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3 weeks of daily headaches on Prednisone


Sports Crohnie
Is this normal? I'm down to 2mg/day of Prednisone. Since I got down to 5mg/day, I've been struggling with daily headaches. Having to take Advil every few hours. It's really frustrating. See GI a week from Monday.
I am assuming it is the Pred that is causing this?

I am totally guessing here so it may not help at all. Prednisone causes water weight gain if I remember correctly. Reducing it should reduce the water content of your body also. Since most headaches are caused by simple dehydration I am speculating that the reduction of water, specifically water in the spinal column and head, is causing the head aches.

So maybe increased liquid and salt intake could help? just guessing.



Sports Crohnie
It's gotta be the pred. Increase salt intake? Doesn't that dehydrate?

It's a good theory that water reduction in head causing the pain...i've noticed my mooniness going down. . .


ele mental leprechaun
Hey Fenway,

Dan's comments are fair.

Another thought could be yes you are decreasing your pred/steroids and its a part of the withdrawal and your adrenal glands taking over again (cant remember how long you have been on them).

However, if you are taking advil every few hours are you aware that pain relief meds can actually contribute to further headaches? If you are taking them regularly for a prolonged period your body becomes used to having the regular dose (same can apply to any med really but headaches you will find are a common side effect listed) so once the level drops in your bloodstream it starts to yell for more again and compounds the headache by doing this.

You may have to tough it out and see if this is the case - sorry. You might feel my thoughts dont apply because you haven't been taking them for very long or maximum dose allowed or some other reason.

Just thought I might throw my hat into the ring anyway and see if my ponderings help.

Pred is horrible stuff - I am on it myself again and hate coming off it as I suffer flu like symptoms with really bad muscle aches and pains, sweating and exhaustion.

Thinking of you ((hugs))


Sports Crohnie
Thanks, Jan. I've had that fear too as I'm not used to frequent headaches (ordinarily i'll get headaches a few times a year) or taking advil that often.

I've been taking Advil and trying my best to gut it out as long as I can to avoid addition to ibuprofen. But, these headaches are killers! But, that's good advice.

I've been on pred since september.


ele mental leprechaun
Its a really tough one to nail isnt it.

I have had steroids either in injection or oral since last August with only a 2wk break in January this year so totally understand where you are coming from.

Definately stay away from the Ibuprofen it has the potential to make your crohns worse.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. Might be worth doing some research on complex migraine too. Duncan was diagnosed a few months back and he was shocked because he was so bad with other physical symptoms like pins and needles down the left side of his body (they were concerned he was having mini strokes) that he wasnt even registering the headaches!

Just another thought popped into my head with you mentioning you suffer badly at times. Not really the thing you need on top of pred withdrawal.

Salt will cause your body to retain more water. Which may or may not help.

It is hard to know if it is just a drug withdrawal symptom or something else.

yeah fen, sorry to say but thats what it was like for me. killer headache 24/7 the entire time i was withdrawing.
sometimes a washcloth moist with hot water over my eyes and forehead helped for some relief.
also watch out with the advil, it irritates the tummy!
Fenway, earlier this year i was crippled by constant headaches that lasted weeks.. i really was on the point of tearing my hair out, and like you fed up of popping painkillers constantly (which didn't even take the pain away). eventually, on the umpteenth gp visit, i was prescribed Amitriptyline http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amitriptyline

I was told that in a tiny dose, one before bedtime, this drug can actually alter the pattern of insistent head pain, and for me it really did. i noticed a difference even after the first night.. stayed on it for around 3 weeks and haven't had a bad headache since.


Sports Crohnie
Thanks all! Appreciate the thoughts and suggestions.

Good ideas about Advil. I should probably stop.

Dingbat, I'll ask my GI about amitriptyline (why can't they come up with simpler names?).