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Steroids and fibro

315 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Meriel
Hi again,

Thanks for all your answers to my questions recently...I'm afraid I have another one! I was diagnosed with Lupus in September 2008 through blood work and symptoms (mainly joint and muscle pain, mouth ulcers and fatigue). I was put onto 200mg Plaquenil (this has just been raised to 400mg daily) plus amitriptelene and also Mobic (an anti-inflammatory).

The Plaquenil hasn't kicked in yet although I do feel less flu-ey than I used to. Anway, my muscle and joint pain got really bad in mid December and I have just been put on a short course of prednisidone (20mg daily) to try and get me out of this bad phase. I woke up last night and noticed something different...some of my joints weren't aching and were no longer as tender :) This is the first time I've felt any improvement in my health for months. A lot of my body still hurts but I've no doubt that the steroids have helped a little. I have a few questions. Do the improvements steroids bring last after you stop taking them (I'll be taking them for a week only to begin with)? Does fibromyalgia respond to steroids?

My rheumy thinks that I might have fibro as well as Lupus but he says we won't know until I've been on the Plaquenil for longer to see if the pain responds to this. I thought I'd read somewhere that fibro doesn't respond to steroid treatment but I might be imagining this? Are there any other ways to distinguish Lupus and Fibro symptoms?

Sorry for all the questions...I'm very confused :rolleyes:!
Thank you!
Best wishes
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Hi Meriel

I have been on low dose steroids for over three years now. I have Lupus and fibro. Everytime I try to come off the steroids the fibro pain seems to kick in unmercifully. Im like Stephanie. The steroids only seem to help when I am on them. As soon as I reduce even 1mg from my usual 5mg dose I get quite intense all-over body pain.

Right now Im attempting another taper and I got down to 4mg but have gone through weeks of pain to get there. When I started to feel half human again last week, I dropped another half mg to 3.5mg and once again the pain is kicking in everywhere.

I cant say with absolute certainty that its all fibro pain though. Most of it seems to be muscle related but some of it is in the joints, e.g. my hips, ankles and finger joints.

Here is a small image of the classic Fibro Trigger points. See if any of these 'pain points', feel familiar to you. For me the most painful ones are the ones around the buttocks area, the arms (particuarly the right one), the shoulders and the spots over the left breast area.

The other symptom of fibro is poor or disturbed sleep. Do you suffer from this? If so make sure your Rheumy knows. There is a drug treatment for Fibro - Lyrica. Unfortunately it didnt agree with me - my stomach bloated out hugely - but others have had great success with it.

Take good care
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