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Effects of prednisone

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#1
NickP

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I picked a rash on my hands. Unfortunately, it got bad enough that I had to go to a walk in clinic ( it was on the weekend). The Dr gave me a prednisone package (7pills on day one going slowly to only one on Day 7). I am on Day 2, and my rash is improving, but my BG 's are going off the chart.

I woke up to a 167, and was at 170 after a LCHF breakfast. Does anyone have any experience with this drug?

I have read some stories on line that are scary (including controlled T2 becoming insulin dependent after taking prednisone) and i am ready to just stop taking this RX. Any advice?
Nick
Feb 17, 2010 - Initial A1C 9.3 Weight 238
May 26, 2010 - A1C 6.0
Aug 20, 2010 - A1C 5.6
Nov 19, 2010 - A1C 5.8
Mar 1, 2011- A1C 5.7 (No Meds)
Jun 3, 2011 - A1C 5.7 (No Meds)
Oct 31, 2011 - A1C 5.3
Nov 6, 2012 - A1C 5.3
Feb 18, 2014- A1C 5.6 Weight 199

Current Meds:
Metformin 500mg x 2

#2
k_dub

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Hi Nick,

I've never taken prednisone, but it's a steroid and steroids are well-known for causing hyperglycemia, even in people w/o diabetes. Hyperglycemia is a very common side effect.

I had a similar thing happen two years ago when I had a cortisone shot in my lower back for a herniated disc. My BG was uncontrollable for about 7 days (up in the 300-400 range) after receiving the injection and it seemed like no amount of insulin would bring it down. I will never have one again.

Whether or not you stay on the drug sounds like something you will have to decide- do the benefits of the drug outweight the costs?

Kellly
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#3
janice21475

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Nick, Stay with it, that is a wonderful drug. My husband had a lot of it the first of this year. 1st he hurt his back very badly then he got poision ivy. The back pack was 7 days and the poision ivy was 14 days. It did raise his BG but after a week it came back down almost to normal. The back improved and the horrible rash went away and practically every other pain he normally has left. It was like he stepped into a time machine. Of course after a month or two the effects have tapered off but he was able to be much more active than he had been in years.

Of course, you have to be the one who decides but I wanted to let you know it worked for my husband.

Sorry you got that rash.

Janice & Husband

#4
disgirl

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I would only take it if I needed for a bad respiratory infection or something like that. For a rash....um maybe not. The best thing to do is go back to the doctor and explain that you're a diabetic and your bs is through the roof. Maybe they have a topical cream that can be applied to the skin like a strong cortisone? Did the doc know you were a diabetic when he prescribe the steroid pill?

#5
no5isalive

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Prednisone is one of the worst drugs I have ever taken. I refuse to take it now. For me the costs of the drug were worse than the benefits. This is just my experience of prednisone.
Rich
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#6
NickP

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I would only take it if I needed for a bad respiratory infection or something like that. For a rash....um maybe not. The best thing to do is go back to the doctor and explain that you're a diabetic and your bs is through the roof. Maybe they have a topical cream that can be applied to the skin like a strong cortisone? Did the doc know you were a diabetic when he prescribe the steroid pill?


Yes, I also got a topical cream. I did discuss my Diabetes with the DR when she gave me the RX, and she agreed that taking some Metformin during this period would be a smart move.

My rash is doing much better, so I think I will ditch the Prednisone, and tough it out.

I would be interested in hearing any other stories that anyone has to pass along on their dealings with this drug.
Nick
Feb 17, 2010 - Initial A1C 9.3 Weight 238
May 26, 2010 - A1C 6.0
Aug 20, 2010 - A1C 5.6
Nov 19, 2010 - A1C 5.8
Mar 1, 2011- A1C 5.7 (No Meds)
Jun 3, 2011 - A1C 5.7 (No Meds)
Oct 31, 2011 - A1C 5.3
Nov 6, 2012 - A1C 5.3
Feb 18, 2014- A1C 5.6 Weight 199

