Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR), prednisone and Coronavirus COVID-19

Posted by asklizzie @asklizzie, Mar 11, 2020

I was wondering if we were more susceptible to getting sick than others since PMR is an autoimmune disease?

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


Hello @georgev, Welcome to Connect, an online community where patients and caregivers share their experiences, find support and exchange information with others. When it comes to tapering off of prednisone slow and easy is the way to go. You mentioned your rheumatologist suggested tapering down 1 mg every 30 days. My first round with PMR took me 3-1/2 years to taper off of prednisone with the last six months going back and forth by-weekly between 1 mg and 1/2 mg. What really helped me was keeping a daily pain scale and dosage log. It was recommended by my rheumatologist and left up to me to determine my pain level between 0 and 10. I generally tapered down only if my pain level was 2 or lower and tried it for a few days. If it got worse I went back to the previous dosage.

You might be interested in reading what other members have shared on tapering in the following discussions:
— PMR Dosages and Managing Symptoms: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pmr-dosages/
— Tapering off of Prednisone: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/prednisone/

Have you made any diet or lifestyle changes to help with your PMR symptoms?

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Hi John,

Appreciate both the welcome and reply. As mentioned, an increase of 1 MG a day has done nothing and awaiting a response bfrom my Rheumatologist regarding what to do next. Know it's a touchy medication and will increase more only if instructed to do so.

Also, no recommendations regarding diet changes other than prescribed calcium and D3 supplements. The only lifestyle change is I can't do near what I used to.

Regarding tapering, again will follow my doctor's specific instructions.

Not sure whether the condition or a side effect of Prednisone, but often weak with no leg stamina plus now after a few months it seems everytime I bump something rough my skin tears easily with subsurface bruising.

Will read through the comments for any information.


we may be more fortunate as we have known that we COULD BE more susceptible to virus and bacteria. We should have learned those basic rules of hygiene, as hand washing (often and well), being cautious of touching your face, nose, eye, etc, clean or avoid the surfaces that have been touched by others (door knobs), get adequate rest, eat your fruits and vegetables, remain hydrated, etc etc. Remember to get a flu shot each season……..

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The thing to keep in mind is to keep wearing a mask regardless of vax status. The virus is not hovering in the air but passed through droplets from an infected person and on surfaces touched my someone carrying the virus. So feel free to open a window or sit on your balcony.


It is likely that if you have one autoimmune disease you are likely to get another especially if autoimmune disease runs in the family. My family tree includes 2 Multiple Sclerosis, 1 Lupus, 1 Graves disease, 1 Asthma, 2 Arthritis and 1 PMR. Lucky me.

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