Finished steroids - advice welcome


well I took methylprednisolone for the 5 days - last lot yesterday. As I thought I didn’t get much sleep and didn’t feel too great. On the plus side most of the joint/back pain I had has improved but today I feel worse than ever with my MS symptoms. I went to work last week as I have had time off with chest infections and other bugs! and have been told that our team of 4 secretaries are being reduced to 3 with an interview process, test and redeployment for the unsuccessful person!! As you can imagine my stress levels are through the roof - at 55 I didn’t think I’d have to start interviewing for a job I’ve done for 37 years!!

sorry just realised I am rambling - must be the steroids. I wondered what experiences other people have had when finishing steroids. I’m not sure whether to leave it a few days and see if things settle and if not ring my MS nurse for advice? My GP is really supportive and has said not to go into work if I am not well.

Thank you for reading.

Hello Camelia

It seems that you have two issues here. And having taken steroids your brain is feeling a bit stressed and is conflating the two.

Firstly, steroids are devils for days if not weeks after the course is finished. Physically you can often feel like you’ve done 10 rounds with at least a flyweight boxer plus had no sleep for a week and feel a bit low all around. Allow yourself a few days before you can even expect to feel halfway normal. If that means you need a couple of days off work, then take them. You’ll find that your body and brain work much more efficiently if you give yourself that time.

Secondly, there’s the issue of reapplying for your job. I understand that you don’t want to take time off at the present moment because of this issue, however, if you go to work and are performing under par, you might make yourself less attractive an employee than if you take two days to get sufficient sleep and rest to come back in fighting shape (metaphorically). You also need to think how long the process is of the restructure.

In terms of how to deal with the whole restructure/redeployment/employment rights etc, I’m not qualified in anyway to answer you. There are many others on this board who can help with that.

If you still feel all bruised and emotionally drained by the middle to the end of this week, then by all means ask your MS nurse or GP for help.


Thanks Sue - that makes sense. Certainly the work issues have been the main factor in triggering this latest ‘blip’ with MS. We were told before Christmas it was on the cards and then it’s been on/off but are now going to get our ‘at risk’ letters on 15.8.16. At the end of the day health has to come first I have considered leaving or even going for ill health retirement but not sure if I would be eligible My husband has Parkinson’s and he reluctantly had to take ill health retirement 2 years ago - he has never looked back and feels much better health wise

I had IV steroids about 3 years ago and seem to remember feeling bad after so perhaps I need to be kind to myself and just rest up for a few days.

Thanks again Sue - I appreciate your comments.

Regards Catherine

Hi, I’m with Sue, putting on a bra or even washing my face, after a course of steroids is sore! Get plenty of rest etc. and you’ll feel more normal soon

Sonia x

Thanks Sonia - I have spent most of the day asleep and like a punch bag! Decided to stay off work for a couple of days at least and rest up.

Kind regards


Hi Camelia

Sorry to hear the problems you’ve been having and the stress you’re experiencing with work. It’s tough being 100% healthy and dealing with today’s demanding workplace. However you must put your health first. It took me a long time to listen to the advice of my MS nurse, maybe up to 2 years post diagnosis, to slow down and put myself first.

My response was always that I have bills to pay and what if they get rid of me for the amount of time off I’ve had. This was always met with a stern look from my lovely nurse who eventually made me see sense. Don’t forget that as well as having this very challenging condition we also get from time to time normal illnesses that our colleagues get and probably take time off sick for.

Quick question - have you told your work about your MS? I disclosed my condition on diagnosis, couldn’t really hide it anyway after I told my team I was completely numb from the waist down, that was 4 years ago. Since then they have been very supportive and I have a great HR team who look after me with regular catch ups with my HR manager.

They are always looking at ways to help me more and recently I qualified for permanent health insurance which means that if I was off work for more than the fully paid sick leave in any year I’d be paid 2/3 of my salary through the insurers so I feel blessed.

I’m currently signed off for 3 1/2 weeks again due to paralysis in my hands and other symptoms of parasthesia. I finish my 5 day course of steroids tomorrow. From previous experience of taking them I know to expect some pretty horrible withdrawal symptoms and that it could take several months for the full effects of the medication to become apparent. However it does speed up the recovery process which ultimately means less time off work in the long run.

Please try not to worry about what’s happening in the office and think about yourself. You’re being very proactive and brave putting yourself through such a harsh treatment and you need time to recover properly. Don’t forget that steroids work by suppressing the immune system so you will now be more prone to catching infections from other people, best to stay clear of the office bugs for a week or 2 or as in my experience you could end up signed off again.

If in doubt always ring your nurse for advice and please do not worry about taking time off from work sick. You’ve got 37 years of solid experience which is invaluable. Just keep your boss updated every few days on how you’re doing, they appreciate that.

I hope you start to feel better soon and be kind to yourself xxx.


Thank you for your advice. I hope you don’t feel too unwell when you finish your steroids - sounds like you have been having a difficult time.

I have told my employers about my diagnosis and while they are supportive to a point their agenda is always to get people back to work regardless. I spoke to my manager yesterday and have said I don’t feel well enough to return - not sure it went down well. I now feel guilty and anxious about the whole situation but know I am doing the right thing. Before my MS diagnosis I was hardly ever off. As you say will be more susceptible to bugs and germs too!

Thanks again. Let me know how you are

kind regards