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Prednisone heart rate anxiety

Hi there, first post here so apologies for it being a plea for help! Unfortunately my doctor is booked up for the next couple of days at least so I'm hoping for a bit of reassurance.

I've been on Prednisone for suspected Crohn's since February starting on 40mg and tapering 5mg per week. Today's my first day on 10mg so I'm a fair way in. I've had a fairly horrible time on it (which seems common) with various apparent side effects which I won't bore you by listing! Being disposed to anxiety problems in the first place I've been struggling with the high heart rate and assumed it would've come down a bit by this point but the last couple of days it's become all the more noticeable because the palpitations have become very pronounced and more constant. Basically I've just felt like I've been fighting off panic attacks all day.

Is this sort of thing to be expected on a taper? It seems strange to me that a lot of the effects have got worse as I've reduced the dose but I gather this might be something to do with your adrenal gland taking back over or something?
Hi Panza and a very warm welcome to the forum. Pleas for help are what we are all about here, so no need to apologise :) 5mg per week is a fairly rapid taper I think. My GI had me taper 5mg every two weeks. Many people experience the rapid heart rate and other symptoms.
If you are feeling very unwell and concerned, I would put a call into your doc or pop into A & E as they can test your adrenal function and establish if you are suffering from insufficiency or not.
It's hard when you're new to all this and the meds are scary. Keep in touch and let us know what you decide and how you're gettin on.
Hi Grumbletum, thanks for the reply! I was in the clinic a couple of weeks back so I assume that would've been included in the bloods I had done but from what what I'm reading this seems to become more of an issue once you get down to the lower doses?

Since I can't get in at the doctor's I think I'll follow your advice and get down to A&E. Doesn't seem to be another choice as far as getting it checked out unfortunately..
Yes, that seems to be the case often and was with me. I had to taper a couple of times and it was when I got down to 10mg that the fun really started. Issues with low blood pressure, nausea, headaches etc.
Your symptoms sound quite severe so I hope you get on OK at A & E.
Hi Panza, welcome to the forum, I hope you're doing ok today? I had really bad palpitations when I was coming down the pred dosage but it all calmed down when I stopped it.

I'm new to this too and ask about everything, to me it's the only way of dealing with another chronic condition. Def get it looked into, do you have a specialist I D nurse who you could talk to? Good luck and take care.
Thanks to you both for the reassurance. Went into A & E and they did an EEG which they said looked fine, pulse and BP were high (well, BP only very slightly high by the normal standard but mine is really low usually) as I knew but they didn't seem concerned about it. By the sounds of it if it was me tapering too fast I'd be having low BP and stuff as you've experienced, Grumbletum.

I feel much the same today really, I guess I'll just have to strap myself in and try to power through it but that's obviously easier said than done!

I'll definitely be glad to see the back of this stuff.

I suffered horribly with heart palpitations particularly at higher doses. It never really went away until I was below 10mg, and even then I could still have it though not nearly as severe. I noticed that each time I tapered the palpitations would come back full force, and I found a slower taper helped a lot. I tapered 1mg per fortnight under 10mg and found this to be much more effective in reducing tapering side effects.

Hope you're doing ok :)
my heart palpitations really got worse once i was tapering off, even though this was done slowly.
i went to the dr and explained that i thought it was a mix of pred and anxiety - & was given beta blockers, which massively helped. that might be an option for you?
Thanks everybody, thankfully the palps have calmed down a lot and the heart rate seems to have come down a fair bit. Very unpleasant few days though!

Unfortunately beta-blockers are seen as a no-no for me because I have asthma, although it's very mild so possible I could get away with it.

I had extra tablets so I went down to 7.5mg for a couple of days before dropping to 5mg and plan to take 2.5mg for a couple of days at the end. Not that much slower I guess but might make it slightly more smooth!

Just looking forward to being able to exercise again as I've ended up very unfit after the past few months of not feeling well and being on medication, may have rushed it a little the past few days.. Did a very small amount with light weights and my muscles have been seriously sore and tingly since.

I should get around to a proper introductory thread as I need a bit of advice about where I go from here but the only trouble is if I feel up to putting a big post together I'd rather do something completely unrelated to feeling ill :yoshijumpjoy:
Good news Panza :) Put up a post anyway, it will be nice to get to know you and people here will happily give you advice. I would've been lost without this place when I first became ill. Unrelated to ill is good too - it's nice when we're feeling that the disease doesn't define us :)
i too have very mild asthma, which is bought on by being around cats. i was told to take the beta blockers unless i'm having an asthmatic time in which case stop, and start again when its gone :)
just a thought, that might be an option for you :)
Ack, having a horrible couple of days again with this, probably brought on by the fact that I seem to have picked up some sort of stomach bug or eaten something dodgy so I'm feeling pretty rotten in general. Nothing in the bloods to suggest that it's Crohn's-related at least but still, heart is just pounding away.

