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Question
Posted by: Glandys | 2008/01/24

Corticol gland stopped working

Hi Cyberdoc

I am an asthmatic controlled on chronic meds.
I had bad patch of bronchitis/asthma in the holidays and was given a course of antibiotics and 8 prednison for 5 days, then 4 prednisone for 14 days. About 3 days later I collapsed and was taken by ambulance to hospital where they admitted. I felt as if I was going to die and was very afraid. They told me what was wrong and explained to me that the prednisone dose was not tapered off so the gland was not working optimally. When the prednisone stopped the gland was not producing or receiving artificial cortisone. They gave me injections and 3 drips. What I'd like to know is what exactly happened to cause the collapse, why did my BP go sky high and can you die from this? What meds would they have given me in hospital? I feel rather weak today with a headache but ok - how would it take for me to feel 100% again. I couldn't find the exact answers I wanted on the net. Does this mean I cannot have prednisone for a very long time? I was so scared I was even afraid to take my normal asthma pump but obviously I did.
Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Glandys
Your adrenal glands make cortisone for your body which is a hormone used in metabolism, the management of the salt levels in the blood, of blood sugar and blood pressure . If you take external cortisone ( like the Prednisone) the level of prednisone in your blood tells the brain to let the adrenal glands know that there is enough cortisone available, and that they should stop making cortisone. If you don’t taper off the Prednisone course by gradually reducing the dose so that the brain can inform the adrenal glands to start working again, you can develop an adrenal crisis or acute shortage of cortisol. This can also be caused by severe stress and severe infections. It is a dangerous life threatening condition and the treatment usually is supplement of cortisone and management of low blood pressure with a drip.
You can use prednisone in future but just taper down gradually if you use it for more than a few days – cut the dose in half for 3 days, then again in half for 3 days etc. until you can stop.
Dr Bets


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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Jacky | 2008/10/10

Need info on adrenal galnd and cortisol

Reply to Jacky
Posted by: Carina | 2008/07/22

What is the function of adrenal glands? Is there a test available to test functioning of adrenal glands? Is it possible for adrenals to stop functioning due to extended use (21 years), of cortisone based ointments for the treatment of eczema? As I understand it the sinthetic cortisone affects the body negatively. Hope you can help.

Reply to Carina

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