Prednisone in Taiwan?

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Postby robert_storey » 14 Jan 2005, 21:33

Dear CyberN8,

It goes without saying that I am not a doctor, so all I can really tell you is from my own experience, and from what I've read (quite a lot). And I've talked to other Crohn's sufferers as well. So I know something, and I'll share, but if you need medical advice I'm definitely not the final word. With that disclaimer in place...

The course of my illness was quite different from yours. You said you had five flareups that lasted about 3 months each. For me, I had repeated attacks (about once a week) which gradually increased in severity. The attacks consisted of severe cramping pain in the abdomen, and I upchucked everything that was inside me. These attacks would typically last for 12 hours, but I'd need about two days to fully recover. I was later to learn that the severe attacks were caused by "ileus" - complete blockage of the intestine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ileus

These weekly ileus episodes went on for about a year, I lost 10kg, and for the last couple of months I had continuous fever caused by fistulas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fistula

Since Crohn's disease is a pretty rare illness and the Taiwanese never get it, the local hospitals couldn't diagnose it. I finally found a surgeon willing to do exploratory surgery, and as soon as he looked he knew what it was. He removed about 1/2 meter of intestine, which included the stenosis and all the damaged tissue. And that was it - I recovered fully, even gained back the weight.

Well, that is to say, fully recovered for nine years. Then the symptoms gradually returned, and after nearly a year of that bullshit, I had the same surgery performed again, and it "cured" me just as miraculously. During this second round, I at least had the advantage of knowing what was wrong with me. Various drugs were tried - prednisone worked great (for a short time) but nearly blinded me. Buscopan injections brought great relief during an attack and had no side effects, but it's a very short-term fix. I learned that coffee/tea/cola/spices could trigger an attack, ditto for high-fiber foods. Asacol (mesalamine) was only mildly effective, if at all.

Not sure if any of the above info is helpful to you, CyberN8. But I'd go easy on the prednisolone if I were you - I didn't think anybody could take 60mg a day, guess I was wrong about that. If you're only suffering from diarrhea, that isn't so bad. If you're suffering from pain, that's another story. And if your condition is getting worse, you may want to undergo a set of barium-swallow x-rays to see if you've got a stenosis. And if you've got one, you may want to consider getting it surgically removed.

I can't think of anything else that's relevant, but email me if you want to discuss it more.

best regards and good luck,
Robert
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Postby Rascal » 17 Jan 2005, 14:21

You took 50mg a day and you're still alive? I find that a little hard to believe. Prednisone is sold in 5mg tablets, and normal dosage is two to three tablets a day. My father took 15mg a day for two years when he had cancer, and it turned his bones into something resembling styrofoam. I took 10mg a day for three weeks before my eyesight started going bad.

I can believe that Prednisone would help with your allergies. In fact, Prednisone will help with almost anything, for awhile. The true happy pill - until it kills or cripples you. But most people can take it for 2-3 weeks before the side effects start showing up, so if you didn't suffer any ill effect in that time, I can believe it. But I think you've got the dosage wrong.

The dosage is correct, it were 50mg pills. I tried all the usual stuff against my running nose caused by the hay fever. Actually I was perhaps lucky that it only affected my nose (no swollen eyes etc.) but I was literally taking one paper tissue after the next and even the allergologist said he had never seen anything like that before.
Since it also prevented me from work at the time the doc said there is only one thing to prescribe: Prednisolon. One 50mg pill and within 30 minutes I was indeed happy - the running nose stopped completely and one pill a day helped to keep it that way.
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