Note: As I've said 1 million times and as I will continue to say, I am not a doctor, I have no medical degree of any kind, I only have my personal first hand experiance1 You should always talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you may have regarding medication!
So today I want to talk about steroids and their relation to multiple sclerosis. Steroids are used to help overcome flareups or exacerbations in MS. Steroids come in pill form (Prednisone) or can be administered in high doses intravenously (Through an IV) but today we will be talking about oral Prednisone.
The Number One Question:
Will they make you buff? Ha ha I get this all the time, so let me knock this one out of the way first. No! These are not horse hormones, they are not the kind of steroids that athletes take! Although, one possible side effect is weight gain but everyone is different...
So What Are These Steroids?
The most commonly prescribed pill form of steroids for medical use is Prednisone which is part of a drug class known as “corticosteroids”. These steroids are man-made drugs designed to replace cortisol, a natural hormone produced by the adrenaline glands. This hormone is naturally released in response to stress and to low levels of blood glucocorticoids. Besides increasing your blood sugar, cortisol reduces inflammation and suppresses your immune system.
Though Prednisone can help speed up your recovery through an exacerbation it does not necessarily fix the problem, that is why people with MS must take disease modifying medications
such as Copaxone. Rebif, Tysabri, or Gilenya. Steroids are mainly used to help conquer an MS exacerbation by reducing inflammation of the central nervous system (CNS). It helps patients achieve remission!
How long do steroids take to work?
Results very depending on the person and the extent of your exacerbation. You may notice results within a week or a couple of weeks dependingon how much you are on. Again, everyone is different.After taking it a few times you will learn how it work for you!
Possible Side Effects
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately!!
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- inappropriate happiness
- extreme changes in mood
- changes in personality
- bulging eyes
- thin, fragile skin
- red or purple blotches or lines under the skin
- slowed healing of cuts and bruises
- increased hair growth
- changes in the way fat is spread around the body
- extreme tiredness
- weak muscles
- irregular or absent menstrual periods
- decreased sexual desire
- increased sweating
SIDE NOTE: I have heard that ibuprofen (NSAID) should not be taken with Prednisone because both medications can possibly cause gastrointestinal problems and together both medications would increase your chances of having issues.
- vision problems
- eye pain, redness, or tearing
- sore throat, fever, chills, cough, or other signs of infection
- loss of contact with reality
- muscle twitching or tightening
- shaking of the hands that you cannot control
- numbness, burning, or tingling in the face, arms, legs, feet, or hands
- upset stomach
- irregular heartbeat
- sudden weight gain
- shortness of breath, especially during the night
- dry, hacking cough
- swelling or pain in the stomach
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
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