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My wife been diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica and has been prescribed prednisone 10 mg. How long can you continue to take? What if any, are the side effects of prednisone? Can it be cured? Thank you

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The course of polymyalgia rhuematica vary from patient to patient, but in most cases patients require low doses of prednisone for 5-10 mg daily for about 2 years. A small number of patients require longer courses of prednisone. Prednisone less than 10 mg daily is fairly well tolerated in most patients. The most complaints involving easy bruising, thinning of the skin and weight gain, however, and even these small doses can make diabetes or high blood pressure worse. Occasionally edema in the feet can worsen, osteoporosis can worsen be worsen. In general, prednisone doses for PMR are reduced below 10 mg daily after the first several months.
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As far as polymyalgia rhuematica goes I have no clue if there is a cure. I've never heard of it.



Prednisone does make you gain weight so yes you should be on a diet. I can't say it will help.

Also, prednisone destroys your immune system. It is far from good for it.



I've been on prednisone 5 years and am weaning off it now. My Dr. said I may have to stay on a low dose for the rest of my life. I told him NO WAY!!

I've been on as high a dose as 60mg a day and am now on 2.5mg a day.

I gained 60lbs and I hate the way I felt then and now. Other than the weight gain, I also have thin skin and bruise easliy. I have bruises I don't know where they came from. I also grew some nice side burns. They were a lot like Elvis's. So attractive on a 52 year old woman. Grrrrr



My advise is for you to talk to your Dr. about the side effects and see about getting off of it NOW!! It is the worse drug on the market.
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I have been sick for 5yrs. flu like symptoms, sever muscule pain and burning.. soar throat ,low grade fevers,headaches,night twitching of legs.. ect..I had been to the best hospitals in the counrty and given 10 diagnosis from fibormyalsia to lymes.. 2 months ago i was told although rare at age 29 i had PMR..within aprox. 36hrs after starting on 20mg of prednisone my symptoms greatly decreased..some say PMR burns out in 2yrs. and you no longer have symptoms.. that has not happen as i have been sick for 5yrs..prednisone can cause weight gain,acne,adrenal burn out an diabeates..research shows 10mg or less is an optimal dose for minimal side effects/long term negative effects..and they actual say doctors should use prednisone/steriods..more often
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Reading your letters I feel extremely lucky as I was diagnosed with Polymyaglia in 2008 as I coudn't lift my arms to do my hair or dress myself, and I felt depressed and fatigued. My doctor put me on a sliding scale of Predisone for a year plus 3 other tablets to counter the effects of the steroid. The first day I took the Predisone my pain left me completely, it was wonderful, and I had no more pain all the time I was taking it, and have had none since finishing the tablets 5 months ago.

The consultant said it could come back. Has anyone had a similar experience where it has gone and come back again. Or does it really burn itself out in 2 years as someone else has suggested.

Beatrice
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Hi I I have a question .. You indicated that you got 2 other pills to back up the prednisone.
What were they and Wy did you get them??? do you have another condition besides the Polymyalgia Rhuematica . or was is just to make the prednisone less BAD FOR YOU??
Did you have any of the side effects. or was it just to avoide the side effects.
Hope you can answere my question. Thanks..
Holland3
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Hi
I was diagnosed with PMR about 8 months ago (symptoms - suddenly couldn't lift arms to brush my hair in the morning and weakness in my legs, especially gettin gout of a chair). Went on 15 mg prednisone for 10 days which totally relieved all symptoms and gradually weaned down to 3 mg over the last 6 months. About 1 month ago started to have the arms problem again and went up to 4 mg. I have now developed leg problems with a burning sensation under my feet - have gone up to 5mg and will see the doc in 1 week - think its a relapse. Also have restless legs syndrome!
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sylviab, I think you have Polymyositis--suggest to your doctor and look at methotrexate.
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I had polymyalgia about 4 years ago with the same symptons as yourself, the use of steroids cleared the problem after about 6 months. 4 weeks ago the polymyalgia returned, this time it was diagnosed a lot quicker so the medication soon relieved my aches and pains, I hope to reduce the steroid intake to 5ml per day and hope to stop completely within 3 or 4 months fingers crossed. If you feel that the polymyalgia is returning you will be familiar with the symptoms having experienced them, dont be afraid to tell your doctor your feelings. Polymyalgia is very hard to diagnose. 1st Feb 2011.
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My mother is 85 and was diagnosed with polymyalgia rh. It took her being on a morphine drip in the hospital for 2 days for the pain and a barrage of tests mri, ct bone scan all negative. Finally, an Infectious Disease doc diagnosed. Why is this disease so difficult to diagnose and why are we not hearing anymore about it, I have never in my life seen my mother in so much pain, she could not even walk. Thanks for any input from anyone, dreadful disease and they say might be genetic, great!
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I just started 10 mgs of predisone it really helped mypain I will be seen in 4 weeks and am having bone test next week to watch for bone problems just came on sudden my friend is a er dr. and told me what he thought I had he was right.
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My symptoms are very similar to yours and have just started today on prednisalone (prednisone) 10mg / day so now hoping it works as quickly for me, too. The two other medications I am on with it are a calcium with Vitamin D3 supplement (Ad-Cal D3) and alendronic acid to protect my bones from the prednisalone. I had been taking diclofenac to control the pain and was diagnosed with PMR only 3 weeks ago after being semi-incapacitated by it for several months. I had quite a number of blood tests and a radiological bone scan before diagnosis was confirmed. Thank goodness for the NHS.



