Prednisone is one of those drugs that can be easily called “jack of all trades”. The spectrum of its applications is very broad and comprehensive, including various conditions characterized by inflammatory processes in the body. And it’s not surprising to learn that Prednisone is extensively used for the treatment of polymyalgia rheumatica, a painful condition common among senior patients. But if you’re looking forward to using this drug as a way to alleviate this health problem you should learn more about the condition and understand how Prednisone can actually help you.
Polymyalgia rheumatica or shortly PMR is an inflammatory health condition characterized by instant impulses of acute pain that mainly affect joints in the shoulder or hip areas. It is more common in women than men and is diagnosed mainly in people over 60 years old. The actual causes for this condition are still unknown as there’s no obvious pathogen or other agent to trigger the pain. There are various theories including viral influence and other factors, but they are more speculative rather than applicative. The actual treatment of this condition usually involves the use of corticosteroid drugs such as Prednisone, which delivers the best effects in managing the condition in the long term.
Prednisone is a well-known corticosteroid medication and it’s not surprising to see it being prescribed to virtually all patients suffering from polymyalgia. In fact, the drug is probably the only viable option available, because other anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs do not deliver effects that would be on the scale with Prednisone. Nevertheless, such common drugs as ibuprofen may be prescribed in conjunction with corticosteroids for getting better results with lower doses of the steroids in the long run. It is therefore very important to understand the potential hazards of misusing Prednisone and learn how it should be used correctly.
Since Prednisone is a corticosteroid drug it has a very complex effect on the entire body, mainly targeting the immune system. It acts as an immunosuppressant, which means that the drug weakens the immune system and makes it less active. The good thing about such effects is that virtually all inflammatory processes can be stopped or at least alleviated. But on the other hand, this makes the organism more susceptible to diseases and infections as the immune system cannot respond to various agents as actively as it has to. So it is a very common recommendation to watch out for any infection hazard while taking Prednisone, especially during a long-term treatment – something PMR actually implies.
But if you want to relieve the symptoms of polymyalgia without relying heavily on Prednisone and other prescription drugs, you may want to try adopting some lifestyle changes. It was observed that regular exercises reduce the risk and impact of PMR, probably because well-flexed muscles are less likely to suffer from sudden pain. Diet is another point of interest, as it can also reduce the intensity of PMR. A balanced diet rich with vitamins and minerals is thought to provide anti-viral effects and regulate the immune system. Of course, these effects will take much longer to manifest and won’t be as pronounced as with drugs like Prednisone. But it’s definitely a good way to address PMR without taking higher doses of the prescription medication.