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How long will I have polymyalgia rheumatica or giant cell arteritis?

Posted on 2 July 2020

Most people with PMR need about 1 year and those with GCA need 2 years. However, approximately 25% of people with PMR are likely to have a more complicated form of the illness which will take longer to get over; sometimes many, many years. Some people will experience relapses which will result in needing a higher dosage of prednisolone. It is of great importance that every relapse of disease necessitating a rise in prednisolone is formally diagnosed with assessment from a rheumatologist.

Also, the steroid tapering plan will need to change. After all, if you do the same thing again, you are likely to have the same result. Unfortunately, some people will have refractory disease as well. This means that the symptoms will come back when you are off treatment and they will require much longer term or even life-long prednisolone. The good news is, though, that most people will make a full recovery.