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What causes weakness of the shoulders while on Prednisone?

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Answered by

Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1255 Questions
I have been experiencing weakness in my shoulders and arms whenever I try to use them. After a minute or so, I experience weakness and a felling like when you a burn in my muscles (similar to when you workout with weights and push past your limit). I also have low energy and have had a headache some days. The mornings are slow getting started. My doctor has diagnosed me as having Polymalgia Rheumatica and I am taking Prednisone. I am just trying to confirm that this is an accurate diagnosis.
Posted Wed, 29 Nov 2017 in Lupus
Answered by Dr. Salah Saad Shoman 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Polymyalgia rheumatica is a clinical diagnosis

Detailed Answer:
Dear Ma'am, I have gone through your question and I understand your concerns.

Polymyalgia rheumatica is characterized by muscle pain and stiffness that starts on the shoulders then start to affect other areas such as the upper arms and neck. The symptoms are worse when you spend some time not using these joints such as in the morning after waking up and then gets better through the day.

Blood tests that show high sedimentation rate and C reactive proteins are suggestive of this.

If you have a persistent headache or trouble with your vision then you will need an arterial biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

It can be accompanied by mild fever, fatigue, general feeling of not being well (malaise), loss of appetite, unintended weight loss as well as depression...

I hope you find this helpful
Let me know if I can assist you further...

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes weakness of the shoulders while on Prednisone? 1 hour later
I have not had any trouble with my vision and my arms get weak whenever I use them all during the day - they always get weak when trying to accomplish a task. I am suppose to have follow-up blood tests the first week in December.

Do you think it is safe to continue taking my Prednisone and wait and see if my blood tests show any improvements? I did have a high C-Reactive Protein (55.9) and my sed rate was 67.

Answered by Dr. Salah Saad Shoman 12 hours later
Brief Answer:
Continue taking prednisone

Detailed Answer:
Dear ma'am, hello again.. since you are suffering from weakness and not stiffness then I would recommend that you complete taking the prednisone until your next appointement and if you don't experience any improvement until then , you will need a full nervous examination to exclude central roots affection accompanied by a muscle biopsy to exclude focal muscle dystrophy. I hope you find this helpful. kind regards
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