I have had Ra for 3 Years. I am on Methatrexate, 25 mg, Remicade, 300mg, and Prednisone 5 mg. I am trying to get weaned off the prednisone. I have tried it the last two years and when I get to 2 mg, I flare. Currently, I am at 3 mg. I feel achy and are having problems with my feet and lower back. Is there anything else I can take in place of the prednisone?
My RA is under control and I dont have any severe pain. I am afraid I will flare again and be back at square one. But, I dont like the way I feel now at 3 mg. At 5 mg , I feel great. I would appreciate your advise. k. tate
12/13/08 I'm no Dr, but I am in the same boat as you. I have been taking steroids for ~12yrs and am trying to get off d2 bone damage that is now occurring. I have had a hip replacement and the other one pending all d2 Avascular Necrosis...it took 10 years, but it's here... I think things are stable now but can't seem to go lower than 2mg/day. I've learned that I need to take other things to combat the symptoms I get when the dose gets too low.
I found that I need to supplement the cortisone produced by my adrenals w/ DHEA supplement and perhaps my thyroid too. Adrenals aren't producing cortisone at steroid levels of 4mg and above. YOu have to wean off the steroid to allow the adrenals to kick in again...thus the need for the DHEA.
Also, find a good multivitamin full of antioxidants and the full complement of vit & minerals. Eat lots of fruits and veggies definitely more than you eat meat and stay away from refined sugar/starch as they all may aggravate lupus condition. I bought a juicer to help w/ my intake b/c it's hard to eat all the fruits & veggies that is recommended by FDA.
Take 50-200mg DHEA/day to assist your body in producing it's own cortisone again while weaning off the steroids 1/2mg every 10days and if you feel bad go up to the last dose for until symptoms level out. But you will need the DHEA to help you build your own cortisone as the steroid dose drops. healingyou.org was the website where i found the weaning process and also gives you a regimen of herbs to take. They were selling it but the website is down today 12/13/08 (was functional thurs 12.11.08) They may be updating since the ordering functionality wasn't working on thurs.
Ibuprofen/Acetaminophin helps w/ the fevers and some aches.
Omega3 is great for swelling and joint pain!
This is what I plan to do. I will most likely need to add something to regulate my immune system overall, but I haven't decided on what to try.