Predinisone is NOT good for diabetics!

Hi all-
I have to let you know that I spent the past 2 weeks sick. It started as a “cold on Aug. 23 ~ bad cough, congestion, achy, flu-like symptons…”, but within 24 hours I knew something was not right. I called my “primary care” doctor as a starting place, but she was on vacation and I was put in with the “sub-doc”. That was Aug. 25. She sent me straight to the ER for a nebulizer treatment of albuterol. The doctor at the ER prescribed a “Z-pack”. 2 days later I returned to this “sub-doc” who then prescribed Prednisone. Oh dear! My suggestion for ALL diabetics… NEVER EVER TAKE PREDNISONE!

I spent 12 days with BGs through the roof. I adjusted my basal up 20% and at the suggestion of the “sub-endo” (why do ALL of my doctors take vacation the last 2 weeks of August???) I chased each BG with an additional 20% on top of the bolus. My BG readings were in the high 200’s and got up above 450! In addition to the high BGs, I could not sleep AT ALL. So, again, I do not recommend Prednisone for any diabetic!

In the end (final diagnosis was Tues, Sept. 1) I had pneumonia and I’m now taking Levaquin. My BGs have returned to a normal 100-ish and I’m on the mend, but it has been a tough ride.

Hope all are well!

Oh, I’m SO glad it was not just me. No, not glad that you too had highs, but you know what I mean. The doctor very, VERY casually said “you may experience some high blood sugar readings…” I was SO not prepared for the highs I got! Have you ever seen a list of meds NOT recommended for diabetics? I imagine there is one somewhere out there, but never thought to search for something. You live and learn, huh?

Hope you’re well Dave - thx.

Same with me, I took it for a bad rash (Which it helped) but paid a very high T1 price!

Just went thru this after I got a cortisone shot in my knee. My knee is feeling better which is good cuz it was very painful but I traded that for elevated BS’s. Nothing I did really helped. It has to run its course. Any type of steroid whether oral or injection will do this. You trade one problem for another. I had a whole week of BS’s all over 200. I guess you have to decide before you take any and be prepared for what comes after. My BS this AM was 179 so its still coming down but my knee feels alot better.

I had to take Prednisone after my surgery … my basal had to be increased 180%. After 2 days they pulled me off of it.

Yes! Someone I work with was given this last year for the same sort of symptoms you mentioned and her BG was through the roof! She could’ve written your post!

Prednisone is sometimes a necessary drug. There are many drugs and even vitamin/supplements that affect insulin requirements, I have trouble with niacin and Bg but for cholesterol improvement I feel the benefits out-way the cons. I bet non-diabetic insulin requirements are also raised on prednisone, it’s just they adjust automatically. We have to make those adjustments all the time, granted it’s hard and most of the time not predictable. Don’t give up on a powerful, effective drug just because Bg is harder to control. Maybe the benefits of the drug are more important than the Bg control. Weigh the pros and cons. Granted sustained hyperglycemia is also a bad thing, it’s a tough call.
Good luck

I am currently on Pred, and I am having the same difficulties. The Rhuemy is like well dude, the RA is making you miserable, so what do you want to do? I biked 4 1/2 miles and walked two miles and my BG is over 300. Well ok, I was able to walk and ride a bike, I could not do that last week. So what how am I doing? I am using about 35% more insulin every day and how long will I do it? I am scheduled for three weeks, will I keep going? depends on if I get sick of being sick I guess. DTK anyone?

rick phillips

I am like you Dave I took it for hives too. Boy oh boy did my sugars go through the roof. Mine was all up in the 300’s. At the time I was not on my pump so I had to constantly check and take a shot. I just felt like crap for 10 days.

I know that I do not heal when my BGs run over 200 for an extended period of time. The 450s were just delaying the process so I stopped the Pred, but I found that the Pred stayed in my system for one solid week after I had stopped. I’m still having trouble falling asleep.

Sorry to hear that so many others have had similar problems. Pros vs. cons…? tough call in most of these situations.

You’re right on Frank. We gotta do, what we gotta do. Prednisone isn’t good for anyone. No drugs are. Some People get Bad side-effects from drugs. Other Folks barely any.

Prednisone does raise a non-Diabetic’s blood sugar alright. My Dad was dxd. with severe RA a couple years after he retired. Many years after all the other drugs stopped working on him, Pred. it was. His sugars went up and his body didn’t compensate for it. Maybe because he was almost 80 by then. But I do believe I’ve read that a Person will turn Diabetic, if they are on it long term.

The Guy I used to Baby-sit for got severe Asthma, many years later and nothing else worked so again Prednisone. He is still on it and still works at the Hospital hooking People up to the dialysis machines and takes his turn driving the portable dialysis machine to the rural areas for People who prefer to stay in their homes. We are still Friends and they came to our Son and DIL’s Wedding. Neither he nor my Dad had high blood sugars before the Prednisone.

I’ve been on Prednisone 4 times in the last 25 years along with 16 other drugs at different times. This last time I’ve been on it for 3.5 years. The 30mgs. was Terriible, as usual. Before the Pred., I was taking 32 TDD. With the 30 mgs. of Pred, I calculated it at 90 TDD. I normally do not eat much.

Through the years I’ve weaned myself down to 7mgs. and back up to 15mgs. and now 11mgs.(not quite as much as what Rick’s on). Depending how I feel. That’s another reason, I don’t want to be on a pump. Like many things, after the initial high doses of Pred., it can easily be adapted into a Person’s Life. Trial, error and lots of testing. Most People get used to it.

Walking and everything else has been Very painful(no bike riding) and we have 3 Birthday Parties coming up and lots of travelling the next 2 week-ends so my Rheumy gave me Cortsone shots in both knees about 10 hours ago. I just noticed my sugar is 11.3(203mg) so a bit more calculating to do on my Insulin doses. I can ride my again bike though. :slight_smile:

Our Sweet Saundra had been on Prednisone also for severe RA.

