Hello ... I am new to this and somewhat private so will not go into too many details. I was diagnosed with reactive arthritis 25 years ago and was HLA-B27 positive. I presented with severe back pain (only at night) which was torture and severe uveitis with various other GI symptoms which probably occurred because of too much ibuprofen. While being treated for the uveitis I was given 4-5 little white pills (probably prednisone) and was told it would help with the inflammation in my eye. The back pain miraculously stopped that same night ... uveitis resolved a week or two later with steroid drops. For the next 15 years I only went to opthalmology once or twice per year for recurrent uveitis. The first few were said to be very aggressive such they would skip the steroid drops and immediately start oral prednisone which was once increased to 100mg and then tapered. Instead of always having steroid drops for uveitis I would have oral prednisone available. That also worked well for lots of random, frequently severe pain which I called "pain for no reason". The pain was isolated to almost any joint but usually lower back and usually at night. with lots of morning stiffness. I was guilty of self medicating and avoided problems with doctors until I once ran out of prednisone and wasn't "lucky" enough to have uveitis. The pain got bad enough that I had to find a primary care MD to write a prescription for prednisone. That was 10 years ago.
I was informed that I could not take prednisone and had to see rheumatology. During the first year under the care of rheumatolgy, I was tried on the usual medications for reactive arthritis which didn't work well and they decided I also had polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and prescribed prednisone long term. By this time the pain had spread everywhere and seemed chronic but not that severe. The good part about taking prednisone everyday was I stopped getting uveitis. I did manage to taper off prednisone occasionally but would eventually have a flair which I called a "pain crisis" and went back on prednisone.
I used to manage reasonably well on NSAIDS whenever I was able to taper off prednisone except 5 years ago I had an extensive bilateral pulmonary embolism after getting norovirus and now take coumadin for life. The pulmonary embolism didn't involve any pain which was strange. Anyway, no more NSAIDS because of coumadin.
The prednisone controled things reasonably well until 2 years ago when I tapered off and I developed hip pain that radiated down to my ankle and caused some foot drop. An MRI revealed severe lumbar stenosis and surgery was recommended but prednisone once again rescued me and I haven't had the surgery.
I am a retired RN and have a reasonable understanding of ankylosing spondylitis. I think my symptoms suggest AS instead of reactive arthritis/PMR for many reasons but I guess with all the variability from person to person who knows. My inflammation markers are almost always somewhat elevated even on prednisone.
which suggests active disease. I have never tried any biologics. I currently want to convince my doctors that it would be worth a try. I would like to know if a biologic is indicated for reactive arthritis and would they be any better than prednisone. Thanks.