Severe Joint Pain while tapering Prednisone pills - started with 60mg dose?
- 7 Nov 2010 by pink_ninja
- 4 Sep 2016
- osteoarthritis, pain, prednisone
Hi everyone, I'm currently tapering from 35 mg a day to 30 (this week), and I'll keep at that 5 mg down a week taper rate until I hit 20 mg and from there it's 1 mg down per week. At my highest dose, I was at 60 mg a day for a couple months. So far this has caused extreme anxiety and nausea, but I am learning to deal with that. Unfortunately, my newest side effect is extreme joint pain - particularly in the early morning while I'm trying to sleep. I feel like my knees and now my ankles are on fire with a terrible stabbing pain. Each time it has happened, it occurs during the first nights after I taper down from a previous dose. Has anyone gone through anything like this? If so, are there any suggestions? I would appreciate anything. I honestly feel very alone in this process.
It would help if we knew what you are tapering down off of to better answer your question.
We do want to help
Hi there pink ninja, I'm so sorry to hear about this pain. It can be so stressful. What medication are you trying to taper down on?
YES, YES, YES... I have experienced the exact problem. I was on 80mg of prednisone for 2 weeks and while tapering down had the leg cramps you talked about. It usually goes away after an hour or so, but it is horrible pain. I noticed it the day or two after I decreased my dose. This last time I ended up in the ER because the pain got so bad and lasted for over 10 hours. They did bloodwork and part of the problem was dehydration. I got IV pain meds. and even with that it just took the edge off the pain. The next couple of days after that my knees and ankle joints were so sore I could hardly walk. You should also increase your potassium because prednisone depletes your body and low potassium can cause leg cramps. Water, Water, Water... I thought I was drinking enough (6-8 20oz bottles) but was obviously not enough. Hang in there and plan ahead for when you will be decreasing your dose. extra water and potassium.
I just woke up with these same joint pains and needed to know that there is someone else out there. I know it is the prednisone tapering causing the pain, it just doesn't make it feel any better. I have ulcerative colitis among other inflammatory issues that force me to take steroids in some form or other, argh... If anyone ever wants to vent or chat, I'm here.
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