Chicken Pox and PMR/GCA

I definitely thought I was too old to have chicken pox. Unfortunately my nephews visited during the infectious period and I was unlucky to get it. I felt as though I had the flue for a few days, and then spots on my thighs, which I thought was caused by a steroid cream I was using for a wound on my leg, but when my grandson got it and I compared notes, I realized what it was. Has anyone else had chicken pox, and what precautions did you take as I understand if one is on steroids it can affect you severely. I have contacted my GP and am waiting for a reply, although from past experience I am not expecting a positive answer. Incidentally my spots are at the stage when they are beginning to dry up.

5 Replies

  • Helen, I remember catching chickenpox from my young son and, like you, felt decidedly fluey for a couple of days followed by a rash on my stomach area. I wasn't on steroids in those days, but I did succumb to shingles whilst on steroids for PMR/GCA. The anti-viral medication worked and the nerve pain didn't last too long. I doubt there is anything that your GP will prescribe at this stage of your chickenpox when the spots are drying up but it will be interesting to hear if he does come up with anything. I hope the experience hasn't aggravated your PMR/GCA but don't attempt any reduction in steroid dose until you have completely recovered from chickenpox.

  • Hi Celtic. No she had no medication she could offer, however, she was concerned about my PMR. I also have GCA. I have a blood test tomorrow to see whether ESR/CRP have risen, she will then review the Prednisolone level, although she feels the 7 mg level I am on is fine.

  • Helen, at 7mg you are around the dose of natural steroid (cortisol) our bodies produce pre-Pred. It is when we are reducing from around that level that we can have a shortfall in our bodies until the natural production catches up, having been suppressed by the Pred. So perhaps if you had been on a lower dose you might have been a bit more vulnerable to some aggravation from the chickenpox - fingers crossed if you feel ok PMR/GCA-wise at present, then as long as you don't attempt a reduction for a good couple of weeks until completely over chickenpox, all will be well.

  • Thanks Celtic. Those were my thoughts, hence the reason why I went up from 6 to 7 mg, where I will remain until I feel as though I have fully recovered. Many thanks for your quick response and help.

  • Then you are well past the stage where the GP can help! They can give you anti-viral medication in the first 48 hours which should shorten the illness and make it less severe. Sounds as if it wasn't too bad though.

    get well soon!

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