Did statin cause PMR?

Posted by vfaye @vfaye, Nov 29, 2019

I’ve recently been diagnosed with PMR. Initially primary care doc suggested my pain might be from statins and recommended I stop them to see if there is improvement. After stopping the statin there was some improvement, but not enough to keep the rheumatologist from diagnosing it as PMR.

I’m not convinced. I have found some research that suggests a link between statins & PMR. In the meantime, I’ve refused to take Prednisone (other medical issues complicates using it) and am trying alternate treatment for the pain.

Did you take statins prior to PMR?

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

Hello @vfaye, I've had 2 occurrences of PMR and am thankful that it is now in remission. I did take a statin years before I developed the PMR but I'm not sure that caused mine. I do sort of think the statins had something to do with my developing small fiber peripheral neuropathy. I no longer take statins. Prednisone was the magic pill for relieving the pain and stiffness symptoms for my PMR. There is another discussion where your post will receive more visibility if you post your question.

> Groups > Autoimmune Diseases > PMR Anyone?
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pmr-anyone/

There does seem to be some evidence pointing to statins can cause PMR. Here are a few articles on the topic.

Statin-Associated Polymyalgia Rheumatica. An Analysis Using WHO Global Individual Case Safety Database: A Case/Non-Case Approach
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3402515/
PMR, GCA Tied to Statin Use: Case Report
https://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/vasculitis/pmr-gca-tied-statin-use-case-report

You mentioned you are trying alternate treatment for the PMR pain. Have you found anything that helps you?

Here are some alternate treatments for PMR from 2015:
https://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/jointbone-health/2015-treatment-recommendations-polymyalgia-rheumatica

REPLY
@johnbishop

Hello @vfaye, I've had 2 occurrences of PMR and am thankful that it is now in remission. I did take a statin years before I developed the PMR but I'm not sure that caused mine. I do sort of think the statins had something to do with my developing small fiber peripheral neuropathy. I no longer take statins. Prednisone was the magic pill for relieving the pain and stiffness symptoms for my PMR. There is another discussion where your post will receive more visibility if you post your question.

> Groups > Autoimmune Diseases > PMR Anyone?
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pmr-anyone/

There does seem to be some evidence pointing to statins can cause PMR. Here are a few articles on the topic.

Statin-Associated Polymyalgia Rheumatica. An Analysis Using WHO Global Individual Case Safety Database: A Case/Non-Case Approach
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3402515/
PMR, GCA Tied to Statin Use: Case Report
https://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/vasculitis/pmr-gca-tied-statin-use-case-report

You mentioned you are trying alternate treatment for the PMR pain. Have you found anything that helps you?

Here are some alternate treatments for PMR from 2015:
https://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/jointbone-health/2015-treatment-recommendations-polymyalgia-rheumatica

Jump to this post

Hello John,
This is the 18th day of the “alternate treatments” since the Rheumatologist diagnosed me with PMR. I awoke this morning with the lowest pain level in my shoulders since September – a notch above “stiffness”.

I doubted the diagnosis, since none of the blood tests confirmed PMR. Despite the doctor’s recommendation I won’t risk taking prednisone (hypertension, kidney disease, depression — and a plan to have surgery in February.). An integral medicine doctor I trust suggested taking LDN, which I started 17 days ago. In addition (my idea), I have been taking CBD oil (without THC), using CBD salve on my shoulders with heat in the morning, and take a bath in Epsom salts every day.

I continue to feel fatigued, and the shoulders & hips are not exactly normal. But the improvements beg the question, did I even have PMR – or are these symptoms the result of the statin?

I don’t find others trying anything other than prednisone, so I’m pretty much alone on this. I have to admit, the promise of activity without pain was certainly tempting me to take prednisone, so I don’t fault anyone for that. I’m hopeful my condition will eventually be resolved, praying that the one to two years prognosis doesn’t fit my case.

REPLY
@vfaye

Hello John,
This is the 18th day of the “alternate treatments” since the Rheumatologist diagnosed me with PMR. I awoke this morning with the lowest pain level in my shoulders since September – a notch above “stiffness”.

