The Lupus Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks

Anyone ever have problems with breathing after increasing/starting prednisone?

I was put up to 20mg daily about 12 days ago because I went into a flare and ended up an ER (chest pain, lung pain, swollen very painful joints, etc) and had a follow up emergency Rheumy appointment just last Monday. On the same day of the Rheumy appointment I noticed that my breathing was becoming very laboured but I didnt pay too much heed to it. It has just gotten worse and worse though as this week has gone by. I also picked up a chest infection so I put the breathing problems down to that as well but was surprised when the pred didnt seem to be helping at all.

Went to GP yesterday and he put me on anti biotics for the chest and he was concerned about the breathing so he upped the pred to 40mg but today its no better either.

I'm now beginning to wonder if the breathing problems are related to side effects of the pred as opposed to the chest infection? Im also getting headaches which I never usually suffer from.

My question is has anyone else suffered severe reaction to pred like this and if so what happened? I think I will put another call into my Rheumy tomorrow and ask his advice but in the meantime I was just wondering what you thought.

Cheers
Joan:rose:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,854 Posts
Definitely. Raising my prednisone dose makes me hyperventilate, which is horrible. My GP picked this up. This is not the acute hyperventilation (please pass the paper bag) that you are probably thinking of, it is just a very slight increase in breathes per minute that can upset the O2/CO2 balance and make a person VERY breathless. Other symptoms are air hunger, yawning, etc.

goggle chronic hyperventilation. With me it goes away when my pred drops below 30mg, but everyone has different levels of when things effect them.

hope this helps, and if it is chronic hyperventilation it will go away.

cheers

raglet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,471 Posts
Hi Joan, im sorry you are having a flare, i really would be ringing your Spec to , your breathing could be to do with pred, but also could be underlying prob

please let us know wont you? thinking of you Lin xxx
ps big (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hUGS)))))))))))))))))))))))))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
931 Posts
Hey (((((((((((((((((((Joan)))))))))))))))))

I'm really sorry to hear you went into such a bad flare and had to go to a&e. :( I've never had breathing problems from pred, but I'm wondering if that lung pain you said you had last week isn't connected to the breathing problems you're having too.... Did you have pleuritis last week? If you did and you now have a chest infection on top of it that might explain your breathing troubles... My rheumy had told me at some point to always remember that whist prednisone can mask the pain of pleuritis very well, that doesn't mean the fluid from pleurisy is gone...

Calling your rheumy tomorrow sounds like an excellent idea indeed! Hopefully he can shed some light into what's going on and most importantly on how you can make it go away :bigsmile:

Hope your breathing improves very, very soon and that it's so bad as to keep you from getting a little bit of rest tonight. :blush:

Sending loads and loads and loads of hugs your way along with some of those vital-for-healing-calorie-free-chocolates :grouphug2::grhug:

:foryou:

Zoi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
Hi Joan,

I atually get the opposite (but then I always have to be different!) but the docs kept going on at me about how it could be the pred that caused the breathing diffiuclties. The trouble is/was for me that I have had these breathign problems for years - so long long before diagnosis and meds.

One of the reasons they mentioned (I'm sure there were others) was the effect that pred has on muscles, including the muscles around the lungs.

My problems got significantly worse when I reduced pred but that's probably either weak muscles from polymyositis or early stages of ILD (kept in check by the pred).

I'd agree on the others if this has come on after an increase, it sounds like you need to call someone!

hugs :hug:
Katharine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone

Well that was a bit of a useless conversation with the hospital :rolleyes: I couldnt get my rheumy or the intern who treated me but did speak to someone from her team who said prednisone wouldnt cause breathing problems :rolleyes: and that most likely it was the chest infection causing the breathing difficulties even though the breathing problems started before the chest infection. Ho hum.....

Anyway I will labour on with her advice ringing in my ears - "if you find that you cant finish sentences because of the breathing then go to A & E" (and there was me having to stop and puff in between every few words when I was talking to her!)

Ah well, time to go back to bed methinks. The less movement, the less difficult the breathing is. If it gets worse I will give my GP a call.

Thanks again everyone!
Cheers
Joan:rose:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,968 Posts
Hi Joan,

Anytime I have ever been on Pred I never had a problem breathing while on it.

