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Depo Medrol intramuscular

Good Morning,

Can anyone tell me how often can you have Depo Medrol, I had one on 120mg on 27th October, and another yesterday 1st December, after yet another unsuccessful attempt at DMARDS 3rd time on Sulfasalazine liquid massive failure again! I've been having massive flares since April tried 3 DMARDS MEX, HYDRO, SULFA, all with such bad side effects. Only response I have that's been positive has been with the Depo...intramusculars @ 120mg a time. But am worried I may be having to many, they only last about 3/4weeks on me, and work very quickly, feeling like a new woman today, pain free! Oh I wish it would last first nights sleep I have had in ages! I am due at clinic on the 18th for review possibly now going to be considered for BIological TNF treatment. I'm quite worried by that prospect. On the down side I have Ocular Migraines with the Steroids so not looking forward to them....and am very anxious by Weight Drop I have had since being diagnosed in April this year, currently lost 8lb keep telling my Rheumy how concerned I am I'm only twig built anyway! But their attitude is quite fierce! This weeks reply to my concerns were what do you expect you have a active Athritis! No help, I have refused another DMARD because it could cause massive weight loss, and. peripheral Neuropathy, I already have PN and have had for 9 years, I got really told off under no uncertain terms for refusing, in fact I was originally told No DMARD No more Steroids, very upsetting! Sorry I've somewhat go on such a stressful time again! the DMARD was Leflunomide, feeling a bit worried that I may be denied treatment if I refuse to do as they say in the future. Ending on a high note today I have Pain Clinic after a Long long Wait! Thank you for any advice help wonderful people. You've been a great help recently and have helped me come to terms with this horrid RA a little more! X 😊

4 Replies

My GP allows me to have steroids four times a year at most - either an injection, or a two week course of oral steroids. They consider that a reasonably safe level (no steroids are ever 100% safe or free from side effects), though the side effects of steroids are cumulative (at least for osteoporosis) so if there are other alternatives, it is far better to be taking DMARDs or other treatment than having to rely on steroids. It seems that when steroid injections are used as a bridge to tide you over when starting DMARDS most rheumatologists will allow three injections in a row at 4-6 week intervals, which fits with what my GP is saying.

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Seems a little unsympathetic not to recognise your concerns about Lefluomide. However at least you got a temporary fix of steroids. Like Earthwitch my rheumy has a rule of thumb about max 4 shots a year.

However, given that you sound as if you have very active disease, and are waiting to find a suitable treatment they may consider upping the amount. But, do be aware that our medieval system requires you to be in pain to qualify for biologics, so you may want to hold off anything that masks the extent of your active disease. It's DAS score of 5.3 taken twice about 6 weeks apart, and having failed on traditional DMARDS that have been tried for at least 6 months (or less when severe intolerance). Barmy, but true.

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Reading you say a max of four a year, mine doesn't even like two a year. Feeling really bad a few months ago, I approached my GP then the rheumatology nurse. A big fat no, did offer to see me nearly two weeks later. I last had one in February of this year, fingers crossed no more flares before the year is up. That's me done, I'm on Leflunomide and have I had no problems. Did lose some weight but I have put it back on. For me it's been a life saver ( truly ). So Ill on methotrexate. Good luck, with your medication x


I feel for you. It is hard to understand how health providers can be so callous... Be assured that you are the expert on your body and you are reporting the whole picture, which is what is needed to find a treatment that can hopefully get you in some degree of remission.

I understand your concern about the weight loss as I lost progressively the first year going through all the different DMARD combinations. I was overweight at the beginning but seemed to have stabilized after starting a biologic (CIMZIA) 4 months ago, in combination with methotrexate.

I still receive the depo medrol but not more often than every three months- seems to be my choice, I don't know if the rheumatologist would allow me to take it more often or not, I just try and hold off.

All the best and continue to take care of yourself, Doreen


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