I doubted the diagnosis, since none of the blood tests confirmed PMR. Despite the doctor’s recommendation I won’t risk taking prednisone (hypertension, kidney disease, depression — and a plan to have surgery in February.). An integral medicine doctor I trust suggested taking LDN, which I started 17 days ago. In addition (my idea), I have been taking CBD oil (without THC), using CBD salve on my shoulders with heat in the morning, and take a bath in Epsom salts every day.

I continue to feel fatigued, and the shoulders & hips are not exactly normal. But the improvements beg the question, did I even have PMR – or are these symptoms the result of the statin?

I don’t find others trying anything other than prednisone, so I’m pretty much alone on this. I have to admit, the promise of activity without pain was certainly tempting me to take prednisone, so I don’t fault anyone for that. I’m hopeful my condition will eventually be resolved, praying that the one to two years prognosis doesn’t fit my case.

Jump to this post

Hi @vfaye, I don't think any of us diagnosed with PMR like the idea of taking prednisone which is why there is such a push to get off of it once the pain and stiffness is under control. It's great if you can find other ways to help with the symptoms. My first occurrence of PMR lasted 3 years and during that 3 years I was continually trying to taper off of prednisone. Then when off prednisone, the PMR went into remission for 6 years. The second occurrence of PMR put me back on prednisone for about 1-1/2 years before I was able to taper off again. My PMR has been in remission now for about 2-1/2 years and I really hope it doesn't come back. I've added a turmeric supplement to my daily routine to hopefully help keep the inflammation down in my body. Whether it really works or not is another question.

I think diet may play a part in PMR as well as a lot of other autoimmune diseases so I've tried to make some lifestyle changes by eating healthier but I do have my days. Hope you find some answers!

REPLY

For the record, I did take statins maybe for 3 or 4 years before getting PMR and I stopped partly because of perceived muscle pain. I also had a lot of diarrhea. Also for the record I was able to taper off Prednisone completely by the end of August 2019. I was originally diagnosed with PMR in August 2018 but probably had it for a couple of months before diagnosis. I believe that Prednisone caused me to have memory problems. This is somewhat improved since being off Prednisone.

REPLY

I had PMR for a couple years (maybe more) before I could no longer stand the pain. I was started on 35mg of Prednizone, down to 20 mg after 1 month, down to 15mg after 6 weeks. Sayed at 15mg for another 18 months, then tapered off over the next 6 months. The pain never totally left. I used a CBD/THC balanced oil, both orally and topically till Mid October this year. When I got my second Pfizer shot, I went into remission. NO PAIN. October 20 I had pains on/in my back and some in my left arm. Went to emergency, was treated as if it was a heart attack, it was not. Now the cardiologist has prescribed a water pill, Amlodipine and Atorvastatin. I am OK with the Blood pressure and water pill but the warnings on the Statin worry me. My cholesterol is not extremely high, and I can usually control it with diet. Has anybody dealt with this

REPLY

I am new to this group. Diagnosed with PMR about 6 weeks ago. I don't know if statins contribute to this disease, but I can tell you I've been on statin drugs for the last 20 years or so. To my knowledge, they have never caused me any problems. Removing the statin drug was the first thing my doctor did for 2 weeks, to see if there was any improvement in the pain. No change. So, the next thing was blood work. And three tests were all elevated for inflamation. So, no, I don't think the statin was the culprit in my situation. I tend to believe it has something to do with the Covid vaccine.

REPLY
@aspine

I am new to this group. Diagnosed with PMR about 6 weeks ago. I don't know if statins contribute to this disease, but I can tell you I've been on statin drugs for the last 20 years or so. To my knowledge, they have never caused me any problems. Removing the statin drug was the first thing my doctor did for 2 weeks, to see if there was any improvement in the pain. No change. So, the next thing was blood work. And three tests were all elevated for inflamation. So, no, I don't think the statin was the culprit in my situation. I tend to believe it has something to do with the Covid vaccine.

