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Alternative to Prednisone for PMR

Alternative to Prednisone for PMR

Finally! There’s an alternative to prednisone for PMR!

PMR is a disease that has had NO other options than prednisone to treat it.

Until now…

The scientific article was recently published about a new drug that might help PMR warriors.

Find out if it’s right for you if you have PMR.

If you don’t have PMR, have you tried any other alternatives to prednisone?

Did any of them help?

This is the first in a series of videos focusing on Alternatives to Prednisone, so I’d love to hear what has or hasn’t worked for you!

Watch the video since many of the principles I share about how to decide if this alternative to prednisone is right for you apply to other alternatives as well.

Watch now!

Is there a new alternative to Prednisone?

So they did this study and let people sign up to participate in the Semaphore Trial.

The Semaphore Trial Qualifications

  • At least 50 years old (Has PMR)
  • You had to have ACRP (reactive protein of greater than 10)
  • You have an inflammation (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)
  • Taking prednisone 15 – 20mg per day
  • Increase disease activity

So these people must undergo 24 weeks activity and that’s about half of a year!

They gave the people either treatment or placebo.

The Treatment: Tocilizumab

After those 24 weeks of getting an infusion of tocilizumab (Actemra) they would get an infusion every four weeks.

So a total of six doses. And the doctors were allowed to start tapering the prednisone after week eight.

On week zero, week four, and week eight,  you could start tapering the prednisone. And the goal was to find out who was still suffering enough to keep their prednisone dose up, like who were able to actually decrease their prednisone dose.

Almost half of the people who used the Actemra infusions were able to be off steroids.

What about the people on placebo?

19.6% of people who were taking the placebo version were able to get off steroids after 24 weeks of the study.

Like some people are stuck on prednisone for three to five years. Other people are able to get off within a year and maybe these people have been on for six months and now their year had to run out and so they were able to get off of prednisone anyway, so that should be really great news, right?

How about the Adverse effects

There were increased infection rates among people who received tocilizumab (Actemra).

Adverse event result:

  • 39% of Placebo
  • 47% Actemra

Prednisone causes immunosuppression, people get sick.

Actemra causes immunosuppression, people get sick. Everybody’s getting sick. So if your big concern is having an infection?

 then actemra’s not right for you…

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP, is an award-winning clinical pharmacist board certified in the types of conditions people take prednisone for. Dr. Megan had to take prednisone herself for an autoimmune condition so understands what it feels like to suffer prednisone side effects and made it her mission to counteract them as the Prednisone Pharmacist.

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