I was diagnosed with GCA in January 2020 – my sed rate was 117 – and immediately started taking 40 mg. of Prednisone daily. On 2/13, that dosage was increased to 60 mg. because my sed rate was still high at 61. Because I am a Type II diabetic, and the Prednisone had almost immediately elevated my blood glucose test results, my rheumatologist prescribed a second diabetes medication and also prescribed Actemra to aid in tapering the dosage of Prednisone. I began getting weekly Actemra injections (by ACTpen) on March 6. On 3/12 my Prednisone dosage was lowered to 50 mg. – my sed rate was 35. On 3/20 a third diabetes medication was prescribed – I now take Metformin, Januvia and Glimepiride – because I am still having wildly fluctuating blood glucose test results – 80 to 377). Saturday I woke with my first ever low blood glucose result – 69 – that was scary.but, fortunately, I had been told what to do and coped. If my next lab results show my sed rate is continuing to lower, my dosage of Prednisone is to be lowered back to 40.
I am almost 80 and live alone in an adult gated community, but have family in that same community who call me frequently and deliver food to my door. I exercise by walking the circuit of my large patio, using my walker for safety & stability. My doctors have told me to stay at home and isolate myself. I do that except my daughter-in-law administers the Actemra injection once a week – because my hand strength is lacking due to my trigger finger problems caused by the Simvastatin I have taken for years.
All my issues seem to be related to Prednisone; I haven't identified any related to the Actemra. Here are links to some info about Actemra and GCA you might not have found yet:
Reading over what I've written – sounds depressing, but my small home is on a golf course with a marvelous view that gives me continuous joy. Before coronavirus hit, I delighted in sharing that view of trees, water, golfers, even a small waterfall, with others. My sister's Canadian relatives especially appreciate it – and our sunshine – when they visit. I look forward to being able to have visitors again!