Prednisone and my difficult child don't mix so good!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    difficult child 1's asthma was giving him a lot of trouble this past week, so the doctor started him on a burst of prednisone, which we're tapering off next week.

    Let's just say it's not a good medication for his ADHD and oppositional characteristics (some of which are just typical teen stuff). Thank goodness we go to the psychiatrist tomorrow -- I hope he has some good suggestions other than to just ride this nightmare out.

    The stimulant medications seem to be wearing off sooner while he's on the pred, and he is just incredibly obnoxious and confrontational. I am having to be very careful that things don't escalate and get ugly, but at the same time holding firm on my expectations for a modicum of decency and respect from him. I feel bad for easy child because he torments and annoys her to no end when he's like this. He drove her to tears on Friday night.

    Should be interesting to see how he does at school next week!
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Somehow I'm not surprised. Prednisone seems to do a number on many difficult children. Hope things resolve soon.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Steroids and difficult child's are bad combos! Bad bad

    I have to warn every doctor I come in contact with that you simply dont give a bipolar person steroids unless there is no other option. Most of them dont know that unless they are psychiatrists. Really! There are times that steroids are needed in life and death situations but often they are given just because it is the protocol.

    I go haywire on them. Manic as all get out. I always tell them if they give me the pred pack...give me a script for valium too...lots of it. I need something to counteract the pred.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I never realized pred could make a BiPolar (BP) person manic, but in hindsight, after husband's brain surgery, that's exactly what happened to him. They had him on massive steriods to prevent post-op swelling. The day after his surgery, what was his primary concern? When he going to be cleared for sex?! He was insistent that I ask his nurse, and she looked at him like he was crazy and that should be the last thing on his mind after such a major operation.

    It also explains why he was talking non-stop once the sedative wore off and why he had boundless energy just 24 hours post-op, why he convinced the hospital he was ready to go home sooner than he should have. Why he hallucinated in the hospital. Why he was explosively irritable and irrational.

    If he ever needs surgery again, you can bet I'm having a chat with the surgeon and psychiatrist about his medications!
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Steroids, antihistamines, and albuterol (whatever class that is) are disasters waiting to happen in my difficult child. It might be worse if the problem is a mood disorder, but I'm not sure.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was on prednisone for a year and with my mood disorder it really played tricks with me.
    It made me so manic that I think it was the happiest year of my life ;)

    I don't recommend it to anyone if you don't have to take it. It also gave me shakes and a stutter. The stutter has never disappeared and it's been thirty years.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    GCV, while I am feeling for you....I want MWM's happy pill! lol

    Sadly, I don't get any "high" from steroids or any other drugs, really. I always envy people who do. lol

    I hope things are staying manageable! Hugs!
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am not bipolar and took prednisone for inflammation while I was a teen. I had the worst mood swings. It was almost like I could see myself saying these awful things and couldn't stop it. I was horrible. I was so mean I made myself cry, literally.

    I went off the steroids on my own, when the doctor insisted I needed them. They NEVER made me feel better, just worse. Finally I took one on the day I had a doctor appointment. I let it rip during the doctor appointment (and this doctor overbooked so you usually had about 1-2 hours of waiting in the waiting room before you were seen.) and before it. My mom knew what I was doing and so I didn't get in trouble for it. It really opened the doctor's eyes. He KNEW me, we had a pretty good relationship. He was STUNNED. When I am mean I am just vicious.

    Since then I have refused them every time they offered them because they won't give me anything to counteract the mean factor.

    Even the nasal spray steroids make me mean.

    I am sorry your difficult child has to be on them. It truly is one of the worst feelings you could have when you are on the steroids. EVERYTHING gets on your last nerve.

    Here is my extra rhino skin to help you through this steroid enhanced gfgness.
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I hope it flushes out of his system, soon. My kids' asthma is really bad too. doctor offered to use that other inhaler (not albuterol, but in addition to), but I said no. Can he use that stuff? I can't remember the name, but it goes into the nebulizer.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Loth, we haven't had to use the nebulizer in a long time, fortunately. He was using Advair on a fairly regular basis -- maybe that's what you're thinking of? It's an inhaled steroid and comes in three flavors: 100mg, 250mg and 500mg. If he gets a cold, I bump him up to the 250mg. I'd taken difficult child 1 to see the doctor last Tuesday (I think it was), mainly because we needed refills on his 100mg Advair, but he happened to have a cough left over from a cold the week before and I thought maybe sinus drip was contributing. As you know with these kids, any kind of lung irritation sets off the inflammatory cascade. His peak flow numbers were so-so -- in the mid-300's (he's usually in the low 400's when he's doing well). doctor said he had a sinus infection going, gave us Augmentin, but wanted me to monitor the peak flow numbers closely. Thursday he was getting worse and needed the albuterol PLUS the 500mg Advair. Friday his numbers dropped to 250, so that's when they had me start the pred.

    His cough is much more productive now, and he's not complaining of the chest tightness anymore. And his nose is sounding clearer, although he's still got a lot of gunk in there. It's just going to take time.

