Prednisone, Why Does It Make Me Feel Good?
Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:04 AM
Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:16 AM
Prednisone is a steroid and used in lots of different conditions and is certainly not for long term use because of the long term side effects and changes it can make to different organs.
You are obviously having nice 'side effects'just now. These won't last as steroids have long term side effects on various organs in the body that means only people who need long term steroids have to take them.
There are no ADs that are also steroids! Have a chat with your Doctor anyway and see what he can recommend.
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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:11 AM
I was put on a steroid in the same family as Prednisone (Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid) for fertility testing and experienced a month and a half of pure bliss, it was the best 6 weeks of my life. Everything was clear, focused and happy. I felt quick, sharp, had tons of energy and had sooo much motivation and confidence. I loved every single aspect of being alive. I always described it by saying I felt like I finally had blood flowing into my brain. Having experienced actual happiness and clarity, I am sure that the life I had pre-steroid had some major mix of adult ADD and depression. I knew that as soon as I had to start tapering down the steroid, I'd need an appointment with a psychiatrist.
Being off of the steroid has been so hard on my spirit, and I've been searching for some kind of psychiatric medicine remedy similar to what I'd felt before. But it's actually a really complicated thing to find & I haven't had any success yet. I thought it would be as simple as telling the psych, "i was just on a steroid, and it made me mentally clear, so what's would be an equivalent prescription?"
My psychiatrist told me that what I'd described in that "steroid state" was really similar to the effects of ADD stimulants - Ritalin, Adderall, etc. She diagnosed me with adult ADD and started me on Focalin (in the Ritalin family), then Vyvanse, Adderall and so on. When I first took most of these, I thought they were exactly what I was looking for, But a couple hours later the crash was horrible. And then the days came where they just wouldn't even kick in at all. My psychiatrist is baffled and can't figure out why I'm metabolizing everything so quickly; she sent me to an endocrinologist for thyroid & adrenal testing, but all my blood work came back normal. Right now I'm trying Strattera, it's also prescribed for ADD focus, but it takes a month to work. I haven't felt much from it so far, except that my mood is a little better. (I've also tried SSRI's in the past and they made me feel spaced out.)
I wish SO MUCH that steroids could be prescribed for mental health. I didn't know I could be happy. I'm so frustrated that I can't just make my mind feel the way I want it to. I'd love to hear anyone's input on this! This subject kind of consumes me lately, I feel like I'm putting my life on hold while I'm in this crazy, frustrating pursuit.
Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:12 AM
Long term use of steroids is not good. I have Lupus and before they came across a certain med that works for lupus, people with Lupus where treated with prednisone. I was on it for 3 years. Long term use has caused me permanent problems. I now have hypertension and have to take blood pressure meds for the rest of my life, it will never be reversed due to long term steroid use. I am a tiny person and I have an over active thyroid, so struggle to put on weight, no matter what I do, but steroids made me retain water and I went up a few dress sizes (I have lost it all after being taken off steroids).
It also affected my bones, especially my teeth. ALL of my teeth crumbled to nothing. I had two choices pull them out and get false teeth (the cheap option) or have them all rebuilt (extremely expensive). I am 37, there is no way I am going to have false teeth if I can help it, so I chose to have them rebuilt. It took nearly 4 months of weekly visits to the dentist.
Steroids also cause your bones to crumble. Another woman who has lupus that I know, needed to have a hip replacement at the age of 30 due to the steroids she was prescribed for Lupus.
I have to have my cortisol levels checked every 6 months, despite being off it for a long time, as after long term use it never really leaves your system properly. For the rest of my life, I have to tell every medical professional that I have been a long term user of prednisone, as it affects other treatments they give you, including anesthetic.
There is a very good reason why medical professionals do not use steroids for long periods of time, unless absolutely needed. They can cause you some serious damage and I am proof of that.
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True beauty must come, must be grown, from within.... - Ralph W Trine.
Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:56 AM
Now, it is important to understand that auto-immune diseases are relatively rare, so this may be insignificant to you and your situations (don't just jump to conclusions), but it is something real to consider or perhaps bring up to a health practitioner. I say this especially because Prednisone is a steroid treatment prescribed mostly for hormone and immune problems, and it is known to CAUSE depression as well as manic highs and lows.
