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Question about Steroid use


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Another question for you all out there who may have been, or are currently taking steroids:

My sister had been taking them, and her doc has now weaned her off. As a result,we think she is not doing nearly as well as before. Less energy, shaky, experiencing nausea again, in general a lesser quality of life.

What are your opinions of steroids, their benefits, or their negative effects? Has anyone been taking steriods for a long time?

As always, your input is very appreciated. Sis

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Lisa was on heavy doses of IV Dexamethasone during her initial WBR and then went through months of weaning off with tappered doses of Dexamethasone in pill form. Each time she reduced the dose the symtoms were just like you said :

"Less energy, shaky, experiencing nausea again, in general a lesser quality of life."

Doctor then put her on a milder steroid Prednisone 5mg and she was suppose to be off by now after several months but if she doesn't take 1 5mg every day she is:

"Less energy, shaky, experiencing nausea again, in general a lesser quality of life."

Under the circumstances the doc said the dose is low so go ahead and continue 5mg a day but try to skip days. The natural steroid is suppose to come from your own body, I think the Adrenal Glands but when mega doses of artificial steroids are used they stop working it takes a long time to get them producing again.

There are also bad side effects if you come off steroids too quickly.

Take good care of yourself - happily - Chanwit

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Steroids really are such a good/bad drug. My mom was on them long term and they caused the following things for her: body swelling (even though they were to reduce brain swelling) that made her several sizes larger than normal. Her appetite was ferocious on them and so she ate and did put on 50 pounds, but it was a combo of weight and swelling. It made her "tight" where she lost flexibility bc of the swelling, which made therapy very difficult for her.

Long term, the steroids also induced disabetes on my mom and she had to take insulin shots bc of it.

The steroids can have a huge impact on emotions and rage. They really can make your sister nuts, very high and low feelings.

On the flipside, if it weren't for the "Roids", mom may not have survived as long she did bc they did help to reduce brain swelling over several periods and they are qactually used by many Doctors to help cancer patients in pain management/QOL issues.

How high of a dose is she taking and what type?

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My Father took steroids to reduce any possible brain swelling that may occur along with the brain mets. His biggest gripe was that it made his legs very heavy - stairs were a huge problem.

We found out that steroids could raise blood sugar when my Father was hospitalized in Sept. We also learned during that stay that steroids could aid as a fever reducer. For the record, it was Decadron that he took.



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Sis -

I guess a lot depends on where your sister is in treatment -- for my mom, the benefts outweighed the negatives -- her quality of life was so much better on them, than off of them...and we knew that she would probably not be around for enough time that the long term effects would be too damaging. She never had any of the modd swings or mental confusion that many have had -- the GREATLY decreased pain from tumors on her spinal cord. She took 16mg every 24 hours.

Hope that helps,


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