Current Meds:
Metformin 500mg x 2

#7
puzlnut

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Nick----here is my answer first as a nurse: I would not take it unless absolutely necessary. It will make your bg go beserk---through the roof. As someone else already said, even non-diabetics go high on it. Here is my answer as someone who has taken it (last time was many years ago when I was covered by poison ivy pretty much head to toe----dermatologist said it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen----between all my fingers and under my breasts, ----super :D) I have had poison ivy many times since and I just wait it out. My attitude is if I need it to keep me alive then I will take it. Otherwise, never again. Everything I know as a medical professional just reinforces that decision. Ice packs can help with itching as well using something called Domeborro solution---available over the counter and ask a pharmacist---I likely spelled it wrong---it helps to dry out the rash. I'm sorry you got this rash---I hate itchiness!! Good luck!
Type 2
6/10/11 A1C = 9.8 FBG = 246
8/10/11 A1C = 6.4
11/18/11 A1c = 5.6 FBG = 101
4/24/12 A1C =5.8 FBG = 109

Metformin 1500 mg. ER /day
HCTZ , Trandalapril , Toprol ER
Vit. D, ALA, EPO, Biotin



______________________________________________________________________________________________

"Promise me you'll always remember---you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin to Pooh

#8
paraed

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I have taken it for conditions that there was no other choice. It made my numbers go up while on he drug, and for over a week afterwards. Going very low carb while on it, and going no carb at the medication peak helped keep my numbers in somewhat control.

If there is no other choice, I use it...otherwise, I chose something else as mentioned above. for rashes there are other choices that may work better, if not as well. You might wish to explore them.
Everything is Hard, before it becomes easy!

#9
Peggy_TX

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I occasionally need prednisone (bad knee, bad ankle, and asthma). Frankly, I think the many rounds of prednisone I've taken in the past played a large factor in my developing diabetes.
That said, it's an effective drug when it's needed.
I really don't understand the dr suggesting you take metformin to counteract the effects of the predisone. For one thing, the metformin doesn't increase your insulin production -- it just helps break down insulin resistance. For another, metformin really takes a long time to become effective. Longer than you'd be on prednisone.
I WOULD suggest that you talk to a dr about taking insulin while on the predisone. That would actually bring your bg down immediately, and you could discontinue it as soon as your done with the prednisone.

#10
Jenn5353

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I'm currently on a round of prednisone for Scleritis in my eye. I've been on it for almost one month, and still have a couple of weeks to go with the taper. My BG's have been HORRIBLE. I typically take 1000mg of Met twice a day...but while I'm on the prednisone, I'm doing 24 units of Lantus a day additionally...which seems to help a bit, but my BG is still much higher than I'd like.

It's hands down the most evil drug ever, but it works when you've exhausted all other options.

Jenn

#11
puzlnut

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I occasionally need prednisone (bad knee, bad ankle, and asthma). Frankly, I think the many rounds of prednisone I've taken in the past played a large factor in my developing diabetes.
That said, it's an effective drug when it's needed.
I really don't understand the dr suggesting you take metformin to counteract the effects of the predisone. For one thing, the metformin doesn't increase your insulin production -- it just helps break down insulin resistance. For another, metformin really takes a long time to become effective. Longer than you'd be on prednisone.
I WOULD suggest that you talk to a dr about taking insulin while on the predisone. That would actually bring your bg down immediately, and you could discontinue it as soon as your done with the prednisone.


Excellent advice, Peggy. I had already decided (after seeing how the many steroids we give to our patients and what it does to their blood sugars) that if I ever had to take Prednisone that I would also take insulin until the Prednisone was pretty well out of my system. Just what I am comfortable with. And Peggy is right---you take it long enough or often enough, you can end up with steroid-induced diabetes. Here is a snip from Wikipedia (which I know is not the ideal medical reference, but they say it in regular language and THIS is completely true):

"Glucocorticoids oppose insulin action and stimulate gluconeogenesis, especially in the liver, resulting in a net increase in hepatic glucose output. Most people can produce enough extra insulin to compensate for this effect and maintain normal glucose levels, but those who cannot develop steroid diabetes." Very sobering.
Type 2
6/10/11 A1C = 9.8 FBG = 246
8/10/11 A1C = 6.4
11/18/11 A1c = 5.6 FBG = 101
4/24/12 A1C =5.8 FBG = 109

Metformin 1500 mg. ER /day
HCTZ , Trandalapril , Toprol ER
Vit. D, ALA, EPO, Biotin



______________________________________________________________________________________________

"Promise me you'll always remember---you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin to Pooh

#12
princesslinda

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As you're seeing, Prednisone can wreck havoc on blood sugars. It's esp. difficult when you don't have insulin on board. I opted not to take the prednisone when I had my shingles as I wasn't sure how high my BS would go or how long they'd stay that way.

