My wife has Addisons. She was diagnosed in 2004 and was put on 20 of Cortef in the AM and 10 of Cortef at night. She also tried Prednisone twice. Both times she started into crisis and reverted to the Cortef. At this point she too has severe pain right now in her hips and legs. Her labs are always “normal” but the hip and leg pain “used” to be our indicator of entering crisis now it is not as it is always there.
Prednisone works for some people but not for others. One of the keys to the medication is do not use generic Cortef . Generic medications may have the same dosage and the same filler ingredients but most are not held to the degree of accuracy needed for people with diseases like this that require constant and accurate levels.
Have you been told to increase your Cortef during times of high stress? Your normal dose Cortef should maintain your normal level. It provides the replacement for the non-functioning adrenal glands and protects the organs. People without Addisons increase the corticosteroid level through increased Adrenalin secreted as stress levels increase. (Fight or Flight response). People with Addisons must increase the Corticosteroid (Cortef) level by increasing their dosage.
The standard treatment for crisis is an IV consisting of 1-2 liters of normal saline and 4mg of Decadron IV push and she goes up on her Cortef from 20/10 to 30/20 x 3 days. Increasing the Cortef combined with 4mg of Decadron IM has often kept the crisis at bay. I am not practicing medicine but merely forwarding along what she was told to by two of the two Endocrinologists we have met so far that were worth their salt. We actually had the Endocrinology Department Chair of a prestigious Medical School tell her to come off all of her medications that she did not want to live on them all of her life. That meeting was cut very short after my telling him he was not going to give his littel residents my wife as a guinea pig at the risk of her life. I am telling you this story to let you know it does not matter who “they” are you have to be your own advocate.
We have managed to avoid Addisons related ER and hospital admissions following what was stated above. The fact we are both licensed medical professionals allows us to initiate and complete treatment at home including both the IV and Decadron. We are lucky in that respect.
Again, not practicing medicine but relaying treatment procols as given to my wife for comparison. Hope this hepls in some way