure how that fits in. I would like to paint but hands are not steady enough -  Instead I have been cutting a few things for my collage and working on websites. My emotions never got too out of whack with this burst - neither depressed nor euphoric and I feel pretty calm and reasonable now. I went on a good  walk with the dog this afternoon - at least a couple of km with a fair bit of elevation - something I could definitely not do during my exacerbation. I took it slow and think I feel better for it.

My right side rib cage still hurts when I have a phlegmy cough - but fortunately coughs have become pretty uncommon - just a few times a day. I made an appointment to see my GP about my ribcage but can't get an appointment until next week. Maybe it will be better by then.

Checked my records and think this is about the 12th prednisone burst I have taken in my life. I had one in 2004 when I was in Australia and a couple over the next few years. Then 4 in 2013, 2 in 2014 and 2 last year. Xolair is supposed to prevent the kind of inflammation that requires prednisone so I wonder if it's just not working or I need to take more. I get my next injection tomorrow.

Lovely Lexy - our cocker spaniel - to whom I am gratefully not allergic.

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