I don't think you're in danger of having to stay on insulin from a 7-day course. I worked with a lady who had a really bad lung infection and was on prednisone for several months. She was not a diabetic, but developed it after this long dose. She was on insulin for awhile, but is now only on metformin. I took 3 dose packs of prednisone in a 6 month period before diagnosis because of herniated cervical discs. It worked, but i've always wondered if perhaps it pushed me from an undiagnosed pre-D to full blown T2.

At day 2, you should be able to stop it w/o problems....but if you had to take it longterm, you'd have to slowly taper off it. Be aware that your rash may rebound off it though.

T2, diagnosed 8/31/06.
Meds: Metformin-ER 500 mg twice daily, HCTZ 12.5 mg every other day for BP Enalapril 20 mg 1 daily (ace-inhibitor)
Diet: I eat to my meter, generally eating 75-100 carbs/day with the occasional splurge.


#13
killerleaf

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isn't it a moot point about it causing diabetes? we are already diagnosed??:)

anyway, have been fighting bronchitis. for a month. was on just a short dose of predisone this time, because my doc was worried about my numbers going high, and so was I. so now,.....a MONTH later, I am going to go back and ask for the normal 7 day dose. Yes, my numbers will be high. I can deal with a week or so, as opposed to feeling like I have for the past month. can't tell you when I slept all night last, and if I do more than walk 10 feet I start coughing my head off. I am tired, grumpy, and really at this point, the benefits FAR outweigh any risks.
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#14
puzlnut

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isn't it a moot point about it causing diabetes? we are already diagnosed??:)

anyway, have been fighting bronchitis. for a month. was on just a short dose of predisone this time, because my doc was worried about my numbers going high, and so was I. so now,.....a MONTH later, I am going to go back and ask for the normal 7 day dose. Yes, my numbers will be high. I can deal with a week or so, as opposed to feeling like I have for the past month. can't tell you when I slept all night last, and if I do more than walk 10 feet I start coughing my head off. I am tired, grumpy, and really at this point, the benefits FAR outweigh any risks.



If you are referring to my post, I meant that it can cause high blood sugars (diabetes) in folks who were previously not diabetics. It seems to just tip them over the edge (and not all people will experience this---but a lot). Sorry for any confusion. Didn't mean to mislead.

And if you aren't sleeping at night and having a hard time just functioning in daily life due to a cough/bronchitis then certainly that is a time you should consider using Prednisone. Everyone is different and how I react to it is most likely not how you will. Hope you feel better soon, killerleaf, and are able to get some decent rest.
Type 2
6/10/11 A1C = 9.8 FBG = 246
8/10/11 A1C = 6.4
11/18/11 A1c = 5.6 FBG = 101
4/24/12 A1C =5.8 FBG = 109

Metformin 1500 mg. ER /day
HCTZ , Trandalapril , Toprol ER
Vit. D, ALA, EPO, Biotin



______________________________________________________________________________________________

"Promise me you'll always remember---you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin to Pooh

#15
NickP

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isn't it a moot point about it causing diabetes? we are already diagnosed??:)

anyway, have been fighting bronchitis. for a month. was on just a short dose of predisone this time, because my doc was worried about my numbers going high, and so was I. so now,.....a MONTH later, I am going to go back and ask for the normal 7 day dose. Yes, my numbers will be high. I can deal with a week or so, as opposed to feeling like I have for the past month. can't tell you when I slept all night last, and if I do more than walk 10 feet I start coughing my head off. I am tired, grumpy, and really at this point, the benefits FAR outweigh any risks.


Not to sound dramatic, but I had heard a story on another Forum, where a T2 who had previously been able to maintain good BG control through diet and exercise, became insulin dependent after taking Prednisone.

For me, anything that would harm (decrease) my ability to produce insulin is something that I will strive to avoid.

In the future, I think I will have a much more in-depth conversation with my Doctor before accepting any further RX's without discussing the doseage, impacts, and alternatives. I should have been smarter and researched this drug better before I put it into my mouth.
Nick
Feb 17, 2010 - Initial A1C 9.3 Weight 238
May 26, 2010 - A1C 6.0
Aug 20, 2010 - A1C 5.6
Nov 19, 2010 - A1C 5.8
Mar 1, 2011- A1C 5.7 (No Meds)
Jun 3, 2011 - A1C 5.7 (No Meds)
Oct 31, 2011 - A1C 5.3
Nov 6, 2012 - A1C 5.3
Feb 18, 2014- A1C 5.6 Weight 199

Current Meds:
Metformin 500mg x 2




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