In regards to a "pharmaceutical cousin''...there are no effective substitutes (as far as I and most have found) except for other synthesized corticosteroids, which have to be prescribed. It is also important to note that Prednisone and substituents are not exact biochemical copies of cortisol, the hormone they attempt to mimic. Therefore, the unique pathways/mechanisms of metabolism of these drugs and their relative products is what usually leads to the majority of their harmfulness...and might I add, these drugs are HIGHLY POTENT, VERY DANGEROUS, and potentially FATAL if not monitored by a professional. They are not something you just want to take, or even can take any time you want to for that matter...it's really a matter of cost benefits...I'm sure anyone you ask that has been on long term steroids will tell you, there are so many side effects that go along with steroids that there's no way they would take them if it wasn't essential just to carry out a somewhat normal daily routine. These are also some things to mull over.
Some things you might do though would be to present your concerns to your doctor (or maybe different doctor), and/or ask for a simple blood/saliva cortisol stress test to give you some sort of ballpark to assess if you need to see a different specialist. Furthermore, cortisol is highly effected by stress levels, coping skills, eating patterns, exercise, time of day etc so looking at some lifestyle changes (eg. receiving adequate sleep, eating regularly/healthy, regularly exercising, thinking of less stressful ways to cope with problems, eliminating stressful habits and people from your life, etc) would be highly beneficial ( but also for everyone). Anyway, wish you all the best and hope this was at least informative, if not also helpful! Keep going, keep your spirit up, and God bless!
Posted 06 November 2012 - 01:16 AM
If you read my post above, I have Lupus, which is an autoimmune illness. I also mention the damage prednisone can do, thanks for your input :)
True beauty must come, must be grown, from within.... - Ralph W Trine.
Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:34 AM
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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:39 AM
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("Unwell," Matchbox 20)
Posted 29 April 2013 - 05:06 PM
The other factor along with prednisone is that the weather just broke and has become extremely nice for a couple days. I would love to know more about this topic and how prednisone does this and what underlying cause it could indicate. I feel like my body couldn't keep up with it self and repair/recover in a regular time. I always feel groggy and cloudy and prednisone is helping somehow.. Strange I know.
I am sorry for people that have been affective negatively by this drug and I wish it didn't have those side affects. As I said I am health conscious and I wouldn't want to continue this drug longer than prescribed if it is going to do that.
Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:43 AM
I found this site and had to reply. I became very sick 6 years ago and was diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease - I have gone from a very active, outgoing and happy person to someone who can hardly get out of bed. The first year it started with extreme fatigue to the point where my whole body would feel like it was full of wet sand and even trying to lift an arm was hard. I began to sleep often and than the 2nd year the pain started and it was in my joints, muscles, mostly the whole arms and legs. The pain became constant and felt like it was down to my bones. I tested positive for ANA titer with a speckled patter so Lupus is also expected so I was put on Plaquinel which I have been on for 3 years. Than last year I was diagnosed with COPD (chronic bronchitis and inflammation of the airways). I just turned 51 so I was diagnosed in my late 40's but with everything the disease has done to me of coarse I get depressed now who wouldn't living with severe chronic pain and being so weak and tired taking a shower is a major chore most days.
But when I am on Prednisone or any similar type of steroid I can get out of bed and have energy and it reduces the pain dramatically. I almost feel like a normal person again which I have not been for at least 3 years now. So many other symptoms like my mouth breaks out in sores all the time, my hair is thinning fast and basically my quality of life is horrible. So for me Prednisone is a miracle medication but again you have to weigh the risk to the benefits. With out it I do not consider this much of a life and most days due to the pain and being so tired of being tired I would not mind if I don't wake up the next day. My doctors has warned me of the risks of steroids and I know it slowly tears up your body but I asked my doctor isn't that what the auto immune disease is doing and he could not disagree. For me I would rather have quality of life over quantity and eventually this disease will **** me it is attaching my lungs so I would rather spend whatever life I have less feeling less miserable even if that means I have a shorter life - shorter suffering so no problem.
As Trace said she has lupus and long tern use gave her permanent damage - in my case the auto immune disease is already doing damage so as I said before I would rather feel good as long and often as I can and when my body is ready to give out I have made my peace with that.