I'm also type 1 diabetic, so hoping it does not knock my control too much. I've been type 1 diabetic since I was 5 yo, 49 years now, and a bit of dose adjustment does not worry me. But the PMR symptoms were accompanied by a very big increase in my insulin requirement from a total (basal plus bolus) of about 43 units to about 75 units per day. I am waiting to see if my insulin dose has to go up, as seems usual with prednisalone, or goes down as symptoms go. Nonetheless, I will do my best to get off the steroid as soon as possible. Fingers crossed.
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I am a 59 yr old female and was diagnosed with PMR approx 6 minths ago. The pain started slowly and I felt as though I has pulled a muscle in my shoulder - the pain gradually travelled into my neck and over to the other shoulder . A few weeks later the pain went into my hips and quads. I too was in alot of pain as I tried to sit down and then to get up. I could not raise my arms to brush my hair and getting dressed was difficult and painful. Getting in and out bed was very painful. (even the pain meds for fibro did not help) At first I thought it was a Fibro flare up but the pain was more severe than I had ever experienced. I went to my Rheumatologist who sent me for blood work, but nothing else was said . I left frustated. With the advice of a friend, I made an appt and saw the Rheumatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. He immediately diagnosed the PMR and I started on 15mg of prednisone. After 2 weeks I still had pain and was instructed to increase to 20mg. Finally, the pain was gone !
I have weaned my self down to 5 mg. after one week the pain is coming back! So now I must increase the prednisone. This med is brutal and I have gained weight, my skin has thinned and I bruise very easily.

I also asked the Dr. what caused pmr and he said they think it is caused by a virus.....anyone heard that?

I am glad I found this site to read and share with fellow sufferers, sorry we have to meet this way.
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My rheumatologist and my doctor both advised me to reduce prednisolone very slowly, starting two months after the initial dose (10 mg) at the rate of 1 mg a time every 2 months. This is to get the body's own steroid production, suppressed by the prednisolone, back to normal. Getting off the stuff does seem a bit of a task. My doc also said type 1 diabetics, like me, are a bit more prone to autoimmune conditions so this seems to tie in with comments on viral causes. I agree there seems little knowledge about underlying causes of PMR.

The treatment is working for me, even at 10 mg starting dose. The treatment started working almost as soon as started. Now two weeks after starting, I can move without more than slight, niggling pain around my hips, elbows and shoulders and can work out at the gym almost without pain. The pain around my knees has gone completely and I can turn my neck without discomfort. Still slight but reducing soreness around my elbows. So far no side effects; no bruises or thinned skin and no weight gain or round face. The calcium/D3 plus alendronic acid are no hassle so hoping my bones are staying strong.

As for effects on my insulin dose, it's come down sharply rather than raised. It now seems stabilised at 53 units total (basal plus bolus), reduced from 75 units. This is still above my pre PMR level of about 43 units but going in the right direction. My rheumatologist will be surprised when I see him again in May.
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I was diagnosed with PMR 3 years ago. All the same symptoms as the rest of you. Pain is agonizing. I have now gone into remission twice. The first time was 6 months. Pain returned in my arms. I start on 15 to 20 mgs of pred, then gradually go down. It normally takes about a year. This last time, the pain started much quicker. I live at 75,000 feet altitude and had gone to sea level for a couple of months. The Dr. said the difference in barometric pressure can cause it to return. He treats snow birds quite a lot. He was a young Dr. and told me it is a chronic disease and returns periodically when something causes a flare-up. It can go into remission. He said there are new medications out and I should see a rhuematologist and look at other options rather than pred. I have not talked with my regular Dr. yet about this. It was so helpful to read about all of your experiences. Now I don't feel so alone. No one recognizes this illness and most people feel that you are faking somehow, that you are lazy or are a hypochondriac or that you really have fibromyalgia and their's is worse. There are so many things I want to do. I really get tired of not feeling like myself.
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