Just a brief bit of info that may possibly help someone else.

Diagnosed PMR/TA June 2015, up and down with various flares the last one in May of this year. However, the increase in steroids cleared head pain and some of the muscle pain, but new aches appeared - all joints - pain increased fatigue and I was in a pretty miserable condition. It did not feel like the same PMR pain on this occasion.

I saw the rhemy this week, he says it may or maynot be Rheumatoid Arthritis in addition to the pmr/ta, but doesn't want to investigate until I am off steroids. He prescribed Arcoxia 60mgs - and goodness me - what a difference. I am virtually pain free and feeling better than I have for a year - its only day two so I may be getting over excited but feel hopeful for the first time in ages.

16 Replies

  • I am surprised that an NSAID has worked so well for PMR, but you never know. Perhaps it really is rheumatoid arthritis you have.

  • Hi Piglett,

    Sorry perhaps I didn't make myself clear, the pain is different to the PMR - its more joint - knees, groin shoulder joint, fingers and ankles - well most joints actually, whereas the PRM feels like a muscular soreness and stiffness, throughout shoulders, neck, etc (well I am sure you know that pain!) if you understand. So the steroids are still controlling the PMR/TA but would not help this new pain, it was hurting to lay on the joints at night and moving became increasingly difficult - but this NSAID has helped enormously!

  • That makes sense if it is not for the PMR.

  • I had Arcoxia about ten years ago and in conjunction with other meds it really helped with the pain from inflammatory arthritis. Hope it continues to work for you.

  • Lesley, there is a specific blood test for Rheumatoid Arthritis although I understand that it is not always 100% reliable.

    Be very careful taking Arcoxia whilst on Prednisolone. The former is a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and, as such, is generally not recommended alongside steroids because of the risk of stomach bleeds.

  • Arcoxia is a Cox 2 inhibitor and causes much less GI problems than " conventional " NSAID.

  • So say the makers. But less isn't none...

  • There's not a specific or definitive test - it's like PMR where ESR and CRP add to the picture but don't confirm it. Having a few positive tests increases the likelihood it may be/will develop into RA but the only confirmation is when the joint erosion is seen on x-rays.

  • Thanks PMRpro, before being diagnosed with PMR/TA my bloods were elevated so their first thought was RA, but xrays were negative - so they sent me on my merry way with Naproxin - which didn't help, what I now know to be PMR.

    Today has been a difficult day so I going to try taking this new med maybe every other or every third day...... trial an error I think.

  • Aah, I didn't know about the X-ray for joint erosion being the only confirmation of diagnosis - I remember among my exclusion tests was the blood test for rheumatoid factor which they told me was negative so they ruled out RA. It seems there are very many tests that are non-specific and not foolproof - I remember some years ago having the troponin test which came back confirming heart attack. However, after 10 days in hospital and what seemed like a bucket full of pills and daily heparin injections, an angiogram finally ruled out heart attack - the troponin test had been a false positive!

  • You can have seronegative RA - the rheumatoid factor is very low/not present but you can have the joint erosion. And perfectly healthy people can have a positive RF test. So a doctor who says you can't have RA because you don't have positive RF is telling porkies...

    False positive troponin tests are unusual - although there are other causes and they aren't nice either! Raised RF is one of the reasons - but that wouldn't apply for you!

  • Gosh it's mine field! And in many ways our experience is reflected in the actual doctor; consultant or department that looks after us. I changed my doctor after almost 5 years of them treating my illness as old age (early 50's) or menopause- new surgery then referred me following new blood results and diagnosis made of PMR/TA

  • That's great news

  • I was told that when I started taking steroids I could no longer take Arcoxia which I had been taking as an antiinflammatory for years for a spinal condition. I was told that anti in flams are contra indicated with steroid use. I do however use an anti in flam gel on the affected areas.

  • Arcoxia is the only medication that took away my OA knee and hand pain but GP is dismissive and reluctant to prescribe it unless in short periods because of the reported risks of stroke etc.

    When I had a sudden onset of agonising pain three months ago in my wrists, upper arms, shoulders, neck and thighs everybody (foolishly) said it was my OA worsening (both sides of my body at the same time?!) and the 60 mg Arcoxia didn't even touch it. My ESR was high and I was sent for a chest X-ray! Finally got to see an orthopaedic specialist and after examining me and seeing the high ESR (inflammation in my blood) I was diagnosed with PMR, given steroids and hey ho, the next day after 3 months of hardly being able to move I was dancing around the kitchen.

    So I fully understand what you mean about Arcoxia - it is brilliant for OA but would be of no help to alleviate PMR.

  • My Rhuemy gave me Aroxia to use alongside Prednisolone when I am reducing and the pain got to bad to cope with . I only take them for one or two days it seems to work for me . I am down to 6 mg from 20 in 12 months , I refused Azapthropine as I thought it was just another drug to the cocktail I already take . My Rhuemy said he didn't mind me using NSAIDs while I am on a low dose of steroids and only short term 👍

You may also like...