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Treating Lupus with Steroids

Prednisone is the steroid most commonly prescribed for lupus.

It is usually given as tablets that come in 1, 5, 10, or 20 milligram (mg) doses. Pills may be taken as often as 4 times a day or as infrequently as once every other day.

What does it do? Inflammation is the body’s natural response to events such as things your body doesn’t recognize as a part of itself. Steroids reduce the activity of your immune system by affecting the function of cells in your blood.

Side effects...Why ? Steroid medications can have serious long-term side effects, The risk of these side effects increases with higher doses and longer term therapy. For this reason, steroid medications are usually prescribed only after other less potent drugs have proven insufficient in controlling your lupus.

Then what? Steroids are often given in high doses, which may increase the risk of side effects. Medications called “immunosuppressive” drugs are sometimes prescribed in addition to steroids to help spare some of these undesirable side effects. However, as their name suggests, immunosuppressive work to suppress the immune system,

For me, being on Prednisone drives me bonkers. It gives me an unnatural amount of energy in the beginning of the week. My body is constantly vibrating that causes me to sweat profusely. My twins correlate my symptom as being The Flash. His character fazes through walls. For real, I feel like I am fazing, Unfortunately, I am not a superhero character because I would be awesome! My mind is running a mile a minute and it is difficult to restfully sleep. Eventually, my body can not sustain this "wakefulness" feeling. By midweek, I heavily fade. Every movement and thought is just too much. By the end of the week, I just sleep like the dead. Once, I fully physically and mentally rest...another week begins. I was prescribed Prednisone for six weeks. For the first two weeks, I was prescribed Prednisone alone to prep my body for the next four interesting weeks.

Next step...chemotherapy, my immunosuppressive drug.

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