I opted for the high bgs…i got a severe allergic reaction to the shampoo i used on my doggies…any where they had touched my skin i broke out into a rash that looked and felt like sunburn…it took 5 days to even begin to clear. prednisone and zantac were ordered the doctor said something about if you take zantac with prednisone they found sugars didnt increase as much…hhmmm. unfortunately i have nothing to compare it to …this is my first use of prednisone…but my bgs stayed in the 200 range…

Correction to my post:

Sorry, I said that wrong. I meant after the initial weeks of 30mgs(high doses), most People on Insulin are able to calculate how much Insulin they need for the lower amounts of Pred., so that their numbers are usually in or near the Good range.

Gee, that sounds Awful Leticia. :frowning: Sorry to hear that that happened to you.

That’s interesting. I haven’t heard that about the Zantac. Whatever helps. As long as the Zantac didn’t hurt you any. I haven’t been on Zantac nor do I know what it’s used for. I do not like high numbers but 200 is better than 400. I was at 203 and took a small shot(bolus) so my sugar went down to 6.1(110).

I sure hope that you feel Better and that you don’t have to experience Prednisone again.

First, and foremost…How are you?

My Pred experience was as such:
Day 1 = 60mg ~ Ave BG = 313
Day 2 = 50mg ~ Ave BG = 306
Day 3 = 40mg ~ Ave BG = 233
Day 4 = 30mg ~ Ave BG = 225
Day 5 = 20mg ~ Ave BG = 232
Day 6 = 10mg ~ Ave BG = 234
Day 7 = … I did not take the last 10mg I was supposed to!

I found I was chasing the sugars. Just not fun. I do agree with your comment below… 200 is much better than 400.

Geez, I didn’t realize that you were on 50 and 60mgs. of Pred., Erin. :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t think that I’ve ever been on that high of a dose. That would make it even more difficult to catch the numbers. You actually did Good with 313 at 60mgs.

I was only on 30mgs. for more than a week at the beginning of my flare. With all the extra Insulin, I still couldn’t get it lower than 16.0(288). I couldn’t take it anymore and weaned the Pred. and my Insulin dose down. As I said, I’m down to 11mgs. of Pred now and was at about 46 units TDD. But with the 2 shots of Cortisone, I’ve had to up it . But that is just for the first several days, then I’ll be able drop it again.

In May, my inflammation was at 11.1. The max range is <8.0. As now, at that time I was on Pred., Indomethacin, Methotrexate and Orencia. Most of my joints were in severe pain most days. My left knee I couldn’t even bend it. I actually mentioned a knee replacement to my Rheumy which I really would prefer not to have. He suggested Cortisone shots then but I said NO. Slap! :smiley: And he also suggested staying on the Orencia for the 7th month to see if it would work better. Biologics don’t seem to work on me much.

Anyways, I finally gave in to the Cortisone shots on Tuesday and I feel much better thankfully cause we have some traveling to do and I couldn’t have done it in the shape I was in. At least my knees feel normal now and I have my energy back, although I know it won’t last.

I also recently went through the full course of antibiotics for a kidney infection. I had asked my Rheumy for a requisition for a culture at the lab on Tuesday, to see if the infection was gone. His Nurse called me on Thursday and said I’m all clear. So I can get my Orencia infusion now. Thanks for asking.

I’m Very Glad that your sugars are back down Erin and that you are past the worst of your case of Pneumonia. It must have been particularly Bad. I only had it once many years ago but I wasn’t put on Pred. for it.

Have a Good day Erin. :slight_smile: Keep Well!

You are fortunate that you had pneumonia…unfortunately, I have severe copd so I have to have prednizone and solumedrol often. It cant be blanket advise for no prednizone if you have diabetes…In my case, the alternative is a permanent good-bye. I have been on & off prednizone for 5 years and my sugars get in the 400 and 550’s sometimes over 600, but you have to deal with it…I take LOTS of insulin when I am on it. the best luck I have had is the last 2 times around when I set my meter at 4 units per hr and 25 units with main meals…it is a lot, but it worked and the lung infection cleared up faster by keeping the bs down. Even if I don’t take the prednizone I know not only by the shortness of breath, but my sugars climb with an infection. also, watch the levaquin…problems with bone loss if you take it too often…my dr switched my antibiotic.

WOW! You have a full plate between your knee and kidney. Was the knee a result of an injury? and the kidney… related to the diabetes?

I am not big on taking medicines. I find that medicines seriously effect how my insulin works and it is such a battle. I take Tylenol on occassion. I’ve never heard of Indomethacin, Methotrexate and Orencia. BIG names!

So glad your kidney infection has cleared up. Sorry about the knee and the coritsone. I did do cortisone last year for my trigger thumb, then quickly made the decision to have it operated on.


I didn’t know about the Levaquin. Thankfully I’m off everything now. I’m sorry to hear about your COPD. They asked me in the ER if I had that and I was thankful that I could say no. I know that prednisone is a good “drug” for infections. My doctor did say the same thing, but I truly believe that diabetics do heal much faster when they are able to take medicines that do not adversely effect their blood sugars. As you said, your “lung infection cleared up faster by keeping the bs down”. The high blood sugars I had on the prednisone totally delayed the healing process for me. But, we do what we have to do.

I do not advise for someone such as yourself to not take your prednisone. If my subject line was read as blanket advise, please disregard. I just strongly believe that doctors should work harder to prescribe medicines that do not effect the blood sugars.

I hope you are well and breathing well!

I do have one question. How can you say I was fortunate to have had pneumonia? Pneumonia kills many people. I do not think I was fortunate at all and wonder what you meant by that?