I watched this programme on BBC 1 last week with increasing anxiety; almost all the drugs mentioned are those that my rheumatologist is prescribing for me.......Gabapentin, Amaltriptyline (couldn't tolerate it), Azathioprine, etc. I already take the maximum dose of Tramadol (400mg) daily in 4 hits, backed up each time with the equivalent dose of Paracetamol. I am now concerned that he is trying to reduce my steroid intake for PMR - currently at 13mg after a bad flare at 7.5mg - at any cost but that this maybe actually leading to a long term addiction. Or is it perhaps that at 70 he thinks it doesn't matter if I am permanently hooked on painkillers for the remainder of my life? I am lucky that I can tolerate Tramadol, I hear many people can't, but I started taking it 20 odd years ago for botched spinal work after all the other painkillers from 1979 onwards failed after a while, but only at a low dose then of 2 x 50mg daily until the PMR when I was put up to the max dose.
It's tough, I have to live daily a life which is tolerable which makes me think that continuing on a steroid dose that allows me to do this is the right way forward. After all I have already got two busted femurs from the Alendronic Acid.....what else is at risk?
Incidentally, I have a running prescription for "Phorpain Gel Maximum strength" which I use daily on the muscles of my arms, shoulders, knees and thighs. It can be used up to three times a day and certainly does help.