    He's nasty every dang night, though. Stubborn, confrontational, mean. Ugh, I hate this. I told husband he could just deal with him tonight. :p
  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Steroids plus me equals bounce, bounce, bounce then anger, anger, anger. And occasionally a bit of dissociation thrown in just for kicks.

    I *think* I was on steroids (I've done several tapers so I might have been coming off them, too) when I told my doctor that I wanted to drive my car into a tree JUST to feel the impact. She put me on klonopin. Then told me not to drive my car into a tree. I told her not to worry, my car has airbags. :tongue:

    I feel your pain. :faint:

    I would give the school a heads up that he really doesn't have much control right now and to keep an eye on him.
  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Prednisone made my Oldest psychotic, and resulted in her first hospitalization at age 10. They actually wrote "prednisone-induced psychosis" as the diagnosis for that admission. At that time it was the first-line drug of choice for Crohn's Disease, and it was tough to convince the doctors to finally wean her off of it. I learned later that it was a bad, bad idea to give a bipolar person steroids.. in fact, it was one of the factors that led to her bipolar diagnosis at that time.

    I *think* that in the past couple of years, she's been put on very short courses of pred for something non-Crohn's related, an allergic reaction I think ... but she was on it less than a week and tapered quickly, so it didn't seem to affect her (at least, that's what she said, perhaps I should have asked her live-in boyfriend his thoughts!)

    At any rate, I would definirtely say NO to any prolonged use of prednisone in any difficult child.
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Biomom had both difficult children put on inhalers, said they had asthma. Since difficult child 2 has seasonal allergies we give him kids' benadryl as needed. Once we finally convinced difficult child 1 that it was not asthma, she's done a lot better. What happened was her inhaler vanished (and I do mean vanished), and she had an "attack" - and 5 minutes later was talking on the phone.

    Interestingly, I never noticed the connection, but I think that may have done something - they put her on steroids when she was sick last and her behavior went through the roof.

    difficult child 2 apparently had ONE really bad asthma attack with biomom. This was two days after he quit breathing one night at our house and we found out he had SEVERE strep. (And was out without a coat during parenting exchange to us - GRR). They almost hospitalized him for the strep. However prednisone doesn't seem to affect him much. The albuterol inhaler actually made him wheeze... (He was also (at that time) on Singulair, Nasonex AND Claritin - Poor kid.)
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, psychiatrist said that he's a little concerned about how sensitive difficult child 1 is to the relatively low dose of pred that he's on for the relatively short period he's been on it. He said that with his brother and dad being "the way they are", he's got the genetic loading potential to develop BiPolar (BP). We talked today at length about this. For now, we have to just ride it out.

    But psychiatrist also says he wants me to try reducing the Lexapro when school gets out to see if it helps his oppositionality and argumentativeness that has been an ongoing problem this year. He thinks the Lexapro might be disinhibiting him too much. So we'll see what happens in June.
  15. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Good idea about the lexapro.

    Keeping fingers crossed....

    FWIW, even low doses (10 mg) of prednisone throw me off, too. Some people are just really sensitive to medications. And with his Crohn's, that wouldn't surprise me.

    Any medication that has a potential to cause a psychiatric side effect, effects me negatively that way...prednisone, neurontin, aygestin (til I got it in my system about a month), flexeril for example. So, I always read up on medications and if it has that (or a few other things that I always tend to get) listed as a possible side effect, it's an automatic and resounding NO.
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    You didn't mention the dosage he's on. It is most often given at a start of 10mg twice a day and then up to 40mg twice a day and then tapered down. My difficult child can't take the stuff - makes her bing off the walls, manic like nuts, talkative and mean.

    Years ago when I had surgery on my left lung I was suffering with horrible asthma while in the hospital. They put me on prednisone and guess what? The hole in my side where the tubes were as well as the site of the incision would not heal. I finally mentioned it to my PA and the Dr ordered the pred discontinued. Everything healed within 38 hours. How about that?

    As a kid I was on prednisone a lot. I can't remember what it did to me then. But man oh man, I hate the stuff now!! It keeps me up at night and makes me run very hot, almost like a hot flash. It also makes me feel like I can move mountains and I tend to get a lot of household projects done when I'm on it. But worst of all? It makes me meaner than the meanest woman on Earth. Really. I should really be put on an island by myself when I have to take that stuff. I almost always refuse it now when my allergist suggests it, even when I have really bad asthma. Rather be hoovering on a nebulizer 5 times a day to avoid it.

    I hope everyone is feeling better, especially difficult child. Wow, I'm so sorry its been such a bad reaction.
  17. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Jo, he's on 20mg right now. psychiatrist said to drop him to 10mg when school wraps up and let it sit there at that level for a month or so. I'm glad he's thinking big picture here with these kids of mine and not just focused on the crisis of the day, Know what I mean?? It had never really ocurred to me that difficult child 1 might some day show signs of being BiPolar (BP). But I guess it's highly possible, given his family tree!