Melatonin and PMR

Posted by novabill @novabill, Jun 27 9:15am

After taking 40 mg or Prednisone for 3 days the PMR symptoms were mostly gone. However, once back on 20 mg dosage the morning pain and stiffness has returned not too mention during the night also (this has happened three times). Most nights I take 10 mg of Melatonin, I'm not confident in what I read on effect of melatonin on prednisone – so any feedback will be appreciated.

Hello @novabill, Welcome to Connect. My PMR is currently in remission. I don't have any experience using Melatonin with prednisone but hopefully other members may be able to share some feedback or suggestions for you. I did a search on several drug interaction websites and did not find any information on melatonin and prednisone have an interaction but I did find some information supporting what you may be experiencing. Both occurrences of PMR I was started on 20 mg prednisone and it made me pain free and I was eventually able to taper off.

"Steroids and immunosuppressant medications — Melatonin may cause these medication to lose their effectiveness. DO NOT take melatonin with corticosteroids or other medications used to suppress the immune system." — Melatonin: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/melatonin

Have you asked your rheumatologist or pharmacist about a possible interaction between the Melatonin and prednisone's effectiveness?

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Thanks for the reply. The article you sited is what caused my question. I’ve asked my GP about the interaction. Won’t see a Rheumatologist until Aug 2.

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BTW Sunday night I took 20 mg Prednisone, no Melatonin…the PMR symptoms were background noise at waking and now several hours later I'm feeling great…will continue bed time dosing w/o Melatonin.

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I never connected the use of Prednisone in combination with Melatonin, but I began to miraculously feel better this past late winter /early spring, and that was when I decided to toss the melatonin. I was not sleeping…only two hours a night, and I was exhausted. So I began to take it, and held onto it for quite some time. Never have regained my old wonderful sleep pattern, but when I was hospitalized I decided to put my stimulus check money back into the economy and we bought adjustable beds for myself and hubby. We got twins because at our age bed care could happen, and we're forward thinking. I'm now able to sleep about 6 hrs. a night, and once in a great while 8 hrs. Now I'm wondering how much that melatonin was interfering with my pred. I was telling others that something miraculous was going on because I was feeling so much better. I have much better cognitive ability than I had when I was in a constant brain fog. I'm like my old self only with bad knees. LOL I have amazing mental clarity back.

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@lizzier

I never connected the use of Prednisone in combination with Melatonin, but I began to miraculously feel better this past late winter /early spring, and that was when I decided to toss the melatonin. I was not sleeping…only two hours a night, and I was exhausted. So I began to take it, and held onto it for quite some time. Never have regained my old wonderful sleep pattern, but when I was hospitalized I decided to put my stimulus check money back into the economy and we bought adjustable beds for myself and hubby. We got twins because at our age bed care could happen, and we're forward thinking. I'm now able to sleep about 6 hrs. a night, and once in a great while 8 hrs. Now I'm wondering how much that melatonin was interfering with my pred. I was telling others that something miraculous was going on because I was feeling so much better. I have much better cognitive ability than I had when I was in a constant brain fog. I'm like my old self only with bad knees. LOL I have amazing mental clarity back.

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Hi. I was diagnosed last month with PMR and GCA, and initially put on 40 mg. of Prednisone, with a tapering schedule – down 5mg. every two weeks. The only side effect I experienced from prednisone was insomnia. On two hours of sleep a night, I felt like a zombie. The doctor prescribed 50 mg of Trazodone, which helped somewhat, but I still woke up at 1:00 or 2:00 am unable to get back to sleep. I found a calming herbal tea with valerian and checked with the pharmacist, who said it was okay to take. The valerian tea has really helped. I looked at melatonin, but every bottle I saw has a warning label not to take it if you have an autoimmune disorder. PMR and GCA are autoimmune disorders, prednisone is an immunosuppressant, and melatonin interacts with the immune system – so I think it can undermine the effect of the prednisone. You can easily google Melatonin and Autoimmune disorders for more information. TSC

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Good luck on your journey. I also started out like you on 40 mg. For about 4 years I struggled with insomnia, and was taking melatonin. I was desperate. I had allergic reaction to sleep meds. Finally I stopped the melatonin, also began just using an over the counter sleepy time tea, and it was a huge help. Amazing. What a simple solution. I've been in recovery ever since. I adore my rheumy, but no mention was ever given of these types of things, or even a diet for inflammation. I found all of this on my own. We really have to question everything, and do our own research. I was just too sick and discouraged. Finally the light came on when I took the course on Living Well With Chronic Pain. So many good ideas. It really changed my life, and then we got adjustable beds, and I now sleep well, but after 2 major back surgeries it is difficult to lie flat and the adjustable bed has really helped.

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@lizzier

Good luck on your journey. I also started out like you on 40 mg. For about 4 years I struggled with insomnia, and was taking melatonin. I was desperate. I had allergic reaction to sleep meds. Finally I stopped the melatonin, also began just using an over the counter sleepy time tea, and it was a huge help. Amazing. What a simple solution. I've been in recovery ever since. I adore my rheumy, but no mention was ever given of these types of things, or even a diet for inflammation. I found all of this on my own. We really have to question everything, and do our own research. I was just too sick and discouraged. Finally the light came on when I took the course on Living Well With Chronic Pain. So many good ideas. It really changed my life, and then we got adjustable beds, and I now sleep well, but after 2 major back surgeries it is difficult to lie flat and the adjustable bed has really helped.

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Thank you for your kindness. I'm glad you're sleeping well because sleep is important. I think I would kill for 6 hours again. When I'm restless, I find it best to get out of bed and go read. Usually, I get drowsy and can get a little more sleep when I go back to bed. You're right – we do have to advocate for ourselves, take the initiative to research, keep records of what's going on with our symptoms, speak up when something is amiss, and write down questions to ask the doctor. It's hard to do that when in the throes of the malaise and depression that are part of PMR and GCA – just easier to collapse on the couch and watch tv after getting a couple of things done!

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That pretty much described what my life was like for 5 years. The turning point for me was this spring when I stopped the melatonin. I didn't realize it until being on this site, but I kept saying to people "it feels like a miracle". I actually was searching for what had changed, but it never occurred to me that it was just stopping that little over the counter pill. I read online that some people began to feel better at the 5 year mark, and I asked my rheumy if that was what was happening, and he said that 'it can happen' with some people, and he was cautious, but in retrospect I'm now wondering if it was ceasing the melatonin. I felt like I had been robbed of 5 years of my life. I basically took care of my personal needs, and some days did a bad job of that. Malaise and depression was a perfect way to describe it. Thanks for the use of your words. My husband made me get up out of my chair, turn off the TV and leave the house every day. He was a saint, a lovely patient man. He'd make me get out the door and into the car, and we'd have a little drive, he'd do the errands, and we'd get a bite to eat. I rarely socialized. That was so not me. And then the cloud lifted. I'm so grateful that this is behind me. I'm not home free. I'm still on 8 mg. of pred, and my mobility is not great, but the fog is lifted. I have my mental clarity back, and that's huge. I'm a crafter, and I'm in the process of actually constructing a very difficult project that I designed. Probably one of the more difficult ones I've ever done, and I'm near completion. So there really is hope. Nice chatting with you. There really is reason to hope.

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