Anyone taken Prednisolone for Polymyalgia - Thyroid UK

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Anyone taken Prednisolone for Polymyalgia


Hi all, I've seen my GP today about my aching upper arms which I've had since Jan/Feb.

She had diagnosed this complaint as being Polymyalgia and has given me Prednisolone to be started tomorrow after breakfast. The dosage is 5mg x 4 together each morning for one week until I see her again. On reading the side effects on the enclosed leaflet this steroid sounds very scary to say the least. Just want to know if anyone else on here has been diagnosed with this illness and been prescribed this drug, and did it help.?

14 Replies

My late mother had polymyalgia-rheumatica and was on steroids. She had more than just aching upper arms though.

Has your GP done CRP and ESR blood tests?

Have you looked at the NHS Choices Web page about polymyalgia-rheumatica

I would want to know for sure that I had it before taking the steroids after seeing my mother. She blew up like a balloon, she put on so much weight with the steroids, it made her thoroughly miserable and she was on them for about 2 years.

MissFG in reply to SeasideSusie

I agree the side affects of steroids aren’t pleasant so should be used as a last resort. I’ve myosotis but avoiding taking it as I believe based on my inflammation levels atm the benefits don’t out way the side effects

I too was diagnosed with PMR back in 2000 by a GP who did not want me to leave the surgery without a script for a steroid. I refused. Diagnosis downgraded to Fibromyalgia by Consultant Rheumatologist. Hashimotos diagnosed in 2005. I still have aches and pains in joints which feels like inflammation. It lessens the further away from the joints I press.

I would do lots of reading and have further tests if possible for the Inflammatory markers suggested by SeasideSusie

Ricketts40 in reply to Marz

Thank you I think I will as at the moment I think it could be another blood test that I need, as I did ask for a fibromyalgia test the last time I saw this GP and she had the result today which was no I didn't have it. So why does she think I have Polymyalgia?? Is it worse??

Marz in reply to Ricketts40

Not sure there is a test for Fibro :-( Not sure why she thought PMR - were your inflammatory markers measured ? Do ask for copies of ALL blood test results with ranges - they are legally yours. You can then monitor your own health and see what has been missed !

I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia in 2010 and put on Prednisolone 20mg for two weeks which was then reduced very gradually. I had monthly blood tests for ESR and CR-P and was medicated according to the results. I was on Prednisolone for three years until I was back to normal. I too was nervous re possible side effects. The only one I got was a little weight gain but I did keep to a sensible diet and the weight did go when I came off the steroids. The effect of the steroids was almost miraculous because within days the aches and pains disappeared. However one must keep on with the medication until it is gradually reduced and ESR and CR-P back to normal. Hope this serves to reassure you.

Bless you for replying to me. I am not too sure what ESR and CR-P are but as far as I know I don't have any other symptoms other than these aches in my upper arms and a little pain in my right hip which are frankly liveable with, although limiting. You read the leaflet that comes with the pills and they do frighten you. I am 71 and quite a fit woman other than having an underactive thyroid for 30 years. My biggest worry is having to NOT get any illnesses for the next year. Other sufferers on here seem to be taking Prednisolone for what seems like years due to colds caught etc. I must say your reply has reassured me. Thank you so much for that.

Marz in reply to Ricketts40

ESR & CR-P are tests used to determine inflammation - and often raised with PMR.

Ricketts40 in reply to Marz

I went to see my GP today. I asked her if she had my test results for my last blood test and did it show that I have PMG. Her reply was well your ESR showed negative so to her that proved I have PMG. Could that be right, or could that just show my anti-bodies are low or anything else. Don't really understand how it all works. I am supposed to start Pred in the morning. Very wary...

Marz in reply to Ricketts40

Did you obtain copies of recent test results as suggested above ? - they are legally yours 😊

How is your thyroid ? Do you have results for TSH - FT4 - FT3 ? Being under- medicated can cause pain in joints and beyond.

Do you know your VitD levels ? - also B12 - Folate - Ferritin ...

I would persue the basics before starting steroids ... but then that's me 😊

I have a very good friend who is on steroid treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica. One of the side effects has been to make her bones weaker triggering osteoporosis. So far they haven’t been able to reduce the steroids as quickly as they hoped. She is struggling with it all. However, another friend’s husband had it and was treated with steroids and he was better within a year.

Ricketts40 in reply to MariLiz

Well I was diagnosed with osteopenia way back in my mid-fifties but haven't been tested since. I broke my ankle 6 years ago playing footie with my grandson and that took 6 months to recover from. The one thing I am worried about is being on steroids longer than necessary like your friend. Personally I don't think Dr's give you enough time to talk about these strong medications and the effect they can have on you. I do have another appointment with her next week so hopefully I can cover more worries with her then. Although I start the Prednisolone today. Thanks for reply, they do help.

I had poly several years ago....pred took care of it..on it about 1 can come back.

Several times I was in pain and retested.....but not poly.

I NOW HAVE fibromyalgia no Rx for it.....just otc stuff

Some days good ....upper arms shoulder upper back and up thru neck. Muscles feel intense burning, lik a 20 mile run and workout. 😩

I was diagnosed with PMR just over a year ago and initially refused steroids. However I had to give in as basically it is the only thing to treat it. You say you have started the steroids now, did you find a big difference within a couple of days because if it is PMR you should. Have you joined the PMR forum? You will find people with a wealth of knowledge on there so if you haven’t may be worth a shot.

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