Jump to this post

Hello @aspine, Welcome to Connect. You mentioned being diagnosed with PMR about 6 weeks ago. Have you started a treatment with prednisone or other drug?

REPLY

Hi, John,
Yes, I was immediately put on 15 mg. of pred. It worked within 3 days. I feel almost completely normal now. All pain is gone. BUt am experiencing weakness in my legs, which I don't like. THe doctor is suggesting doing strengthening exercises for that. I am now on 10 mg. of pred., and will soon be backing down to 9. So far, the pain is non-existent.

REPLY
@aspine

Hi, John,
Yes, I was immediately put on 15 mg. of pred. It worked within 3 days. I feel almost completely normal now. All pain is gone. BUt am experiencing weakness in my legs, which I don't like. THe doctor is suggesting doing strengthening exercises for that. I am now on 10 mg. of pred., and will soon be backing down to 9. So far, the pain is non-existent.

Jump to this post

@aspine It sounds like you are doing great tapering down. Did your doctor or rheumatologist provide any suggestions or possible lifestyle changes to help with the PMR? You might find the following article helpful if you haven't already seen similar information.

Can Diet Affect Symptoms of Polymyalgia Rheumatica?: https://www.healthline.com/health/polymyalgia-rheumatica-diet

REPLY
@johnbishop

@aspine It sounds like you are doing great tapering down. Did your doctor or rheumatologist provide any suggestions or possible lifestyle changes to help with the PMR? You might find the following article helpful if you haven't already seen similar information.

Can Diet Affect Symptoms of Polymyalgia Rheumatica?: https://www.healthline.com/health/polymyalgia-rheumatica-diet

Jump to this post

Thank you for sending the link. Coincidentally, I actually printed out that whole article a couple of weeks ago, so I could refer to it as needed. I found it very interesting, particularly because I tend to break ALL the rules regularly. Guess I'm going to have to work on that a bit.

REPLY
@pitbull

I had PMR for a couple years (maybe more) before I could no longer stand the pain. I was started on 35mg of Prednizone, down to 20 mg after 1 month, down to 15mg after 6 weeks. Sayed at 15mg for another 18 months, then tapered off over the next 6 months. The pain never totally left. I used a CBD/THC balanced oil, both orally and topically till Mid October this year. When I got my second Pfizer shot, I went into remission. NO PAIN. October 20 I had pains on/in my back and some in my left arm. Went to emergency, was treated as if it was a heart attack, it was not. Now the cardiologist has prescribed a water pill, Amlodipine and Atorvastatin. I am OK with the Blood pressure and water pill but the warnings on the Statin worry me. My cholesterol is not extremely high, and I can usually control it with diet. Has anybody dealt with this

Jump to this post

I too had PMR
Pain for a few years before it increased to the point I could hardly walk. Then I got the diagnosis. Twenty mg of prednisone and slow tapering. After 9 months of tapering and down to 15 mg. I was put on MTX. I am now down to 10/11 mg on alternating days. I am a 75 year old female in the US. I have been on a statin Med for 25 years. If I had not been I doubt I would have been cleared for MTX to help me get off prednisone. The Dr took me off statin for a few weeks at the beginning and there was no change in pain. Statin has been good for me. It is the least scary drug to me compared to prednisone and methotrexate. Best of luck on your treatment. I have had three full doses of Modena COVID vaccine and saw no impact on PMR. Just had regular flu shot and saw no change.

REPLY
@aspine

I am new to this group. Diagnosed with PMR about 6 weeks ago. I don't know if statins contribute to this disease, but I can tell you I've been on statin drugs for the last 20 years or so. To my knowledge, they have never caused me any problems. Removing the statin drug was the first thing my doctor did for 2 weeks, to see if there was any improvement in the pain. No change. So, the next thing was blood work. And three tests were all elevated for inflamation. So, no, I don't think the statin was the culprit in my situation. I tend to believe it has something to do with the Covid vaccine.

Jump to this post

My sister was diagnosed with PMR after her second Covid19 shot.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment