What can I expect after a steroid drip treatment?
Immediately after high dose steroid infusions (usually 1000 mg) you will notice little difference. Some people develop headaches during the infusion which may improve if the rate of the infusion is decreased. Most people develop a metallic taste in the mouth during infusions that goes away quickly. We used to recommend that people suck on sour lollipops during infusions to lessen this taste. Very rarely people develop hiccups during steroid infusions that require a separate treatment if they do not disappear promptly. The vast majority of people have no problems with their infusions and may return to whatever activities they planned for the day.
As I have written about previously, it is common for steroid infusion to cause insomnia and some mild changes in behavior (feeling like you have more energy and hyperactive, slightly anxious, possibly tremulous) and rarely steroid infusions can cause a more significant and typically brief period depression, manic behavior or psychosis.
Responses to steroids vary significantly from patient to patient; for most patients with early MS receiving steroid for relapses, you will begin to notice some improvement by day 3 to 5, if not sooner, with significant improvement in the first 2 weeks after steroids. Most improvement from relapses occurs in the first 1 to 3 months after steroids with more gradual improvement thereafter. Patient with more advanced MS receiving steroids for more gradual worsening often report a transient improvement in symptoms and function that often disappears within 2 to 6 weeks.