Withdrawal from Steroid injections

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I’ve been on long term steroid injections (5 years) for osteoarthritis.

I e been having them every 4/6 months over that time.

I was due an injection in February but due to getting bad bleeding under the skin on my hands, I thought I’d stop having the injections to see if the bleeding stops.....,,. It has!!!

Now, 2 months after injection was due, I am now getting extreme muscle pains in my back which have been steadily getting worse over the last 4/5 weeks.

I am also getting pain and stiffness in my hips and shoulders( I didn’t have this before starting the injections)

I am getting knee pain , as I expected as I have osteoarthritis in my knees, ( which is why theinjections started)

Can anyone tell me how long these withdrawal symptoms go in for???

I would suspect I have no steroid left in my system now, hence all this pain.

Any help would be very much appreciated 

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  • Posted

    I don't think that you're going through steroid withdrawals. Injections every 4 to 6 months is not going to hurt you if you stop that. But I am a little concerned about the pain your suffering. It sounds very similar to an autoimmune disorder that I have. It's called polymyalgia rheumatica. As you can tell by the name it is a rheumatological disease. And since you already have osteoarthritis it wouldn't be a far throw to think that you probably have PMR. It is considered to be an old person's disease so if you're a young person then you need not go any further in this direction. But if you're 45 or older you could very well have it. I will let you Google it. The treatment for it is steroids/prednisone which is why I think it was probably masking your pain and that's why your doctor would have missed this disease. This condition is treated with a rheumatologist so if you talk to your rheumatologist about this he or she will ask you to come in for a blood test that will check for inflammation. Your doctor will do a blood test that checks the sed rate and C-reactive protein. I hope this helps a little. Keep me posted please.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.

      I have had blood test for ESR and Crp in the last 6 months ( before these new pains started) both were over range.

      It was suggested to me last week by a private Dr that I ask my Gp to consider prescribing a medication called Sulphasolazine. It is generally prescribed for RA but she said it’s now being used for osteoarthritis and inflammation off label.

      I really don’t want to use prednisone as it affects thyroid and I am hyPOthyroid.

      Also, the steroid injections over time has caused me to have ugly bleeding under the skin on my hands, hence the reason I decided not to have further injections.

      Also long term injections cause muscle weakness and thinning skin. I now have both.

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    • Posted

      Well of course the choice is yours but my pain was more important to me then putting on weight. And putting on weight is the least of the side effects. It can cause diabetes, brittle bones, and many more which is why they start you out at about 15 to 20 mg a day and then you slowly taper your dose. But you should know that PMR pain does not respond to any kind of pain meds. The only thing that will control the pain is prednisone. There are those that choose to forgo the prednisone and attempt to control the inflammation with diet. The diet is very strict so it does take a lot of will power and you will still have pain, just not a severe. One last comment...keep in mind that you are carrying around a lot of inflammation and that includes your organs as well as your muscles. 

      ​If you Facebook, there is a group that is for people with PMR that are trying to deal with it without using prednisone. Good luck to you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Rosemary

    I spoke to you on your post on here about 3 years ago regarding inderal. I tried to go back write under it but it is closed.

    How did you get on with finding a replacement for the inderal?

    I stuck with the Bedranol but now they are giving me a different box of bedranol. It was made by Amus before now its Sandoz but my migraines are returning and getting weird symptoms again.

    Just thought Id ask you how you are getting on with a substitute?

    Diane x

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