Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a condition that occurs in women more than men, who are usually in their 70s. The condition involves muscle discomfort, soreness, and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, upper arms, hips, and upper thighs. The cause of PMR is unknown but it’s sometimes related to a viral illness that may cause the immune system to increase inflammation. There are some people who’ll have temporal arteritis and also develop symptoms of PMR, and how and why the two conditions overlap is unknown. Both conditions respond to oral steroids. It is estimated that roughly 711,000 people have PMR and 228,000 have temporal arteritis.
At present, prednisone remains the standard of care for GCA. While it works very well, there are many side-effects of this medication. Other immune suppressing medications have been tried but do not work very well for this condition. Methotrexate, a medication commonly used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is sometimes used to help reduce the risk of disease flares. Other treatments are currently being investigated. The types of inflammatory cells that are involved in the arteritis are being identified in current research. Understanding the nature of the inflammatory processes may lead to improved treatment.
Taking both a steroid and aspirin can greatly increase your risk of developing a stomach ulcer. If you take this combination of medicines it is commonly advised that you also take a medicine to reduce the acid in your stomach. The aim is to prevent the serious complication of a bleeding stomach ulcer from developing. PPIs are a group (class) of medicines that work on the cells that line the stomach, reducing the production of acid. They include esomeprazole , lansoprazole , omeprazole , pantoprazole and rabeprazole . They come in various different brand names. One of these will normally be advised if you take a steroid and aspirin.