The point here is I would never take this medication for depression it does have serious long term effects and can also effect your mood in a bad way after taking it or while quitting it. I would never take it just because it made me feel good while on it unless you are in a position of having a disease that has already taken your life from you. In my case I can lay in bed and want to die from an immune system that is attacking and tearing up my body anyway so why not feel as good as i can as long as I can. I kind of look at it as the same as having cancer except the cancer is my own immune system. I also do not take it all the time maybe a week or so every couple of months. I often have to take it for bronchitis/asthma that the lupus has caused to be able to breath.
Please just weigh the risks very carefully of this medication but for some people the benefit is so much better than the risk
Trace if you have lupus did the doctors ever tell you that Lupus can cause hypertension all on it's own? I started to have high blood pressure after I was diagnosed and before I started steroid treatment. I also
take Effexor which can increase blood pressure. I just hope you never get to the point I am at. I was lucky to be in my late 40's before I got sick. I just wish you all the luck because for me the lupus/ MCTD has been one down hill ride but I still try to make the best of each day.
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Posted 29 December 2013 - 07:26 AM
Absolutely the same here and also wonder if something that affected cortisol levels more directly (or more specific testing re thyroid, adrenals, diet, cortisone??) would help. So frustrating as the only time I feel balanced, normal and unfoggy is on prednisone.
I did find this medical article -
- Colin Bouwer et al, 2000, where they suggest augmenting other depression/anxiety meds with a low prednisone dose daily with good response!
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Posted 29 May 2014 - 11:15 AM
Hi everyone I actually am here for the reason that this post was started. I know it has been a while and not sure if any of you will get a notification but I was wondering if piscesdreamer68 had fpound out an answer to her question and just how you are doing. I am having constant drainage which is cdausing coughing at night so I want to try it for this reason but am also looking forward to an increase in energy because my depression has been bad since my total hysterectomy last year. I am in the hormone jungle but things are so off and my energy and anxiety is awful. I have so many things that I need to get done asap. I have had 2 family members that have manic episodes with prednisone so I'm sure hoping it doesn't cause that. Thanks everyone
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Posted 02 January 2015 - 08:38 AM
I'm on prednisone right now and experiencing the same thing. I feel back to my normal--clear-headed and motivated, not stressing over little things and enjoying life. I believe something else is helping me just as much though. DIET. Not "dieting", but daily routine healthy diet. It doesn't work as fast as the prednisone, but it's free of bad side effects.
I've suffered from depression and horrible fatigue on and off for years, and in the last few years have had numerous "drugged-feeling" episodes (sometimes once a week) where I can't get out of bed or function normally. I've been tested for thyroid, and the numbers did come back low. I think I'm not properly converting to T3. Yet my doctor dismisses everything. She says the numbers are still within range, even though they aren't at all, and everyone's "normal" range is different for that matter. Anyway, I'm starting to think the depression and other problems are all stemming from a hormone issue. Or maybe Hashimoto's. At this point I'm done with the doctors and trying to find a diagnosis. Feeling better is all that matters, and sometimes that doesn't require knowing exactly what's going on.
Getting back to the prednisone--I'm just on it for a bad case of winer-time poison ivy. 2 weeks before starting prednisone, I began a cleansing program, and these good effects started soon after. I feel that the prednisone really enhanced the effects that were already taking place. I think going gluten-free, caffeine-free, and eliminating most if not all processed sugar, most dairy, and eating A LOT of fruits and vegetables has been the answer for me. Others with immune disorders can testify to the gluten-free diet as well. It's not like I ate unhealthy before this, but this diet feels like a healthy diet on steroids. It's my third time trying this, and this time I'm determined to keep the changes after the 21 day program is up. My chiropractor got me onto it a couple years ago. It's from Standard Process. It's meant to be a detox and weight-loss purification, but I don't do it for the weight reason. I just eat extra rice to keep weight on. I'm an endurance athlete. Diet is hard to change, especially trying to avoid gluten, but could be worth a try.
I know this thread is kind of old, but I hope this can help someone else.
Edited by Tiana, 02 January 2015 - 08:41 AM.
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Posted 11 January 2015 - 06:13 AM
was looking for answers for a friend, found scientific info on the prednisone helping depression. maybe it can be of any help?x...
