Does reduction in steroids risk joint damage? - PMRGCAuk


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Does reduction in steroids risk joint damage?


Diagnosed with PMR - usual symptoms,+ high level of inflammatory markers. 15mg of prednisolone cleared the pain, but after 3 weeks, I want to reduce - at 68 I don't like the idea of the side effects. I'm taking the usual bone protecting stuff. Went down to 10mg 4 days ago, and have some stiffness - nothing I can't deal with. But, does letting the inflammation come back mean I am damaging my joints? I have a fair bit of osteoarthritis, so don't want to take risks.

4 Replies

The steroids ,take away information ,but the Steroids can cause osteoarthritis each time we reduce steroids stiffness returns ,but after few days does most times settle down ,so lower dose of Steroids we take the better ,take care .

CelticPMRGCAuk volunteer

Hello weymouthgran

To answer your question about inflammation resulting from PMR, it would not be wise to knowingly leave it untreated and uncontrolled because of the risk of developing the linked condition GCA which can put your eyesight at risk. You are also at risk of other health 'nasties' if you allow inflammation to course through your body untreated.

Reducing from 15 to 10mgs after just 3 weeks is far too steep a drop and I hope it doesn't result in a return of your initial symptoms. 15 to 12.5mgs would have been the better option.

Hi Weymouthgran,

I'm sorry to say that there is not a quick fix cure for PMR and a few weeks of taking steroids and reducing very quickly is leaving you vulnerable to a flare and as Celtic says, GCA and a lot of other unpleasant things. Steroids do not 'cure' PMR, they merely reduce the inflammation that is causing your symptoms. PMR goes away when it is ready and for most people that means around 2 years on a slowly reducing steroid programme. Reduction should never be more than 10% at a time and the lower your dose, the slower you need to go.

I am not aware of a connection between PMR inflammation & osteoathritis, but of course taking long term steroids is not good for our bones. For that reason, it is very important that a Dexa scan is done early on, so bone density can be measured and a base line determined.

Sorry - not the jolliest of replies.

I have been on steroids for about 1.5 yrs and my dexascan was not good. Osteopenia and a high risk of fracture and I am 52 yrs old.

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