Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) typically resolves within one to two years. For treating PMR symptoms, standard pain relievers (such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen) or anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin) may be ineffective. However, corticosteroids are known to be very effective in controlling the symptoms.
Initial Treatment of Oral Corticosteroid
Polymyalgia rheumatica can be treated with a small dose of prednisone, which is an oral corticosteroid. Initial treatment using Prednisone requires a daily dose of 10 to 20 milligrams. The first three days of treatment can already provide relief for pain and stiffness of the affected body parts, making you feel better in just a few days. Good response to the treatment will confirm the correct diagnosis by a doctor or rheumatologist.
Tapering Dose of Oral Medicines
Polymyalgia rheumatica treatments also involve the gradual decrease of oral medicines after two or three weeks of medication but this should be based on how you have responded to the treatment. Results of laboratory tests such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate or Sed rate and C-reactive protein tests are also considered.
Low Dose Maintenance
A low dosage is maintained without causing a relapse of PMR symptoms. However, PMR treatment may need to continue for one to two years in most people while seeing to it that side effects are monitored through follow-up consultation with your doctor. It has been discovered that people who respond quickly to medication have a high possibility of having a relapse. 10 percent of those who have finished corticosteroid treatment have also been recorded to have a relapse after 10 years of treatment.
Other PRM Treatments
Other medications for PMR treatment are methotrexate and anti-tumor necrosis factor or anti-TNF drugs.
Methotrexate such as Trexall is an immune suppressing medication that reduces the dosage of corticosteroid. It is needed so as to preserve bone mass. This medicine is taken for one year and even more.
Anti-TNF drugs reliably block the substance that causes inflammation to reduce inflammation. These drugs are prescribed for people who cannot take corticosteroids such as patients with diabetes and with osteoporosis.
A doctor can also recommend physical therapy. The person suffering from PRM can recover quickly and regain his strength, coordination and the capability to perform daily chores after being unable to perform usual activities due to PRM.