I’ve had the 5 day megadose steroid treatment 4 times now. The first time I was given them they did nothing and I got hives, but hindsight tells me it was a waste of time me being given them as the relapse had already peaked so the steroids had nothing to do. Steroids definitely work best if you take them as close to the start of a relapse as possible. The 3 subsequent times that I’ve taken them they’ve worked a treat, by halfway through the 3rd day there’s always been noticeable improvement, and things are significantly better by day 5.
If I understood my MS nurse’s explanation correctly, this is how the steroids work:
When you relapse there’s swelling around the damaged nerves, just like you get swelling around any other area of injury, and it’s this swelling that makes symptoms so much worse because it preventing way more messages from being to get through. The sole purpose of the steroids is to reduce the swelling. They can’t alter the length of a relapse, but if you take them in time they can minimise the worst of the symptoms.
You also shouldn’t taken them before you have an MRI, as new plaques are larger but shrink down after several months, and if you take the steroids prior to a scan they shrink the plaques, so while the scan will show more plaques than on a previous one, they’ll all be the same size so the neurologist won’t know what ones are new.
No idea if I’ve remembered that stuff accurately!
Irons, seems like the steroids aren’t working for you Speaking from personal experience, if they’re going to work it’s going to be noticeable within a few days. Hopefully your neuro/MS nurse will look into other options instead, like the IV treatment that I’ve heard about. I’d absolutely not want to be taken these things just on the off-chance that they’d work, not with that side-effects list that’s as long as your arm!