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Prednisone or Steriods? Updated

charryccharry Posts: 5,660
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Pain Medications
Hi Everyone, I was wondering I hear so many people have been given oral steroids by their Doctor. My Doctor never gave me any. The only steroids I had was the marcaine for injections. Did everyone get steroids from their Doctor? Thanks just wondering. Charry
I meant I had Kenalog and Depo-medrol for the ESI's sorry and marcaine for the triggers amd facet joint injections. I still haven't tried Prednisone yet.

DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN


  • Marcaine actually isn't a steroid, it is a local anesthetic (like lidocaine, but longer acting). Steroids are very strong anti-inflammatories, and work especially good on nerve inflammation. It is an automatic thing we give our dog and cat patients when they come in with head or spinal trauma. I was put on two 5-day courses of oral steroids this summer when I first had my neck injury. They worked GREAT at relieving my neck pain. They also used injectable steroids during my ACDF to minimize surgical inflammation. The problem is that long-term steroid use does have side affects. Just ask anyone on prednisone for Chrone's Disease. Some short term affects include stomach ulceration and delayed healing, so it is not something you should take while you are trying to recovery from surgery. Also, you never want to take NSAIDS and steroids together... this is very hard on your stomach and liver.
  • no i wasn't given any altho like you i was given caudal injections.

    I have seen on the web conflicting opinions. Some papers suggest the steriods may hinder fusion and some papers say it may help....Look for the web videos - I saw it there but not sure which site. It was an OR Live something.

    Take Care
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  • A few people here have had oral steroids. I have had a course of oral steroids (prednisone) when I had a form of Bell's Palsey. As rivertime said they are an excellent anti inflammatory, especially on nerve inflammation, but they can have significant side effects including mood swings.


    There are also corticosteroids - usually used in the treatment of joint pain or inflammation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corticosteroid
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • I got severe mood swings last year after a shot, thankfully my rheumatologist agrees that considering my mental illness that they are not the way to go. I actually felt like I was outside looking in, creepy stuff.Plus the other side effects are nasty too.But, its a matter of discussing the pros/cons with your doctor.They do a lot of good for some people and you may get some relief.
  • i had a RX for prednisone before it worked wonders!!!
    of course it was not long term.
    i felt a immidate difference in about 3 days. it was the best feeling ever.
    this was when my knees were really bothering me.
    i had some nausea with them but no other side effects for myself.
    good info everyone gave you.
    please check out the link that bruce gave ya.

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  • I was put on steroids on October 25th after a particularly nasty setback with pain, especially muscle spasms that were uncontrollable.

    I started at 20 mg. of oral prednisone (as rivertime said, Marcaine is local anaesthetic; I have it at home for trigger point injections), and within 24 hours my pain and spasms were reduced by approximately 80%. At the time I went on it, the pain in all my attachment areas (anything that attached to bone) was completely out of hand, and I was having Demerol shots on a regular basis because nothing else would ease them.

    Prednisone has nasty side effects, i.e. it's hard on the stomach, causes terrible mood swings, bruising and bleeding easily, and I went into immediate menopausal-like symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats galore). It's usually used short term, so I am now tapering off, which has to be done slowly and carefully, and I will be finished by Monday.

    Unfortunately, I can feel the pain returning already, but the spasms haven't increased as badly as I expected. The good thing is that I know this will be a great "rescue remedy" for me when things get out of hand again. I do know people who take low doses, i.e. 5 to 7.5 mg, for weeks or even months at a time, but then you get the water retention/weight gain issues (if you've ever known anyone who's been on it a long time, their face gets quite puffy).

    I've also had corizone shots in my shoulder and shoulderblade, and recently had three strong steroid injections into my elbow for a nasty case of tendinitis. Unfortunately for me, it was TOO strong, and my skin is now completely white in that area and all the fat under the skin disintegrated, so I'm left with what looks like a skin graft scar.

    It's a great drug for emergencies, but it has a lot of "down" sides to it. I have to say I understand how people get to where they WANT to take it, because for a couple of weeks after I started the oral dose, I was running around the house like Superwoman!!

  • I also have two friends that have been on it with wonderful results. One with a ruptered disc and one with siatica pain. I wonder too why no one has suggested this for my pain. They have determined that I have nerve pain.

    Is this somthing that needs to be suggested to a doctor? Or would that be stepping out of bounds?
  • There are also other steroids out there besides prednisone. I was put on a five day course of methylprednisolone 4mg after my MRI. It was a tapering dose from the beginning... 4 pills/day, then 3 1/2pills/day, then 3 pills, etc. It really helped with the pain. However, about a week after finishing, the pain started to come back so they put me on a second 5-day course and then switched me to NSAIDS. The NSAIDS never worked as well as the methylprednisolone, but the steroid was able to kind of get the pain "under control" and the NSAIDS kept it at bay (along with valium and hydrocodone!). Pretty much all of my pain and symptons were due to nerve inflammation, so I probably responded better than someone with long term pain from other sources.
  • I have had to have several taper packs of prednisone for rheumatiod arthritis. After my accident the ER doc prescribed then for me to keep the inevitable inflammation at bay and I've had them after each surgery. However I wouldn't tkae ANY type of steroid long term for any reason. There are just too many side effects and they cause too much organ damage if used long term.

    If it weren't for all the bad stuff I'd take them all the time. I do feel almost "normal" when I'm on them.....sigh.

  • Please be so careful with the steroids on a even a short-long term. The dose packs are great and okay to take 3-4 times a year but the contiuing oral 5-20 mg daily dose has side effects on your interior body you can't see. Please read the effects of use before it gets to you. I took 10mg daily for a long time and now I have weigh gain, blood pressure problems. Just read and make an informed decision before taking it. I agree it is marvelous for pain relief, but we all know we need no other problems with the pain too.
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