Steroids: Good or Bad?

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2008 at 7:57 pm

      I have become confused reading posts on this site and also one in the UK about the wisdom of taking steroids with GBS. I have for the past three years been taking Prednisone, beginning at 70 mg per day and decreasing to the current level of 5 mg. The Prednisone is part of the package of anti-rejection drugs I take because of a heart transplant in 2005. At one point I was weaned down to 2mg daily, with the goal of eventually getting me off the drug, but after another bout in 2007 with the ventilator and life support the dosage was increased.

      Can anyone shed any light on the subject of steroids? Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2008 at 10:17 pm

      Jim, steroids are not used in the treatment of GBS as it has been proven to be ineffective. Plasma Pharesis and IVIg are the preferred treatments. People , however, with CIDP, the chronic form of GBS, do respond to steroids in a lot of situations. Because some of us are GBS survivors and others have CIDP, you will see the topic being discussed on all the threads. Most of us post on them all as there are many similarities along with all the differences.

      You are on steroids because of your heart condition so that is another issue completely. I do believe it should not cause you any problems…but it won’t help the GBS. If I am incorrect in this anyone, please feel free to say so.

      Hope this helps Jim.

    • Anonymous
      August 27, 2008 at 4:15 am

      Hi Jim! Depending on a person’s disease, steriods are used for many many things. In some diseases it helps people taking them. But some diseases it makes the disease process worse. As Jan said when diagnosed with GBS steroids are not the norm treatment for GBS but.. CIDP on the other hand steroids are used alot in treatment.
      Because of your heart transplant they are using steroids to keep the heart from rejecting itself in your body. So it is very important for your problem right now that you take the steroids. Even people with poison ivy in bad cases are given a medrol pack of steroids.
      Steroids can save a persons life, but then high doses of steroids and long term use can cause sides effects just like any other drug. Me being a long term user of the drug for several years. I can no longer get off the steroids. So I have to stay on a low dosage.
      Long term steroid use can cause High Blood Pressure, Osteosporsis, Tendency to be more prone to Infections, Obesity and a few other problems. But it’s just like any other drug out there. NSAID’s like Ibuprophen can cause the stomach lining to get weak if taken to long. Causing bleeding problems, stomach ulcers etc.
      For what is going on with you, it’s the proper treatment plan for you. Without it, your heart could reject itself causing you more problems. So for you it is considered a life threatening situation. Kidney transplant patients are also given steriods for the same reason.
      But long term can cause problems in later years. Mostly bone problems like Osteosporsis, Necrosis of a bone, Diabetes, High blood pressure etc. Does not mean you will get these problems but it might happen. That is why you get tested for other things while being on the drug in later years.
      Hope this helped.

    • Anonymous
      August 27, 2008 at 9:38 am

      Thanks, Linda and Jan. The reason for my question was an effort to learn whether the Prednisone actually is bad for my GBS. If that were true, I was going to talk to the transplant coordinators about trying again to wean me off the steroid. Some transplant patients are weaned off successfully; some are not. Cyclosporin and Cellcept are the two main anti-rejection drugs. Prednisone is a small part of the package. I would love to be off it — the side effects are miserable. The truth is I was hoping to use GBS as a reason to beg the coordinators to try again to get me off it.
      Again, thank you for your help.

    • Anonymous
      August 27, 2008 at 11:49 am

      Jim, there is an article on treating inflammatory neuropathy in the GBS/CIDP communicator that came in the mail yesterday. In the section on GBS I read the following:
      [QUOTE]the first trials of oral corticosteroids were small and underpowered but meta- analysis of all of them showed that they are more likely to cause harm than benefit (Hughes et al. 2006b)[/QUOTE]