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J Rheumatol. 1990 Oct;17(10):1340-5.

Restricted dose and duration of corticosteroid treatment in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis.

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Department of Rheumatology, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.


To analyze whether corticosteroids in low doses during limited time periods could be safely used in the treatment of patients with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) or temporal arteritis (TA) the records of 91 patients diagnosed between 1980 and 1987 were reviewed. The mean initial prednisolone dose was in patients with PMR 18 mg/day and the mean duration of treatment was 17 months. In patients with TA the mean initial dose was 31 mg/day and the mean duration of treatment 16 months, and in all the corticosteroid treatment was terminated within 24 months. Patients with coexisting TA and PMR demanded longer treatment compared to patients with either TA or PMR and thus 18/91 patients were treated for more than 2 years. No visual or neurological complications occurred after treatment with corticosteroids had been initiated. Our study indicates that most patients with PMR or TA can be treated safely with an initial prednisolone dose of 10 mg given twice daily. With few exceptions corticosteroid treatment can be terminated within 24 months.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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