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Patients & Participants

Patients and Participants

Have you been diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR). Have you been taking steroid tablets (prednisolone)? Have your PMR symptoms recurred whilst you have been taking them?

Then please read on to find out more about the STERLING-PMR trial.

We want to find out whether adding a Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drug (DMARD) to steroid treatment helps people with relapsing polymyalgia rheumatica.

At the moment there isn’t enough research for us to know for sure which one of these options would be the best option for patients with PMR who have relapsed. We are doing this study to help answer this question.

DMARDS are a type of medication that can control inflammation, research has already shown that if we start a DMARD called methotrexate as soon as PMR is diagnosed, it reduces the amount of long-term steroid a patient will need. But we do not know how much benefit DMARDs give for people with PMR who have already been taking steroids for a while and have relapsed once or more whilst they are in the process of reducing (tapering) their steroid dose.

We have designed this trial to find out whether people with PMR who have relapsed can taper and stop their steroids faster, with fewer relapses, if they start DMARDs, and what are the overall effects of adding a DMARD on their wellbeing.

This will involve having two groups of people: one group that takes DMARD as well as steroid, and one group that continues to take steroids without DMARDs. After 18 months we will compare the total (cumulative) amount of steroids taken by each group. The results of this research will produce information about PMR and its treatments that will help patients like you in the future.

If you are self-referring and are unsure if this trial is suitable for you then please complete the self-screening questionnaire.

Alternatively, if you’ve received an invitation letter from your GP and have any questions then please contact the secondary care site research team you have been given information for. [Link to list of Secondary care list for contact information].