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How long can you stay on presidone? Safely???

Started by 100002222460291... on 10/01/2011 7:32am

Ok so I have been in alot of pain this year. And I am grateful that pain meds do work, however I hate every 4 hrs having to take it. Its a all day cycle that never really ends. And by mid afternoon Im so tired!! But it does work. So I went to ER for pain as usual bc Im in the process of getting to the neuro, and my primary cannot write anythg that work bc he is in a church, witch is a "free clinic". I have been offered the sterdoids before but bc of all the negative thgs I heard, I was afraid to take it. As you all know how the pain works, it contines to get worst and more parts of my body. You know you get to the point where you would try anythg. Well I got to that point. And it was the hardest drug I EVER took. For the first four days I felt like I had the flu. Was so tired but couldnt sleep. I went though so many things. However on the 3rd day I woke up with NO PAIN!! I woke up so happy in the best mood I have been in, in months. I felt like myself again, I could move, I could work. It was priceless. So now they are finished, and within 3 days I can feel Mr. Pain knocking on my door. Witch brings me to the question. How long can I stay on this miracle drug, with out it harming my body? I know that it really changes your chemisty, and hormones. And it also affects you immune system. But I have never had such relief, with less medicine, less often. I realize I cant stay on it forever, but does anyone is there a safe period? Or do you go on and off? And how does it work. And if the oral did such a great job, does that mean the injections would be good for me too? Thanks for your time and responce, Jamie

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9 Responses


Hi Jamie,

Good to hear that Prednisone provided some benefit to mitigating your pain. Prednisone is a very universal and strong steroid based drug that is used to treat brain seizures, musculoskeletal pain, and highly inflamed skin conditions such as contact dermatitis and eczema, etc.

Although not spinal related, my daughter previously (2 years old at the time) had to take Prednisone as an alternative option to control severe brain seizures that she was having. The neurologist had emphasized that the drug could only be taken for two months maximum as it was only intended as a SHORT TERM DRUG (due to increased risks of side affects). Prednisone had brought her seizures under control during the two month dose, though, her seizures returned after she had stopped taking the prednisone.

As for side affects, my daughter was pumped up like a Michelin Tire Man (I.e. mass weight gain with multiple rolls showing!!).

Longer term or higher doses of Prednisone may cause osteoporosis, a condition of brittle bones (not what you want to hear when you already have spinal issues).

There are mild to severe side effects associated with prednisone use. The side effects occur more frequently with high-dose or long-term use of prednisone.

Possible side effects include:

•Sodium (salt) retention
•Fluid retention
•Weight gain/Obesity
•High blood pressure
•Elevated blood sugar
•Elevated blood fats
•Potassium loss
•Muscle weakness
•Puffiness or moon face
•Growth of facial hair
•Bruising easily
•Thinning of skin
•Poor wound healing
•Stomach ulcers
•Aseptic necrosis
•Irregular periods
•Rounding of upper back
•Growth retardation in children
•Increased appetite
•Psychiatric issues (depression, mood swings, personality changes).

Out of interest, what sort of spinal issues do you have?...there must be a better pain management solution for you?

PS: I am now 12 weeks post op after having a Transforaminal Lumber Interbody Fusion (TLIF) with fixtures at L5/S1 level. The operation was very successful and my pain levels are 90% better than they were when compared to pre-surgery.

Take care & kind regards,


Hey again, and thanks so much for the info. I have a MRI done only of the cervical area. So I have a bulging disc and a large hernatied disc. The herniated disc is at C-7 but the gel material is in the T-1 area. I do have numbness in my feet, legs and buttocks. I wake up in the middle of the nite and from my hips down is completly numb. I also have pain in my hip. And though out the day my calf and foot goes numb. I have not seen a spealist due to no insurece, so am unsure if this is coming from the cervical disc or is there more going on in the lumbar? I just got appoved for an insurece though the state. When the pain is unbeable I go to the ER, bc my priamary is though a free clinic and he is only allowed to give me ultram witch doesent do anythg for the pain. The pain started around Feb/March of this year and has continued to get worst and affect more parts of my body. I usually have normal blood pressure, but the last few ER visits when I have been in UNBEARBLE pain it has been quite high 152/116. And the ER DR told me its normal when your in that amount of pain bc your body goes into a stress mode, and thats how they know Im in ALOT of pain. I have checked it when Im not in pain and its normal. Im sure there are alot of drugs that can control my pain, that I can take less of,and less often. But bc its the ER they give me percot and valium, witch it a all day cycle. Every 4 to 6 hrs I have to take it. I have know for three months what is wrong, but took this long to get approved. So I think there is finally light at the end of the tunel! And I will beable to see a neuro soon. Did you try PT and the injection, and if so did it work for you? I was interested in those first before I jump on the table. However if the neuro tells me thats what I need I will do it. I am 32 years old and a little nervous, I think bc I have so many unanswered quesions about this condition. And are there any drugs you would recommend? Mainly that you can take less pills and less often? I took the presidone for two weeks and I lost 5 pds! Maybe due to fact I wasnt in pain and was able to due more? And unsure if I had taking longer more would have happened? Thanks so much for your time, Jamie


