Ankylosing spondylitis

How bad can it be?

Today is day two of my 18 day prednisone cycle. I am feeling better and my sacrum does not hurt which is nice to say since it always hurts especially when sitting. I have only needed a pain killer in the early a.m. in order to get me going which is a nice downsize from the 2-3 day. So how bad would it be to take this steroid all the time?

The following adverse reactions have been reported with Prednisone or other corticosteroids: (found at drugs.com http://www.drugs.com/sfx/prednisone-side-effects.html)

Allergic Reactions

anaphylactoid or hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylaxis, angioedema.
Cardiovascular System

bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, ECG changes caused by potassium deficiency, edema, fat embolism, hypertension or aggravation of hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction, necrotizing angiitis, pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.
Dermatologic

acne, acneiform eruptions, allergic dermatitis, alopecia, angioedema, angioneurotic edema, atrophy and thinning of skin, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae (bruising), erythema, facial edema, hirsutism, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, Karposi’s sarcoma, lupus erythematosus-like lesions, perineal irritation, purpura, rash, striae, subcutaneous fat atrophy, suppression of reactions to skin tests, striae, telangiectasis, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.
Endocrine

Adrenal insufficiency-greatest potential caused by high potency glucocorticoids with long duration of action (associated symptoms include; arthralgias, buffalo hump, dizziness, life-threatening hypotension, nausea, severe tiredness or weakness), amenorrhea, postmenopausal bleeding or other menstrual irregularities, decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, diabetes mellitus (new onset or manifestations of latent), glycosuria, hyperglycemia, hypertrichosis, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics, lipids abnormal, moon face, negative nitrogen balance caused by protein catabolism, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.
Fluid and Electrolyte Disturbances

congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, fluid retention, hypokalemia, hypokalemic alkalosis, metabolic alkalosis, hypotension or shock-like reaction, potassium loss, sodium retention with resulting edema.
Gastrointestinal

abdominal distention, abdominal pain,anorexia which may result in weight loss, constipation, diarrhea, elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), gastric irritation, hepatomegaly, increased appetite and weight gain, nausea, oropharyngeal candidiasis, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis, vomiting.
Hematologic

anemia, neutropenia (including febrile neutropenia).
Metabolic

negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.
Musculoskeletal

arthralgias, aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, increase risk of fracture, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, myalgias, osteopenia, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, steroid myopathy, tendon rupture (particularly of the Achilles tendon), vertebral compression fractures.
Neurological/Psychiatric

amnesia, anxiety, benign intracranial hypertension, convulsions, delirium, dementia (characterized by deficits in memory retention, attention, concentration, mental speed and efficiency, and occupational performance), depression, dizziness, EEG abnormalities, emotional instability and irritability, euphoria, hallucinations, headache, impaired cognition, incidence of severe psychiatric symptoms, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, increased motor activity, insomnia, ischemic neuropathy, long-term memory loss, mania, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychiatric disorders including steroid psychoses or aggravation of pre-existing psychiatric conditions, restlessness, schizophrenia, verbal memory loss, vertigo, withdrawn behavior.
Ophthalmic

blurred vision, cataracts (including posterior subcapsular cataracts), central serous chorioretinopathy, establishment of secondary bacterial, fungal and viral infections, exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, optic nerve damage, papilledema.
Other

abnormal fat deposits, aggravation/masking of infections, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, immunosuppresion, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, malaise, insomnia, moon face, pyrexia.
Well now after reading all of these POSSIBLE complications/side effects I think it would be better to keep searching for natural alternatives to my dis-ease and only take this 3-4 times a year!

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