Did statin cause PMR?

Posted by vfaye @vfaye, Fri, Nov 29 9:49am

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?

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

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@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

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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!

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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.

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