PMR and Bone Density and Medications

Posted by virginiaj @virginiaj, Aug 10, 2021

I just had a Dexascan and my bone density has decreased over the last 2 years. To date, I have tried to avoid the medications, but may have to take a med. I’m wondering who has taken a Med (like a biphosphonate)? What are results and have you had any side effects?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) group.

I'm in the same situation and just started alendronate – so have nothing to report yet. You may want to follow discussions in the Bone, Joint, and Muscle Group as many with osteoporosis post there.

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I have osteoporosis proven by my last dexascan and have had my first yearly infusion. I had a reaction the first night of fever, chills and aching all over. Gone after one day and no problems since ( that was in June of this year).

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@ch1cks and @virginiaj, as @tsc mentioned, there are quite a few discussions related to bone density, osteoporosis and treatments in the Bones, Joints & Muscles group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/arthritis-and-joint-conditions-268850/

Is your concern about bone density related to PMR specifically or aging or other?

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@colleenyoung

@ch1cks and @virginiaj, as @tsc mentioned, there are quite a few discussions related to bone density, osteoporosis and treatments in the Bones, Joints & Muscles group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/arthritis-and-joint-conditions-268850/

Is your concern about bone density related to PMR specifically or aging or other?

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This is my 3rd bout of PMR. Currently bout started November 2019. My latest Dexascan shows decreasing bone density (still in osteopenia range). My IM doc feels that prednisone puts me at higher risk and wants me to make an appointment and probably start a medication. So far, I have tried to do calcium, Vit, D, weight-bearing exercise and have resisted adding a med. I did go to the Bones, Joints and Muscles group. Now I know risks associated with the meds I didn’t know before, so am even more concerned. I think it is a hard balancing of risk of fracture versus risk of med side effects.

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@virginiaj

This is my 3rd bout of PMR. Currently bout started November 2019. My latest Dexascan shows decreasing bone density (still in osteopenia range). My IM doc feels that prednisone puts me at higher risk and wants me to make an appointment and probably start a medication. So far, I have tried to do calcium, Vit, D, weight-bearing exercise and have resisted adding a med. I did go to the Bones, Joints and Muscles group. Now I know risks associated with the meds I didn’t know before, so am even more concerned. I think it is a hard balancing of risk of fracture versus risk of med side effects.

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It is hard balancing benefits vs risks. Remember that people who take medications and do not suffer from side effects tend not to post in online forums. My mom for example has taken Prolia for years and only experienced the benefits. I hope that reading the potential risks as well as some of the suggestions regarding lifestyle changes/approaches and supplements have give you information to form questions to ask your doctor to make an informed decision that's right for you.

Keep me posted, please. I'd like to hear what you decide.

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I want to bring @ncgal into this conversation too as she also has osteopenia and PMR.

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I have been diagnosed with both PMR and osteoporosis. My rheumatologist advised me to take the prolia shot even though I was in the midst of a severe flare of PMR. It has now been three months since I had the first prolia treatment and I have not experienced any side effects. Thanks to prednisone, the PMR has mostly resolved and my labs are normal again. In three months time I have gone from 15 mg. daily to 1 mg. and even while tapering the prednisone, I have continued to improve and feel better. I am a 75 year old woman and weigh 100 pounds. My first bout of PMR occurred thirteen years ago, in 2008, and resolved completely within six months. The second flare began in January of 2021 after I received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19. After the second dose, I was unable to function until I saw a rheumatologist who prescribed prednisone, which gave me almost immediate relief.

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