Pain and loss range of motion in my shoulders, neck and back pain for about 2 years, and finally severe pain in my left hip about a month ago. My primary care doctor started me on 20 mg of prednisone, tapering off after about 10 days. Within the first 24 hours all symptoms were gone. We thought we had found the answer. However, at the end of the 10 day regiment, my symptoms returned in both hips. The second treatment of the same did nothing to relieve the pain. Started adding Advil to my regiment with some relief for 4-5 hours and then needed more Advil. My ESR levels are not elevated, and my doctor did not yet do a C-reactive protein level yet. I will probably see a rheumatologist next. Has anyone else had their symptoms return and not be helped with prednisone? Puzzled with all of this.
Short term prediscone not the answer. Long term with decreasing dosage every 5 wks or so has helped with pain in upper arms and hamstrings. Still can't sit in car for over an hour without pain in right hamstring. Under care of a rhumatica arthritic doctor. Told it (pain) may last a year. Good luck.
Did you taper off completely after only 10 days? If so, that is the problem. If you truly have PMR it takes (on average according to latest symposium on AutoImmune Disorders) up to 6 years for symptoms to abate and then they often return. One needs to be on initial pain regimen for at least one year or more. Tapering off very, very, slowly. I did this for two years and each time I tapered off slowly (down to 1) the symptoms would return and then I would have to increase the Prednisone to the dose at which I was last comfortable. Starting off at 20 and then down to 1 with return, I next went to 15 and then down to 1 with return, and then next 10 and then down and lastly 5 and then down (quite a few times). I have now been on Prednisone for 2.5 years with no end soon in sight. I am now at 3mg because of flare at which point I had to increase again to 5. You just have to be patient.
I suggest you go to the International website for PMR sufferers called 'HEALTH UNLOCKED' Some of these people on the chat room have had PMR for uip to 10 years and some are more knowledgeable than doctors. And, of course, it seems as if some countries abroad are far ahead of us in some ways (prescriptions, treatment, etc.). I learned so much about PMR from these women/men. They will answer all questions for you and from personal experiences (not advice from someone who can't even begin to understand the type of pain with PMR. By the way, I am originally from Pittsburgh.
How old are you? I am 57 and was diagnosed with polymyalgia 11 months ago. I'm trying to find someone else that is in their 50's with the same diagnosis. I'm having a hard time finding anyone.
I took prednisone for 10 months and tapered down really slow but now I'm taking ibuprofen twice a day. Still sore especially when having to bend to pick up something on the floor but I'm glad to be off prednisone.
It took me about 3 months to be diagnosed. I had taken some prednisone prior to my blood work so that influenced the results. I was given 50 mg for 3 days and then 25mg daily for about a week and then stopped. (This dose was way too high but it worked.) The symptoms returned full force about a week after stopping. Next I was given a decreasing dose over 2 weeks. Again the symptoms returned, even worse. Then I started on 10 mg daily- that worked - and I took that dose for a month, then began decreasing by 1mg every 3 weeks. Am down to 6mg daily and my symptoms have not returned. I would say that if your symptoms were not helped when you went back on prednisone it was because your dose was not high enough. I was told and have read that NSAIDs do not work well for PMR. Amazingly Tylenol 8hr did give me some relief. Good luck. My family practitioner was not able to give me a diagnosis but an internist did. He said I was a textbook case. My symptoms started in my shoulders and hips.
I also have some hand involvement. I also have gout and had 2 ankle flares in the middle of all this. That was how I was initially given the prednisone. Within 48 hrs of starting the prednisone I was completely pain free in all my joints and muscles.
I had a similar experience before I saw my rheumatologist. My general physician put me on 20mg prednisone with a quick taper. Worked great initially, but no lasting relief. My rheumatologist started me on 10 tapering 1mg per month (that's the goal, its actually been closer to 1 mg every other month). Relief has not been total, but it's manageable, and now just hoping to ride it out.
- Prednisone Information for Consumers
- Prednisone Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Prednisone (detailed)
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