Treating a headache/flare

It is two years since I was diagnosed with GCA and have got down to 5.5mg daily prednisolone and have started to reduce to 5mg. Last night I had a headache and tender scalp, so I took two effervescent paracodol which sent me to sleep. I awoke at 5.30 am with a headache again and couldn't decide whether to take my morning dose of pred. early or to take more Paracodol OR to take a 1mg tablet of pred. as an extra dose? In the end I took one Paracodol, which sent me to sleep again, but I felt under par all morning.

I normally take my morning dose of pred. at about 9.30am with breakfast (cereal). Has anyone tried taking their pred. earlier? Or treated a flare with an extra dose? Hitherto I have found that two paracodol at night were sufficient for the occassional headache.

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  • Quite a few people have taken their pred earlier - especially people with GCA with PMR symptoms and, more obviously, with just PMR. Some wake early, take their pred and then settle down for another couple of hours before getting up. By them the pred is absorbed and starting to work.

    The inflammatory substances, cytokines, are shed in the body about 4.30am and set off to do their work creating inflammation. The sooner after that the pred is taken the less new inflammation the cytokines have created so the less work the pred has to do. It definitely works well in PMR symptoms. It should also work in and GCA-type inflammation.

  • It is difficult to explain. What I was wondering was whether to take the whole morning dose early for just the once - and then return to the 9.30 dose the next day - or whether to take 1mg as an 'extra' dose for that one day only. I don't want to take the tablets at 4.30 every morning as it would upset my sleep. I felt that if I took the sinemet early for just the once it was postponing the problem for 24 hours and I was wondering if anyone else had tried taking an extra 1mg (say) for just the once.

  • It doesn't have to be 4.30 - lots of people take pred at about 6am when they wake (most people need to go to the bathroom long before they want to get up!) and then settle down for another couple of hours.

    There's no harm in taking a single mg (or even more) just once. I've just been toying with 7 and 8 on alternate days and it seemed fine. But now I have a DISGUSTING cold and all the PMR pains were screaming at me - so had 10mg for yesterday and back to 8mg for today. I do feel a lot better (wasn't difficult mind!). Once it's gone I'll go back to 7/8 alternating for a week or two.

  • Many thanks. I'll try an extra mg if it happens again. Hope your cold clears up soon.

  • So do I!!!! It comes in waves - so hoping the ups are soon more than the downs...

  • I've always taken mine around 6:30 with breakfast so that I can get to (and in the early days -function) at work. Good luck, hope you feel better

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