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Allergy, steroids, coincidental relief?

PostPosted: Sep 18, 2004 2:08 pm
by BlueEeyore
I have asked my doc for steroids and he refuses. Doesn't like the idea of a pregnant woman taking steroids. So, I gave up asking.

Now, at 18 weeks, I have a systemic allergic reaction to the chloroprep (chlorhexadine) cleaner they use to clean my PICC line site. My arm is oozing, looks like it belongs to a burn victim, and I've got a bumpy rash showing up all over my body. So what does the doctor prescribe? Steroids! Methylprednisolone. I started them yesterday (boy do they taste nasty) and last night was the FIRST TIME I HAVEN'T PUKED in a long, long time. I also realized when I actually stayed up until 1 am instead of crashing at 10, that I was feeling better. Coincidence? Who knows. But I'm not feeling so bad today either. I don't have that nasty acid feeling in my throat. My stomach is calm - comparitively speaking - and I feel like I might try to actually eat something.

If I feel better all week, I'm going to BEG him for contininued treatment.

PostPosted: Sep 18, 2004 9:38 pm
by MamaLily
Blue Eeyore -

Oh, I'm so happy that you are on steroids. I'm quite sure that they are responsible for you feeling better. There is a lot of info out there to show your doctor if he refuses to continue the steroid treatment...let me know if you want some links to print out info and give to him.

So glad to hear you're feeling a little bit of relief!

- Anna

PostPosted: Sep 18, 2004 11:02 pm
by BlueEeyore
Today is day 2. I have felt substantially better today. I have been hungry and thirsty! What a change from the absolute dread of even thinking about liquids! I ALMOST feel normal, aside from heartburn.

Now I want to know this: What is the typical dosage and duration of methylprednisolone treatment? Is it safe?

I am on a one week course. I took six 4mg tablets the first day, 5 today, and it continues to taper down to one on the 6th or 7th day. Any info or advice you can give me will be most appreciated!

I did throw up once today, but I think that is because I ATE an entire Subway wrap and drank a bottle of Sunny D! My stomach is so unused to food (since I get TPN), that even after 3 hours it had not digested. I did, then, throw it up. But I didn't feel nauseated. Hoorah!

PostPosted: Sep 19, 2004 12:15 am
by emily
Can you switch doctors if he continues to refuse to treat you?

PostPosted: Sep 19, 2004 12:39 pm
by BlueEeyore
I can, but I've been through 5 OBs during the past 2 pregnancies and he's the best by far. I'll just have to make a good case on Monday when I call him up and beg him.

PostPosted: Sep 20, 2004 9:05 am
by aaronsmommy
I think there are a lot of different protocols out there for the steroids, this is the most common one in the studies

All women were admitted to hospital and given intravenous thiamine 100 mg and intravenous hydration. The methylprednisolone dose was 48 mg per day for three days, followed by a tapering dose over two weeks. Nothing was taken by mouth, other than the medication, until day 2 of treatment. If a regular diet could not be tolerated without vomiting within three days, the medication was discontinued. If vomiting recurred after two weeks of treatment or during tapering, the medication was restarted or extended, but not longer than for one month in total.

I pulled it from this study

Frustrating that you had to get an an extra problem in order to get some relief. The skin thing is interesting to me too. I think that after repeated pregnancies and contact with so much stuff we can't help but react. My son is almost 2 and when the weather changes I still get a rash where my picc line was during my pg with him. I'm just getting over one now - it's so weird.

Good luck!

PostPosted: Sep 20, 2004 5:17 pm
by MamaLily
Blue Eeyore -

I am so happy that the steroids are allowing you to eat and drink! Only fellow HGers would realize what a triumph that is!

I was on steroids for over 2 months and my baby (now 2 years old) has always been perfectly healthy. I tried to wean after 2 weeks but my body just wasn't ready. I'm crossing my fingers that your doctor will keep you on the steroids until you are ready to wean!

I was nervous about taking steroids, but it really was my only choice. Here is some info about steroid use for HG: ... &DB=PubMed

Good luck and keep us posted!

- Anna

PostPosted: Sep 20, 2004 8:36 pm
by BlueEeyore
Well, I called the office and talked to the nurse. She called back and said that the doc would discuss it with me at my next appointment - which is 10 days away! I said no. I made an appointment to discuss it TOMORROW. I am now on the 4th day and only on 12 mg today. I felt good for a few hours after taking it this am, but tonight I am no where near as good as I was yesterday with just an additional 4 mg. 20 mg was even better and 24 mg seemed the same as 20mg. I'm going to be pissed when I miss work to go there tomorrow and he says he isn't going to cooperate with me.

PostPosted: Sep 21, 2004 9:52 am
by emily
Gosh, this is such a hard place to be in. Is it possible to find someone else to perscribe them for you?

PostPosted: Sep 21, 2004 2:42 pm
by MamaLily
BlueEeyore -

Please let us know how your appointment goes (it's today, right?). I'm just hoping that your doctor will realize how much the steroids are helping you. You need them for a little while longer!

By the way, is your doctor a "regular" OB or a perinatologist/Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist? A perinatologist would probably be more likely to keep you on the steroids longer. Maybe you could even just find a perinatologist who could consult w/your current OB. I'd be happy to find one for you...please let me know!

Hope all goes well today!

- Anna

PostPosted: Sep 21, 2004 5:46 pm
by emily
Yes, what Anna said. For instance, when I was hospitalized, an prominent maternal fetal dr. in Portland's nurse was working in the hospital, and she called him, and he told my midwife to perscribe them to me. Just thinking that maybe you can consult with another Dr. who can perscribe them, or maybe you just have someone in the medical field that you know personally or family who can write the script. I know this gets tricky depending on what insurance you have as well. Just trying to think of a way for you to get them. I didn't have much luck with them myself, but I took the round very early on. I am thrilled to hear they have helped you. I will probably try them again, though that was the one treatment my midwife had not heard of for HG and she said she would like some research information on them.

PostPosted: Sep 26, 2004 12:27 am
by BlueEeyore
He relented and gave me a maintenance dose of 16 mg a day. I do better on 20 mg, so I may beg him to up me 4 more mgs.

PostPosted: Sep 26, 2004 11:06 pm
by MamaLily
Oh, I'm so glad he agreed to keep you on steroids. Let us know how things go...

- Anna