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Mon, May 18 12:08pm · Adjusting to life with temporal arteritis in Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)

@bt56 I am still taking Actemra; I will have my 12th weekly injection on 5/22. It is helping. Especially since my endocrinologist gradually increased the dosage of Glimepiride – the third diabetic medication I take in addition to Metformin & Januvia – from 1 to 4 mg. daily. My blood glucose test results have improved. Glimepiride can cause low blood glucose, so you need to be diligent about your testing and length of time between meals and make sure you have Glucose Tablets available. Since my January diagnosis, my Prednisone dosage has gone from 40 to 60 to 50 and is back to 40 now.

Thu, Apr 2 12:33pm · Adjusting to life with temporal arteritis in Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)

@bt56 Are you still taking Actemra? Has it helped?
I am a diabetic who just had my 4th injection and have high hopes it will help lower the prednisone dosage because it has elevated my blood glucose test results to dangerous levels. I could use some good news.

Thu, Apr 2 12:11pm · Adjusting to life with temporal arteritis in Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)

@rachelp I am a nearly 80-year-old diabetic who needs cataract surgery but can't have it because of the high dose Prednisone I have been taking for GCA since I was diagnosed in January 2020. Although I am currently taking 3 diabetic meds, the Prednisone has caused very high blood glucose test results that often run as high as 395 no matter what I eat. That can cause blindness and other bad issues for a diabetic. Have you found good sources for info regarding Prednisone and vision changes?

I am hoping that the combination of the Actemra injections I have been getting for 4 weeks and the recent addition of the 3rd diabetic medication will help me get to a lower dosage of Prednisone

Mon, Mar 30 7:50pm · What's your experience with Actemra for GCA? in Autoimmune Diseases

Another valuable source of information about GCA is this 12-page peer-reviewed article written by a group of doctors in Texas. It is well-documented.

https://www.dovepress.com/giant-cell-arteritis-early-diagnosis-is-key-peer-reviewed-article-EB

Mon, Mar 30 12:56pm · What's your experience with Actemra for GCA? in Autoimmune Diseases

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:

https://www.acrdailynewslive.org/tocilizumab-shows-promise-as-a-new-treatment-for-gca-pmr/

https://www.actemra.com/gca/about-actemra/actemra-for-gca.html

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!