Shortness of Breath/Rapid Heartrate on Prednisone

Posted , 7 users are following.

I have been on Prednisone for 4 mnths now starting off at 80 mg a day and now at 50 mg a day for auto immune problems. I am only 4 ft 10 and have gained almost 30 lbs. I was already chunky before starting the prednisone so this 30 lbs feels like 80. For the last 2 months I have been having shortness of breath to the point where i have went to the ER 3 times for it and they have done EKG, catscans, x-rays and even the blood tests that check the heart to make sure it is ok. Everything came  back normal. I had an echocardiogram this past Friday and scheduled for a cardiac stress test this Friday because I am scared that something is really wrong with my heart as that is what it feels like. I can not walk for a minute without being short of breath and it is scary. It also causes chest discomfort sometimes. I have been told that Prednisone can cause shortness of breath but..To this extreme to where I can not get anything done without feeling like I can not breathe??? It the worse with exertion (walking, going up my stairs at home etc...) Am I alone or is there someone else that can relate to what I am referring to? I am hoping it is just the prednisone and not my heart. My last 3 Dr appts each Dr has also told me that my heartrate was up which I am thinking too is from the prednisone...

0 likes, 10 replies

Report / Delete

10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Lora,

    Prednisone can cause all kinds of problems and you are on a really high dose.  I have Sjorgrens and periodically go on Prednisone but only 5mg tablets 3 times a day.  It causes my heart rate to go up quite high, was at 174 the other day while I was at the Gym.  Why are you on such a high dose? You also do not state which Auto immune issue that you have?

    regards,

    mandy

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      because I have optic neuritis and also being tested for ms and nmo (neuro myletis optica)...without prednisone my vision fades. I am being tapered slowly. As i stated.. I started on 80 mg and now on 50 mg. My Neuro Opthamologist is trying to give the Imuran time to kick in and until it does I have to be on steriods for my vision as my left eye already has permanent damage so we don't want that to happen to the right as well...
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    H Lora, I read your post and could have written it myself.  My initial reaction was the same, I went from 78Kg to 105Kg in waht seemed like a week and just felt completely shattered all day every day.  Over a fairly long period of time we have replaced the prednisilone with a variety of steroid sparing agents, there are quite a few to choose from.  We eventually settled on Azothiaprine which works well for me, I have managed tp loose 10Kg in about 2 months.  Bare in mind this whole process has taken 5 years of trial and error.  I have Retro Peritoneal Fibrosis, which is in the iGg4 category of autoimunity.  I hope this settles your concerns.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      So you experience (ed) shortenss of breath all the time also? I am on Imuran as of Sept so until it kicks in which per my Neuro Opthamologist, it can take several months..I have to stay on prednisone until then. We are tapering me slowly allowing Imuran time to kick in but the side affects of the prednisone are really scaring me. I am soooo bloated and swollen in my face, neck, cheeks, tummy, arms, legs, hands..everywhere!!  sad
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Lora, I can only empathise with you. When I was first diagnosed with RPF I spent month in hospital, sometime on life support as I couldn't breathe on my own and my weight plumetted, as soon as they started filling me up with prednisolone my breathing improved slightly but I just ballooned, my face was a full circle, infact the slang term for the reaction is Moon Face, every part of me was bloated, as a temporary measure I took Furosamide to reduce my fluid retention but it only partially helped.  Imuran is a trade name of Azothiaprine, so the route they are taking with you is the same as mine.  I can only advise to stick with it at least for a year to see if it works, as with all Autoimune and iGg4 conditions its a long haul processs to get control with a 'cocktail' of medication.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yes my moon face is horrible! I am sooooo miserable and uncomfy and just feel disgusting. I have gained almost 30 lbs since i think June and like i said, I am only 4ft 10. I think that is what is causing my shortness of breath and lower back problems as I can not walk or stand for longer than 5 min without my back knotting up to where I have to sit down. The sob is everyday all day and it is sooo scary and always worse when I am walking or moving around. I am bloated all over literally and they added a low dose of lasix but to be honest I do not feel it is helping to remove some of the fluid. If I ate healthier I guess that would help some but I don't. On prednisone it is like i want to eat everything in sight!!
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Oh wow....you sound just like me, only I was on a much lower dose of prednisone! I started having palpatations so bad I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest and fast heart rate too. Then shortness of breath and my doctor immediately took me off and put me on plaquenil and then added methrotrexate. I do not miss the prednisone at all and am finally feeling better so tell your doctor you will not take that drug anymore and that he needs to try something else...you won't be dissappointed!
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Unfortunetly I can not tell him that I no longer want to take the drug because without it my vision starts to fade so until the Imuran kicks in, I have to tolerate the side effects. We tried the IV steroids and that made me even worse! They were too strong for me sad
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Lora,

    I was recently put on Prednisone and had the reactions you speak of with both my heart and breathing. Last week I had a major allergic reaction on the verge of anaphylaxis. The ER gave me steroids and benadryl and pepsid. They sent me home. The next day I could not breath all day, and I went back to the ER flush in the face and having issues breathing. They gave me Prednisone steroid and pepsid and I had taken benadryl before arriving. They then prescribed Prednisone (pack that tapers from 25mg down to 4mg for a week), Pepsid, and Allegra (360mg double the dose). Sunday I could hardly get up and walk to the next room without having a breathing issue. All week I kept waking up in the morning with heart racing pounding out of my chest, and the minute I got up out of the recliner I slept in, I was out of breath bad. I hardly made it to the Dr. On Tuesday, and I could hardly breath in the office. They took me right away as they and I was scared. Dr made me take Ativan as this all was playing into me panicking after my ER episodes and as result I kept almost hyperventilating all weekend and beginning of the week. Dr took me off prednisone. He said it was having bad reaction with my body.He put me on Flonase to help and kept me on pepsid. Said a bit congestion in my ears. Next day breathing was immediately better than it had been, and heart did not race as much. Next day still had heart issues, he agreed no more Allegra that I was having bad reaction. He put me on Mucinex for my congestion as the steroids had dried me out prior and now congestion returning. Today is Friday, a full week since the first initial allergic reaction. I am still on Pepsid, Mucinex, and Flonaise. I have bit cough, but can't bring anything up, and my ears are still bit fluid. Today I was getting heart racing bit when waking up still. I am questioning if prednisone and Allegra still working their way out of my body. In addition, I was getting out of breath a tiny bit when walking around. I can say I am A LOT better than I was with breathing issues and heart now that I'm off prednisone and allegra. I hope your Dr can help you possibly switch to something else. I see your message is 4 mths old, but I hope you are doing better. I'm so sorry as I know it is very scary. It doesn't hurt to get a second opinion, so don't ever feel stuck with this dr. Who has you on the prednisone. If you have told him of the issue with breathing and he has been nonresponsive, I would seek a second opinion. Do a search for the type of specialist you need and add the word "award" to the end. I've found some amazing doctors that way. Then search that persons ratings on multiple sites to ensure they aren't paying for ratings, and you will get an amazing doctor. Keep us posted. Wishing you well. <3>

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hello I am curious what is your eye condition you are having? I was diagnosed with auto immune disorder that the Doctors still cannot define what I have. They ruled out Lupus, MS, etc and said maybe its RA, however the Rhuemtoligist doesn't think so either. I have many eye issues. From Uveitis, Scleritis, to other Eye inflammatory disease. They put me on Celebrix, and other meds for the eyes. And still no hope. Will this ever go away?
    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up