Here's the lead - up to last night's episode at the ER. It's kind of long but this history is what is concerning me about this drug.
I have had eczema and some allergic wheezing for the last two years or so. The eczema was really bad and even after allergy testing and stopping wearing make up I could not make the eczema stop. Even the dermatologists I had seen were unsucessful in clearing it. So, I started seeing an immunologist in hopes he could help me figure this out.
Well I think it kind of backfired- the immunologist I saw pegged me as having "atopic dermatitis". He gave me steroids for EVERYTHING. It seemed too frequent (like monthly at some points), but I trusted him, even though I was weary, because they were usually tapers down to 5mg over the course of 8 days or so (so starting w/ 40mg) and he insisted it would be fine. Well eventually, after almost a year of this routine, and 30 pounds later (!!), my eczema raging and seeming infected, I went back, concerned that the steroids had exacerbated an ongoing infection which was possibly making my eczema recur. He pooh pooed my concern about infection and he wouldn't test it - he just gave me steroids, which I didn't take, because I had already had enough weight gain and discomfort with few results.
I went to a new dermatologist a couple weeks later (this is now about a month ago, maybe 6 weeks) in the worst shape of my life with eczema, and she tested me, and lo and behold I had staph.
I was given keflex for 14 days which did a beautiful job clearing the eczema. I was sent away with some topicals and seemed to be doing okay for about a week off the keflex when I got sick with a flu like bug. I tried to rest it off, and developed a terrible cough that was not getting better so I went to Urgent Care last Monday, afraid of my previous immunologist. :( She diagnosed me with left lobar pneumonia and gave me a z-pak. She asked if I had asthma and I told her a doctor has told me yes but I'm not sure. She too gave me steroids, which I expressed concern about...so I didn't take them. I did take the zpak though.
yesterday (on my last day of zpak), my back became so painful when moving or coughing I was hunched over crying most of the day in pain. MY breathing seemed less tight than before the zpak but I didn't understand the pain so I went to the ER. They of course asked my history, which I told them reluctantly (because I dont trust the original guy that diagnosed me w/ asthma) and they gave me prednisone!! They took more xrays and came back saying that they thought this was inflammatory, and maybe not pneumonia. What?? I am so confused. I expressed my fear but promised I would try it. They gave me a breathing treatment and dilaudid IV for the unbearable pain and sent me home after dosing me with 40 mg of prednisone. I was given a perscription to start taking today at 20 mg twice daily (morning and night with food).
I gave it a try and did okay after this mornings initial 20 mg, but I am so hyped up after the second dose I really don't want to do this. my stomach is so upset it forced a BM, I am ridiculously thirsty (almost unquenchable), and I am really freaked out. I yelled at my husband for salting my food at dinner (please no more wieght gain, this cannot be good), and cannot seem to calm down. I feel awful and mean. I am so wired I cannot go to sleep. Considering there was no taper on this 5 day perscription from the ER can't I just stop now?
Any advice appreciated. I'm sorry if I sound arrogant I have just had a horrible experience w/ this drug and dont know who to trust. I feel like this diagnosis of "asthma" is a curse just causing docs to want to shove prednisone down my throat. They even un-diagnosed pneumonia and gave me more prednisone? this is very confusing and worrisome to me. :(
I really just want to stop taking the prednisone but dont know if that is dangerous.
Update - I made an appointment for another opinion with a pulmonary specialist that the ER doc reccomended. The new docs nurses ran my ask to stop the pred for now by her (new doc) and I get to stop for now. Thank god!! I didn't take any pred today and my jitters have just now stopped but my stomach is a mess.
I feel like I'm talking to myself here but at least I have a record of the experience written down now.
I am just so glad I'm done with prednisone for now. I'm going to start over with this doc and ask her to see if I really have asthma - I will let her induce an attack if that's what it takes to be sure I need to be treated as an asthmatic.
I don't usually write to these message boards, but I couldn't help but feel your pain and frustration. I too have been diagnosed with asthma and have been on prednisone for 6 years off and on. I am not convinced that I have asthma, but the only thing taht seems to treat my symptons (a chronic cough) is prednsosone. I have gained 50 lbs and am really worried about what this drug is doing to me. I have found a new Dr. who has a theory that my symtpons are stress related and not a respitory problem. He is trying to wean my off the prednisone and at the same time treat my for stress and anxiety issues. I think he may be on to somehint, but it is too soon to tell. Anyway, I wish you the best and just wanted you to know that you are not alone out there! jadie888
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