A tricky prospect for management

Information was gathered from two databases covering prescribing data from 14 general practices. Over eight years, the GPs saw 304 patients with polymyalgia rheumatica, mostly female and older than 60. Bilateral shoulder pain was the most common presentation. The mean ESR was 51mm/hour.

Nearly 73% of the patients responded to corticosteroids. While many started on 15mg prednisolone, the mean initial dose was 21.5mg. The median duration of treatment was 14 months.

During treatment 60.2% of patients were prescribed prophylaxis for