Coping With Prednisone. Reviewed by Christophe Declerck

It may work miracles, but how do you handle the side effects?

By Eugenia Zukerman and Julie R. Ingelginger, M.D.
ISBN: 0-312-19570-2
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Reviewed by Christophe Declerck October 2005

A Note From Marion:
Many people all over the world take high doses of prednisone (or related drugs) to treat their serious illness. Prednisone may be the only medicine available for their condition but it may also have devastating (physical and psychological) side effects.

The renowned flutist Eugenia Zukerman developed eosinophilic pneumonia, a rare lung disease. She discovered both the benefits as well as the risks of prednisone.

Together with her sister, who is a doctor, she wrote a practical guide to make the treatment with prednisone (or other glucocorticoids) both effective and with as little problems as possible.

Christophe Declerck wrote the following book review:

…..We all came through a similar story. After having suffered for months, or even years, we listened to the verdict: your disease is very rare, and it is serious, it’s called Churg Strauss Syndrome.

We then heard with relief that nowadays there is a treatment that gives you a fairly long life expectation. It leads you in remission and perhaps to complete healing.

This treatment is the miracle drug prednisone, and you may have to take it for years, maybe even lifelong….
You felt better and confident. But later you realized that prednisone is both a miracle and a hell. Your doctor told you only so little and he surely didn’t tell you everything…..

You discovered the dark side of prednisone: its side effects. They are numerous and they are nasty. You want to know the whole story, the real truth and you started searching for all the information you could get….. you felt like you were wandering in the land of the lost.

I would recommend to all the book written by Eugenia Zuckerman and Julie R. Ingelfinger: “Coping with Prednisone”. The book may be of great help for those wishing to know the whole story about prednisone without having to go through a chemistry MS and a MD.

Eugenia has gone through the same experience as we all have. Her sister Julie is a doctor.
The book is written as a dialogue between the patient Eugenia and a doctor. It shows you both sides: the feelings and the explanation. It is complete, nothing is left in the shadow, it’s sometimes scary, but always honest.
Above all, the real benefits reading this book are the tips. They are experience-based hints, helping to minimize the side effects.

At the end of the book you’ll find special recipes and adapted exercises.

All details about chemistry are in an annex you may easily skip.

It is a small book, written in simple language, but a huge help in fighting the hellish side of our story.

Paris, France Christophe Declerck CSS 11/00

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