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With a nasty virus do I need to increase my pred?

I've got a really horrible virus and possible chest infection(seeing GP tomorrow)but am getting a lot of pain in my calves,knees and mid-back- I also cracked my ribs 5 weeks ago, but this seems a different kind of pain and is in the back rather than in the front-my skin feels sore to the touch and there are areas that feel bruised but don't look it. Is this PMR symptoms returning due to the virus? And, if so, do I need to up my medication? I am actually seeing the Rheumatologist tomorrow so could wait till then but it would be helpful to get some ideas.

7 Replies

No Suzy, don't up your dose. Some of your symptoms may be side effects, some the infection. But more pews won't help. Just look after yourself in the usual way, rest and plenty of fluids, and paracetemol if you can take it.


Thank you !


Hi Suzie1959. I have the same issue as you- nasty virus cough and tickle in throat and chest- driving me mad but dont really want to increase pred. because i am down to 2 mg.

What did your GP/Rheumy advise about increasing prednisolone? I'd really love to know. Hope you are feeling better by now. Cath


Actually, surprisingly, the Rheumy said that I should increase the pred at least for a few days, as, on examination, he found a lot of sore spots on my body which he thought may well be the PMR . As this was my first follow up appt. since being put on pred. his opinion with the regulating of pred. was that I should dose myself according to how I feel- that the course of PMR is not linear and may go up and down. As long as the general trend is downward, his view is that the symptoms should be treated.

My Gp who I saw first had a very simplistic view- he had no idea what the pains were but just spouted the "reduce by 2.5 mg very 2 weeks" script, which didn't inspire confidence although I do think he's a good GP generally. He did put me on anti-biotics for a chest infection too though. Finally, I am feeling slightly better 2 days into that and have finally had a few hours' sleep- no fun!


Hi Suzy,

I think your rheumy is right. A few months ago, I had a virus, and it lasted for 6 weeks. I went right down in health and the only thing that helped in the end was to up the dose of pred from 8mg to 10mg. It did the trick and within a few days I began to feel better. This illness will flare in times of stress and it has to be dealt with accordingly.

None of us want to increase, but sometimes it can't be avoided. Go real slowly with the drops when you begin to reduce and my opinion is, don't even think about it until you have felt well for a couple of weeks.

I am now reducing by half a mg every 3 weeks and am on 8.5mg. By the way, I'm feeling pretty good.



Thank you. I have already gone up from 11 to 15mg, nearly a week ago, and then lay awake last night still feeling sore all over so I have now gone up to 20 reluctantly but because I want to be sure that I get on top of this. This is such a difficult balancing act isn't it?


Hi suzy,

Yes, it sure is and everyone is different, but I believe that if you're still in the first year of PMR, in my opinion it can be a rocky old ride at this time - it was for me. The illness is at it's most aggressive now so no quarter should be given or it may flare again.

When you feel OK again, as far as pain is concerned, then reduce slowly. No more than 10% I would say. Myself, I could only reduce by 1mg at a time every 3 weeks and it worked.

Best wishes, Pats.


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