''There are two open, small studies evaluating the use of steroids in TRD. In one study, prednisone 7.5 mg was given to patients in addition to their antidepressant. Five of six patients improved.62 In the second study, 10 patients with TRD treated with either sertraline or fluoxetine received dexamethasone 3 mg/day for 4 days; on days 5 and 21, 6 out of 8 patients had significant improvement on mood rating measures. All six of the responders had elevated baseline cortisol levels.63"
Reference: Bouwer C, Claassen J, Dinan TG, Nemeroff CB. Prednisone augmentation in treatment-resistant depression with fatigue and hypocortisolaemia: a case series. Depress Anxiety. 2000;12(1):44-50
Posted 15 January 2015 - 04:52 PM
This is a really interesting thread. I was on prednisone for a full month for my bronchitis issues. It was a the same time I began that treatment that this huge wave of depression rolled over me. It's been 3 months that I've been off it, but the depression has stayed.
Posted 18 February 2015 - 06:11 PM
I also feel AMAZING when I'm on prednisone. I hardly ever take it. Maybe once every 4 months for 1-3 days for mild acne breakouts or sinus issues. I do have a bad time coming down from it. My depression worsens and I get tired. But when I'm on it, my depression lifts completely. I have a ton of energy, I'm focused, confidence it up, social interactions are great, cognitive function is fantastic...
Would love to know if anyone has talked to their physician about a non-steroid alternative that is not an ADD med. I never thought to ask my doc before, but I'll be seeing him in a few weeks and will ask.
Posted 12 July 2015 - 09:46 PM
Hello I am so glad I found this form! I thought I was going crazy! I was prescribed prednisone yesterday due to being diagnosed with strep throat and upper respiratory infection. I was diagnosed with depression and ADHD (ADD) in the military. I Have never felt better in my life Since I took this pill. I feel so confident and energetic, clear, motivate, creative and just good. I never feel good. I feel like s*** 24/7 so much that i was being to think I was crazy and doomed. I have taken anti depressants and Ritalin, Concerta, and Effexor and all of whole host of antidepressants. I forget to take the medications often because my memory is so affected by what ever is wrong with me. Taking the antidepressants make feels not like my self, the side effects of nausea and dizziness are unbearable and is debilitating for me, so bad that I only feel better laying down. and like another person mentioned up there the crash coming off of the stimulant is horrible rage, crying, and sever headaches. I do have a constant elevation of the cells in my blood that detect inflammation which has led me to get tested for the full spectrum of autoimmune disease to include lupus which all come back normal. I understand what other saying about how they feel on prednisone but the relief I feel right now from being on it is amazing and I hate that I am going to have to go back feeling like complete crap after I stop taking it. I knew I felt like s*** before but never realized to what degree until now. If anybody is reading this and needs a volunteer for a study, or research please post, or reply I would give anything not to feel like this anymore without having to take drugs or have the side effects of the prednisone.
how is there a limited amount of likes on people comments it's crazy. dose anybody know how much of a relief it is to feel like you're not going crazy and have other stories like yours posted.
Edited by Kbplus2, 12 July 2015 - 10:00 PM.
Posted 18 July 2015 - 07:04 PM
I too am so very glad to have found this topic and appreciate all the previous people posting have shared.
I write because I am taking Prednisone in an irregular way and thought it might be of interest.
My situation briefly: I have an auto-immune, inflammatory condition that doctors have trouble clearly identifying. It involves a rheumatoid type of arthritis which is mostly causing havoc in my spine, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, mild Lupus, and Mixed connective tissue disease. I have also been diagnosed with severe Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. For various reasons I cannot take any pain medication except acetaminophen. I do take an SSRI, Cymbalta, which is often prescribed for FM and does help with tolerating pain to some extent. It does nothing for my mood or anything else. I take Plaquenil for Lupus and other medications for other conditions. Pain, terrible fatigue and brain fog are my constant companions. I cannot exercise significantly because of the condition of my spine. Anxiety and feeling totally overwhelmed visit often.
SO...My Rheumatologist suggested trying low-dose Prednisone (5mg) taken intermittently, to a maximum of 50mg/month, aiming for less than that, and never taking it 2 days in a row. She said that taking it this way limits the dangerous side effects. So I have been doing this for 4 months now, during which I've taken Prednisone 12 times.
I WISH I could take it every day or every other day, as I have the same amazing improvement in mood/spirits and especially, joyously, mental clarity, all cognitive function and memory as well as increased energy and some lessening of pain.
So I just wanted to mention this in case anyone wanted to ask their doctors about taking it this way.
Much sympathy, empathy, compassion, good wishes.
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