Hi Jamie,

You asked if I have tried PT and spinal injections? Yes, I had previously received a cervical foraminal epidural (cortisone) injection at C6/C7 level which provided no relief at all.

As for physiotherapy, I am currently trying different types of PT (I.e. traction, hot & cold therapy, TENS) for my neuroforaminal stenosis issue. It is well known that if any of these PT treatments work they will only provide short term symptomatic relief. I will arrange surgery in November this year.

Don't worry too much about your age and the associated pain issues that you are dealing with, you will be fine once you get some synergy with a good spinal specialist. The public health care system in the US sounds crap!!...nobody should have to wait so long or cross multiple hurdles for much needed medical treatment.

You had asked about any recommendations for alternative pain medications, I suggest that you talk with your GP or otherwise a pain management professional.

I can relate to your comments about experiencing such unwanted spinal issues in your thirties, I am only 35 years old and have just had a successful TLIF at L5/S1 level 12 weeks ago.

Take care & keep in touch.


I had been on Prednisone for 21/2 years at one time. It helped my immediate problem. I have more problems now from it.. I have a hard time if my Dr. try to giveit to me again. I gained a massive amout of weight. I was all screwed up from it. I would not tell any one to take Prednisone.


Hi Mary,

I sincerely trust that you are feeling much better now?

Your experience clearly highlights the associated consequences....quite nasty!!

Kind regards


Hi Jamie, glad u finally got some aprovals to move on to see physicians. as far as the prednisone, u cant stop abruptly it has to b tappered down, n usually there is weight gain not loss, so im contribute that to ur pain...good luck on ur venture, keep making progress w seing physicians,, ur pain down ur leg is from discs out of place pressing on the nerves, hang in there . Rene :)


Well thanks for everybody advice. I finally have an apt. with my new primary tommorow, and have an apt w my neuro on Nov 1st!! What a relief. And Rene I did taper down of the presidone. And it worked so good while I was taking it, but after 4 to 5 days after going off Mr. Pain was knocking on my door!! I hated the side efffects at first but the benifit outweighed the effects. The ER DR told me I could only take it and then wait 3 to 6 months before taking it again. And bc of of everbodys great advice I will take when really nessary, and not all the time. It was awesome to not have any pain, and no drowseyness as with the pain meds and valium. They work good too but im taking it, and every 4 to 6 hrs feels like Im taking meds all day, witch really I am. And I realize I have to be grateful that these thgs do work and get me out of pain. I just had a hard time acceping the fact I have to take meds, bc bf I didnt have to take anythg. However I cant bear the pain, so I have to suck it up and deal w the side effects. My hopes are that tomorrow I cant be put on somethg that I only have to take somethg like breakfast,lunch ,and dinner? I may be wrong and back on the 4 to 6 hr cycle, if so im not gonna complain, Im gonna be greatful Im not in pain and I can live my life. And this week Im gonna call and get my PT set up, I just hope that I have all the time it reqiures bc I work full time and a single mother of 3 children. And my day is already go,go, go. And I really want to give it a 100%. So if I do need surgery I feel like I did everythg I could first. But I am so happy I have finally been heard and on my way to recovery, and getting the medical attention I have needed. So again Thank You Everybody. Sincerly, Jamie Lynn


JAMIE,,,u made my day by hearing all this good news. IM so happy for u...... I told u were theres a will theres a way. And dont worry about meds, like u said, none of us like taking them but if MR. Pain goes away , Ill take anything, :) ;). cant wait to hear somemore good news from u soon. Enjoy ur day..RENE :) :) :)


Great news Jamie, I am very pleased to hear that you are building some synergy with obtaining some professional advice and treatment.

Take care & kind regards,