Steroids

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I am prescribed steroids whenever I get a chest infection, like most of us I presume. However, they have a terrible effect on my mood, leaving me very depressed and weepy, and also snappy and horrible to the people I love (as well as causing weight gain). I asked my respiratory nurse about it and she says there is nothing to be done, the tablets affect some people this way and I should just warn my family and get through it as best I can. Knowing this does not make it easier. I was just wondering how many others are affected by the steroids in this way? Or is it only me? Has anyone else found a better way of handling it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Jacee

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    Hi Jacee, sorry to hear you've been having a rotten time on the steroids. I don't think I can be much help on this one as I've only taken them for five days on two occasions, first when diagnosed last year and second a couple of weeks ago when I got a cold and sore throat. I haven't noticed any mood change, but I have read that a lot of people are affected by them, so it's not just you.

    I have found that since going on to the standard 'triple therapy', (Spiriva + Symbicort +Ventolin) that I rarely get any inflammation or need steroids. The Symbicort has been a great help in that respect. Also, the 'Written Self Management Plan' that the respiratory nurse gave me advises up to 6 - 8 doses of ventolin for when I have a tight chest or SOB, only then to take my steroids if there is a change in phlegm colour or if my temperature goes up.

    I must admit I was shocked to read in one of your recent posts that your Doc hadn't immediately prescribed Spiriva, or your nurse for that matter. I am hoping that they did also give you Symbicort as that too is standard therapy along with Spiriva. I am wondering if you have even got a proper specialist respiratory nurse, as they are better informed than GP's and do the prescibing as well. I don't understand how SHE didn't prescribe you Spiriva let alone your Doc. Have you been to Rehab? I ask because that is where I got my specialist copd nurse who checks your meds, sees that you have triple therapy if you are moderate / severe copd, prescribes anything your doc has overlooked etc. She will also give you your written 'Self Management Plan' , check that you have home supplies of steroids and anti biotics and always be there on the end of the phone if you have a problem.

    Hope I'm not going on too much, but I do want to be sure you are getting the treatment you should be getting. Its like that thing you said about being fobbed off with ventolin because it's cheap etc. True it was made for asthma, and on its own it doesn't do much for copd, but it is standard before diagnosis when they are wary of giving anything else, and it is a big help as part of triple therapy for copd. But I'll leave that for another time or this will go on forever!

    Do let me know how you are and what your regular meds are. Thinking of you, Lots Luv, Vanessa x

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    PS. Apologies to your respiratory nurse - just reread post and saw it was GP nurse refused you Spiriva, not your respiratory nurse. Also, you may be on Seretide if you are not on Symbicort (same med, different brandname) as different health authorities go with one or the other brand. Van
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    Hi Van, quick update, I refused the ventolin as it did not help my breathing but made me vibrate a lot - weird. I also will not use the Seretide as I get no noticeable benefit and actually get lots MORE chest infections whilst using it. The leaflet also states it can cause pneumonia in COPD patients - so I decided no thanks. All this discussed with my specialist nurse (who DID get me the Spiriva!) and who, whilst not entirely happy is in agreement so far with me managing my own health - which is very important to me.

    Love Jacee

    xx

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    Hi everyone, taking note of your posts on steroids. I have been taking prednisolone in varying doses continuously for . over 10 years. At the beginning I used to call them my 'happy pills'. I would go on a 'high' and spend money like there was .no tomorrow. At the moment I am taking 25mg. every day. If I go below 20mg. I usually get an excerbation and often end up in hospital (3 times this year) These days I no longer get any highs but I don't get depressed either. I also use a nebuliser with ip.bromide and salbutamol and budesnonide (another steroid) along with roughly 26 pills every day for heart, diabetes, peripheal vascular disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol ,swollen feet and ankles and various other things but I still get around - sometimes only just! Its all down to determination and willpower I think. I won't let it beat me. Can't breathe, can't walk, can't eat most things (sugar,fat etc.,) LIfes a bitch........but keep going. I'm having a lung function test on Monday- first time in 3 years orso.Last time it was about 33%,this time who knows!Best wishes to u all.
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    Hi cats and dogs, Just wanted to say good luck for your lung function test on Monday - I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you. Hope you have had a chance to sit out in this lovely spring sunshine and get some of that Vitamin D we all so need after being cooped up all winter! Let us know how you get on, love Vanessa x
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