Effect of antibiotics on PMR?

I was diagnosed almost 4 years ago with PMR at the age of 46 and have struggled to reduce the dose. I'm still in pain and tiredness is a problem. Recently I noticed that if I was taking antibiotics I felt better. My rheumy was interested in this and has now put me on an antibiotic for 4 weeks. It has made such a difference. Has anyone else had this experience? If so how did you get on when the course was finsihed?

10 Replies

  • For myself, I've been on many antibiotics including some heavy duty ones while taking Pred, but have not noticed any difference in being on them.

    However, someone else mentioned they felt better on antibiotics but it was some while ago and I will check to see if I can find the reference.

  • Thank you, much appreciated.

  • As I was checking, it came back to me - it wasn't PMR, it was Rheumatoid Arthritis. A few years ago there were some being treated with long-term antibiotics and got a great deal of relief. As Rheumatoid Arthritis and PMR are both inflammatory autoimmune conditions, it would make sense that it might control PMR too in some cases.

    I haven't heard much about it for some time and don't know what conclusions (if any) were reached, but the connection certainly exists.

  • Thanks thats helpful. I feel so much better I'm terrified that they will take me off them again!

  • Hi yes I was diagnosed with GCA over a year ago,and during thatt time i have only had antibiotics twice but have felt great on them now normally I would never ever feel good on them they used to make me feel very ill and nauseous,very strange how my body accepts them now and even to the point of making me feel better,just finished some last week and this week feel dreadful,very weird.

    it must be down to the inflammation in our body's due to our illness that the antibiotics have that effect well that's my logic anyway ,

    maybe some one can give a better explanation I hope so,good luck kind regards Ritter.

  • Thanks Ritter. I will let you know how I get on. Antibiotics have to be better than high doses of steroids.

  • I know of several people using low antibiotic therapy successfully for years..usually doxycycline. If it works its all good as far as I see it. Do let us know how it goes for you....and good luck with it.,

  • Thanks, That what she has put me on, 200mgs daily. I'm dreading her taking me off it at end of month. This is the first time I have felt half normal in years!!

  • Hi m33ary

    Is it one particular type of antibiotic that is having this effect or do you have the same effect from different ones? I find this really interesting, especially having read recently in the press about a London consultant's discovery that a simple blood test is revealing bacteria in the spine as the reason for many patients presenting with ongoing back pain. He has found that treating back pain patients with a (extended, I believe from memory) course of antibiotics has cured them permanently of their back pain. I also know of someone who became ill at the same time as me with exactly the same PMR-type symptoms who was treated with a lengthy course of antibiotics and a short sharp burst of steroids, and recovered after 6 weeks! That gave me plenty of food for thought during my years on steroids, as you can imagine. Enjoy feeling "normal"!

  • I noticed it first with amoxycillian which I had for a nasty throat infection. My Rheumy has put me on Doxycycline 200mgs daily and thats even better. I haven't seen the article about the bacteria causing back ache, this is really interesting. Now I want us all to feel normal as I know the misery of PMR!

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