I've had PMR for almost a year, but the prednisone (and necessary PPI) were so badly tolerated that I've now tapered to no meds at all. I have a very high pain threshhold and can live like this for another year or two or three. But am I more at risk for GCA after only 5 months of prednisone? MY GP doesn't think so, and it will take 6 months for me to get an appointment with a rheumatologist. Is my risk still only 15-20% or is it elevated without having taken prednisone for a longer span of time?
(More info, but skip this if you want. 15 mgs. of pred took the pain away completely after 5 days, but my digestive system said to please stop. I took 5 mgs. for 2 1/2 months, then 2 1/2 mgs. for another month, then 1 mg. for a month and then alternated 1 mg. and nothing for 10 days. The pain came back, of course, but nothing like as disabling as it had been. I can function fairly well, although not completely normally. I have tried different PPIs, but even the 1 mg. dose was causing me problems at the end. I would really rather not take anything than to tear up my tummy. My doctor is happy with this approach, but I'd like to find some reassurance from scientific studies that show my GCA risk isn't higher. I cannot imagine taking 60 mgs. or more of prednisone when 1 is enough to set me off. Thanks for reading all this!)