I'm on the last couple of days of the Pred (at 2.5mg) which now has me questioning whether I was putting a little too much blame on it for the return of my previously dormant panic attacks.. Don't like to admit it to myself but it seems possible that I'm not dealing with the diagnosis as well as I thought, although to be fair I was pretty OK anxiety-wise for the first few weeks.

Gonna go get that intro together while I'm trying to pass a bit of anxious time!
This stomach bug/slight fever is freaking me out a bit now since it's not a million miles away from how I felt prior to going into hospital when i was diagnosed :(

I'm guessing (but having trouble convincing myself) that I'm being silly since the bloods on Friday night showed no inflammation?
I'm sure you're right, just strange since I rarely come down with anything (haven't been out much to catch anything either really) and it's like it's mimicking the symptoms right as I come off the Pred. Could just be a case of unfortunate timing I guess, I'm sure the bloods don't lie but the anxiety won't always let me be rational unfortunately!
I can totally relate. I suffer from awful anxiety! & it's not easy to remain calm and rational. But you have had bloods, and as long as you speak to your Dr there is nothing else you can do. Remember it is their job to work it all out, not yours. Your job is to keep them up to date :)
Please try not to stress, whether it's a bug or a flare, right now nothing more can be done :) try and do something relaxing.
Hey, figured I'd add my 2cents.
I've had the same issues with anxiety that you described, and coming down from pred was not a fun time for me. It was like I could feel my heart 24/7. Mentioned it to my Dr. who said to keep an eye on it (after tests came back normal). It went away after pred.
As for the bug, I find that when i'm rebounding from a flare I become hyperaware of any issues with my gut. To me it seems obvious that the gas is from crohn's, and not the pizza I had for lunch... My advice, as unhelpful as I know it will be in the moment for you, is to wait it out. 99.99% it's gonna be the stomach bug, or something you ate, or the stress of thinking the crohn's is flaring. I find in these cases I almost forget exactly how shitty I felt when flaring.
Anyway, I related to your story quite a bit and my fears have not once been realized. Best you can do is stay vigilant and try not to worry.

Thanks to you both, I'm still struggling but you did reassure me some, honest!

I guess the problem is that when I was diagnosed I didn't really have many symptoms (just a very high fever and a mild sort of stomach ache) and they had a hard time diagnosing me which is probably making me paranoid that something's going to missed, either by me or the doctors.

I started feeling ill with this on Friday and the bloods were taken later that day, am I right in thinking that inflammation would be detectable straight away? Obviously quite new to this so not sure exactly how these blood tests go I guess.
My son had issues with heart rate as well with Prednisone. We ended up in the ER and he had to go to a Ped Cardiologist because of his EKG results. Long story short-he is fine no heart issues. But we realized that being dehydrated and low on Magnesium and Potassium both contributed greatly to how he was feeling. I put him on some extra vitamins and we made sure he was drinking tons of water and occasionally Gatorade to get his body hydrated. It helped a lot.

Good luck and hoping the taper goes better for you. ((((Hugs))))))
I've had the heart palpitations tapering 10mg a week from 60mg, but they haven't been too bad or gotten worse as I taper. I think the worst was actually at the start. Pred seems to effect everyone differently and I hope that it gets easier for you as you come off it!
Hi Panza i'm currently tapering from 50mg, my palpitations didn't actually begin until the taper got to 20. I talked to my dr about it today and she said its normal especially since im extremely stressed and worried about the new meds. Just waiting to get off...its a sucky feeling
Well, still not feeling too well so rang my IBD nurse who didn't really seem to like the sound of it (although she did say the bloods from Friday were 'remarkably good') and suggested getting more bloods done prior to my clinic appointment on the 19th. She did also suggest something I'd wondered about, that some of it might be down to Pred withdrawal.

All fun and games isn't it!
Quick update!

Been off the Pred for about a week now, still having stomach trouble though the nausea isn't quite as bad as it was the first few days it came on.. Doesn't show any signs of shifting over a week later though. The second set of bloods I've had done were fine so at least it shouldn't be the Crohn's flaring back up. Maybe it is down to withdrawal?

The anxiety/heart rate stuff is still bugging me too but I guess my system is probably still readjusting to being off the Pred so hopefully it'll settle down with a bit more time.