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Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis - Topic Overview

Your doctor will give you steroid medicines to treat the inflammation. People often feel better in a day or two. Most of the time, symptoms improve quickly and go away 2 to 4 weeks after treatment begins. After this, most people need to continue to take steroid medicines for 1 to 2 years or sometimes longer. This helps to control symptoms and to prevent the problems from coming back.

Steroid medicines can cause your bones to thin (osteoporosis). Calcium is important for keeping your bones strong. So you need to make sure you are getting enough calcium, enough vitamin D, and enough weight-bearing exercise to strengthen your bones. Your doctor may also give you a medicine to prevent bone thinning.

These problems most often occur after the age of 50. And the risk increases after that as you get older.

Learning about polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 10, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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