PMR-GCA website addresses and resources

Edited , 77 users are following.

If anyone has any further suggestions for inclusion do not reply to this but please contact me separately.


PMR-GCA Scotland

PMR GCAuk - a National Organisation which covers England, Wales & Northern Ireland -

PMRGCAuk have a web-based community/forum on

New Book on the Block – “Living with PMR&GCA”.

‘Living with PMR & GCA’ written and produced by patients for patients has been issued to all members of PMR&GCAuk North East Support, Charity Reg No 1138409 May 2015.

The book is available to non-members and the details can be found here

Highly recommended book - Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis: a survival guide by Kate Gilbert

Other useful information:

Steroid Application

New steroid taper web application stores copies of steroid taper plans which can be viewed online or downloaded.

Bristol paper (this is a paper by the Bristol group which is aimed at GPs to help them diagnose and treat PMR and GCA more confidently and using a scheme that results in fewer flares due to reducing the pred dose too fast or too far, which is the primary cause of flares).

2015 Recommendations for the Management of Polymyalgia Rheumatica - a EULAR/ACR collaboration

Study on Fatigue as a precursor to PMR

Diagnosis and Management of PMR - Concise Guidance from Royal College of Physicians

Update on the management of giant cell arteritis

Patient-reported involvement of the eighth cranial nerve in giant cell arteritis

Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Steroid Side Effects: New Findings

Patient information leaflets

PatientPlus articles aimed at doctors

Drug interaction checker

NHS hospital services

Specific topic discussions in these forums

Discussion for users achieving zero predisone:

Pacing in chronic illness - some useful links that explain it and how to do it

EMIS Moderator

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  • Posted

    "Reducing pred: dead slow and nearly stop"

    In an attempt to make this reduction scheme available more simply to the people who request it I am posting it here where it can be found easily. I hope noone minds but I have copied and pasted it what feels like dozens of time!

    "A group of us worked out reduction schemes individually that have allowed us to reduce far further than ever before but they are all basically the same - and they were based on a scheme a Swedish gentleman worked out when he simply couldn't get below 3mg without pain. Img at that level is 33%, 1/2mg is 17% - way above the 10% that has been recommended for years. So he used table to see the daily doses and took the new dose on one day, old dose for a few days and then proceeded by repeating that and then reducing the number of days of old dose - until he got to everyday new dose. It worked, he got off pred and has been off pred for at least 3 years (it could be longer). Something similar to mine is being tried by a consultant rheumatologist in the north of England and he too finds it works for every single patient he has given it to. As it did for several ladies beforehand.

    My reductions are VERY slow. I use the following pattern to reduce each 1mg:

    1 day new dose, 6 days old dose

    1 day new dose, 5 days old dose

    1 day new dose, 4 days old dose

    1 day new dose, 3 days old dose

    1 day new dose, 2 days old dose

    1 day new dose, 1 day old dose

    1 day old dose, 2 days new dose

    1 day old dose, 3 days new dose

    1 day old dose, 4 days new dose

    1 day old dose, 5 days new dose

    1 day old dose, 6 days new dose

    By that stage if I feel OK I feel safe to go all new dose. I suppose you might be OK starting and stopping at "1 day new, 4 days old" but I was terribly sensitive to steroid withdrawal pain so I err on the safe side. Once you get to the "everyday new dose" - if you feel OK you can start on the next reduction, no real need to spend a month at the new dose.

    This avoids steroid withdrawal pain - which is so similar to PMR pain that you often can't tell which is which and some of us suspect that many flares are NOT the PMR returning but problems with steroid withdrawal. Using a scheme like this also means you can stop immediately if you have any problems - you might be fine at one day old dose, 2 days new (lower) dose but not at a 3 day gap - but you have dropped your dose a lot and that is the idea. It also isn't as slow as you would think - you can reduce at a rate of about 1mg/month on a continual basis.

    The Bristol group start new patients with PMR with 6 weeks 15mg, 6 weeks at 12.5mg and then a year at 10mg before continuing the reduction and that achieves a far lower rate of flare (20% instead of 60%) and I suspect their flares then come below 10mg as they then do the 1mg at a time reduction. Just below 10mg is a common dose for people to get stuck at - and I (and others) believe it is because even 10% drops are too much for many patients. These patients are then labelled as "steroid resistant" or told they need methotrexate to help them reduce but we have seen this slow reduction work for those patients too. We believe that methotrexate (MTX) works for patients who have late onset rheumatoid arthritis (LORA) or LORA and PMR together. Very few patients get off pred altogether when taking the MTX - those who do are probably the mis-diagnosed LORA patients - or another arthritis that responds to MTX."

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