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Prednisolone plus ibuprofen

I’m on 6mg prednisone after reducing from 25 mg some months ago. Last night I took 1 ibuprofen tablet for head ache and I am almost pain free today. Why can’t I take ibuprofen daily. 

27 Replies

  • leef

    If ibuprofen works it is possibly because you have pain from something other than PMR. As Karenjaninaz says with steroids it can be very irritating on the stomach and is marked as contra indicative with steroids. 

  • leef

    I take Ibuprofen all the time for sports injuries with no problem.

  • leef


    I checked with our pharmacy here in the UK and plain paracetamol ( nothing added) is ok to take with Prednisolone.  

    • jacqueline02102

      I'm sure that is the case for almost everyone but  when my GP asked me to try it ( explaining that if it eased the pain I was still feeling as I reduced the pred. then the pain was not PMR..... I think I've got that right ) the result was to make me feel so ill and gave such alarming LFT readings that I was fast tracked to see the liver man at the hospital. Within ten days of stopping the paracetamol my readings were back to normal.

      Whether that was the combination of Ped. and paracetamol was never indicated. It was just flagged on my  " do not" list.

      Don't want to be alarmist but be aware.

  • leef

    You could - but you increase the risk of gastric bleeding considerably. It can happen with corticosteroids, it can happen with NSAIDs (ibuprofen is one) and putting both together increases the risk considerably so it is recommended that they are not taken together. If you do then it is advisable to take stomach protection drugs - and that adds another potential source of side effects, especially osteoporosis.

    NSAIDs rarely have a good effect in PMR so whatever your pain is now it is possibly not due to PMR. If you want to try taking ordinary pain killers paracetamol/Tylenol might be a better alternative - although it can do a number on your liver if you are unlucky and use it long term together with other drugs that stress the liver. Especially, I should add, alcohol.

    • EileenH

      What else could it be. I woke up in July last year three days in a row with increasing pain in muscles in back of calves, back of thighs, lower back (mild) under shoulder blades. Day 3 I could not roll over in bed. Hubby had to assist me out of bed. R  diagnosed pmr. And put me in prednisone. I had immediate relief of pain in 15 mg. In the following weeks I myself reduced my dose by 5 mg a week resulting in immediate recurrence of excruciating pain again. Popped dose back up to 15 mg. No pain. So over the last 8 months I am now down to 6 mg. I have morning pain in muscles, not joints, in shoulders neck upper arms. Rheumatologist said he suspected spondylitis blah blah. I have no joint pain. Came out of rheumatologists rooms totally confused and with no confidence in him at all. I believe I have pmr and so does my GP. You now saying because ibuprofen helped that I couldn’t have pmr, it must be something else now annoys me. Sorry. But it it does.   Rheumatologist wanted me to go on methotrexate for the rest of my life and ween off prednisolone. I am 64. I have never been sick in my life except for the occasional cold. I do not want to take drugs, any sort of drugs but I need prednisolone for control of this bugga of a disease.  Please tell me that you could be wrong in saying that I must have other disease. I am intending to be cured Within the next year God willing or at least in remission. I would appreciate your thoughts. I did not attend the following rheumatologist’ appointment because of his attitude. 

    • leef

      No - that WASN'T what I said, I said it was possible that the pain you have at present MAY not be PMR which was why it responds to ibuprofen. As we reduce that allows in other results of aging and the normal twinges of advancing age, OA and so on. Plenty of others on the forum will say the same.

      Your rheumy has some strange ideas - why stick you on methotrexate at this stage? Even if it IS LORA, low dose pred is an accepted form of management and it would make more sense to see if you are able to reduce the pred dose without it and without the other things, whatever they are, worsening.

      But above all - you have only been on pred 8 months, the likelihood of being off pred in the next year is quite low, less than 1 in 5 of PMR patients are able to get off pred entirely in 24 months so you would be unusual. I hope you are so lucky - but don't be disappointed when it doesn't happen.

      I have a friend whose GP put her on to ibuprofen for her PMR. After 3 doses she was in A&E with a gastric bleed. Don't think that ibuprofen is a safer alternative to be able to stop taking pred. It may not be. As for methotrexate - at this stage in the context of PMR, on just 6mg pred, it doesn't make much sense. I would certainly want a lot more proof it was RA before I went onto it for life. 

    • leef

      I believe that all anti inflammatories can have an effect on PMR but it could be so insignificant when your inflammation is raging you don't notice it.  When I was undiagnosed I always felt better, although only marginally, when I had to take aspirin for a headache.  What I later learned was PMR eased slightly.  I never started taking any painkillers regularly because nsaids, including aspirin, interfere with cartilage regeneration so are bad for people with osteoarthritis, as I have.  I think it's entirely possible if you are still on a low dose of pred, which isn't quite enough, that the addition of the ibuprofen was just what you needed to deal with that day's worth of inflammation.  Personally I would stick with enough pred to manage PMR and save the other medications for when they're needed for something else.  


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