Doctor wants me off prednisone, what else can I take?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hello all, 

I am posting this on behalf of my friend who was diagnosed with RA over 10 years ago due to circumstances beyond her control she was without insurance for a few years.  Not being able to go to the doctor and get proper treatment.  Her regular doctor was able to only prescribe her predisone without a visit, plus it was the only one she could afford at times once she got insurance.  After a while she unfortunately developed diabetes.  

As I said she finally has insurance and was able to get on additional medications but hadn't been able to get in to a Rheumatologist till just now.  Lupus was always a possibility but it had seemed the symptoms have increased.

The new rheumatologist has now told her to go off the prednisone completely because he wants the symptoms to not be affected fo he can give her a proper diagnosis but also because it can be dangerous for her health.    

She is now worried about her mobilty and quality of life without it. The doctor did not offer any alternatives either.  

I was wondering if any one had any advice something that would help.  I know I've seen like the over the counter things for inflamation but many of them have capsaicin in them, but she is allergic.  

Thank you

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Unfortunately going off the prednisone is what she needs to do so the RA Dr can diagnose RA. I did it and told the Dr I cursed him many times. It is temporary and 2 years out I am doing much better.
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  • Posted

    Ibuprofen and Tramadol are good alternatives, both give better relief than Prednisone and aren't hard to stop.   Don't know why the Doctor would say that, I was on Prednisone when diagnosed; but, Prednisone is a terrible drug that should be avoided at all costs.

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  • Posted

     Sorry to hear about your friend.  NSAIDS  (non steroid meds) or tramadol can help with pain.  But needs to check with a doctor if those meds are allowed with her other diagnoses if she has any.    Prednisone is difficult to come off of ,  needs to be done gradually under a doctors orders.  I assume she has been given a tapering dose

        Prednisone has many, many serious side effects so getting off of it is important but some people just get no relief without it.   Sometimes doctors use the drug until the RA drugs start to ' kick in' as some take a few months.  

         Hopefully your friend can get the help with the new RA specialist     The RA meds are many but it is trial and error to see which drugs work with ea. individual person


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  • Posted

    Unfortunately GPs and Rheumatologists have no idea how to taper prednisone and no idea of the pain tapering too quickly can cause.   My Rheumatologist wrote me out a 'plan' for tapering from 15mgs down to zero:   

    Week one, 15mgs,

    week two, 10 mgs

    week three 6mgs,

    weel four, 3mgs, and

    week five, zero.

    Want to know what I did with that plan?

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    • Posted

      Hi Tony

         So sorry to hear how much you have been thru and continue to have such difficulty finding the right medication to ease your symptoms.   Did you eventually change rheumatologist?   I know it's not easy with the distances one has to travel.  Many a different biologic---

      Have they tried you on cortisone injections?  I have read it is quite helpful for some quicker relief.   It has to be devastating for you to have been so active and now can't do any of those things anymore.  I do hope you will hang in there til they find the medication right for you!

        I do take the tumeric and it's hard to say if it does anything but I think

      it cant hurt.   Have been resumed on Humira but have some side effects.  I stopped the MTX for now cause I have had terrible cold but resume in 2-3 days



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  • Posted

    Incidentally, I'm a long term user:   14+ months!

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  • Posted

    Thank you all who chimed in I have passed the info on to her, so I hope it helps.  
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  • Posted

    Also, and I will probably start another thread.  But the test results are back and it is RA,  and he wants her back on Humera but her current insurance only covers generics.  There used to be an assistance program that she didn't qualify for a few years ago with her income but that has since changed.  Do you guy have any info on such programs?

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