I am sorry that your phone call did not yield any solid answers.

I think your right, if it continues call the GP.

I certainly hope your feeling better. Nothing worse then breathing difficulties.

Let us know how you get along and good luck.:wink2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
Yikes Joan! That phrase will ring in my ears too now.
The number of times I can't finish sentences due to difficulty breathing....if I were to go to A&E each time they'd think me even madder than the one time I did get up the courage to go in. Thankfully, although not gone, it's pretty stable for me now.

Hope it gets better soon and that they're right about it "only" being the infection.

Katharine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,661 Posts
Hi Joan,

I'm sorry you are still very poorly.

I'm wondering if there might be an asthma component to your breathing problems? Even if you're not normally asthmatic, infection can make the airways tempoarily hyperreactive. Do you have a salbutamol inhaler? Or a peak flow meter....

Just a thought. If you need to go to A&E, you need to go....breathing is non negotioable:(

X C X
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Cath

No I dont have an inhaler but I was using the little fella's ventolin inhaler for a few days and it didnt seem to make any difference. I might try it with the spacer device and see if that makes a difference.

Thanks :)

Joan:rose:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
647 Posts
So sorry you aren't doing well. I hope today finds you feeling a little better.

Prednisone always makes me anxious, and I get panic attacks if I don't take a sedative with it.

Hallmark symptoms of a panic attack is often chest pain, labored breathing or shortness of breath, ect ...

Do you think you could get your physician to try you on some ativan or valium? If it is anxiety driven, you should notice a difference right away (15-20 minutes for me). Just a thought, if it is something you have not tried yet.

Be well .. Tracy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for that tip Tracy.

I hadnt even thought about that. If the breathing problems dont resolve by the time Im finished this anti biotic I certainly will talk to my GP about that possibility.

Thanks again :foryou:

Luv n stuff
Joan:rose:
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
11,409 Posts
(((Joan)))

Sorry to read that you are ill.:(

I hope the med will improve your breathing.

As far as talking to that person.:mad: Sometimes it makes me wonder if they would act that way, if the shoe was on their foot.:umm:

Take care and get lots of TLC, with a big box of chocolate.

Love,
Lyn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,854 Posts
also remember that if you are having breathing difficulties you may have to sleep sitting up, it really does help. I get asthma, and I always use that as an indicator of how bad I am - if I can't sleep lying down then I really need to either go see a doctor or go to the next level of my asthma plan (increase my pulmicort etc).

So, if you are finding yourself gasping when you lie down, then prop yourself up on pillows. But if you are needing to do that, you really do need to see a doctor.

Ventolin doesn't work for me - I use combivent which has atrovent in it as well as salbuterol - works much better for me.

feel better soon

raglet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,640 Posts
Joan,

Just wanted to say, I hope you feel much better very soon.

Love,
Sandy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
931 Posts
Joan,

So sorry to hear you're still so unwell.... :(

Keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed for this to stop very very soon...! In the meantime here's all the healing hugs and good wishes I can muster along with loads and loads of positive vibes for a very speedy recovery from this :grouphug2::grhug: :goodvibes::goodvibes:

:flowery:

Zoi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
647 Posts
If it is indeed asthma, I agree with raglet - combivent works much better than ventolin. Do you have a home nebulizer? You can get the combivent in a liquid form for the neb called DuoNeb - hot stuff!

I also use Pulmocort in my neb when I'm really bad - an inhaled steriod. Helps keep the prednisone dose down if that's all I need the pred for (the breathing problems).

How did you do last night? Hope today finds you better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Folks

Sorry I meant to update this a day or two ago but completely forgot. The breathing is now back to almost normal. Yay! I can speak in full sentences! :lol:

I have to take another course of anti biotics though cos the chest is not fully cleared up, but thats no problem. Im still not absolutely sure what caused it but it was more likely the chest infection. Im down to 25mg pred at the moment and counting....

Thanks for all your advice and support :) Looks like I'll live to fight another day ;)

Love to all
Joan:rose:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,684 Posts
Jolly good Joan :bigsmile: :thumbs:

love
Lily
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top