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Does pleurisy pain improve with steroids?

Hello, I was wondering if anyone has experienced pleurisy and if it gets better with higher steroids? It started with chest pain spreading through left shoulder which was diagnosed as pleurisy at ER Saturday but it doesn’t hurt when I cough, I’m not coughing at all just extremely short of breath to where I can’t talk, and I haven’t been able to lean backwards/lie down so I’ve been sleeping upright in my recliner.

My face keeps flushing/feeling hot on and off but I have no fever. My blood pressure is ranging from 149/104 to 155/116 when I take it at home. It was elevated Saturday at ER but not that high, and came down after fluids and anti-inflammatory. The pain is not constant, but comes in attacks usually when I try to get out of my chair.

My Rheumatologist said rest and finish my steroid burst but I am concerned it seems to be getting worse, not better. Has anyone else experienced this? I am debating whether to go back to the ER today as I have no insurance, but am afraid it might be my heart.


Community Answers
  • Erin Rush moderator
    2 months ago

    HI Danielle! First off, my apologies for the delayed response. Your symptoms do sound worrisome. If you have any doubts at all, don’t hesitate to talk to your physician or go back to the ER. If you were diagnosed with pleurisy, much of the medical literature suggests treating with antibiotics before using steroids (if there is an infection present). If you are not getting better or, in fact, feeling worse, it may be time to re-visit the ER or your physician during business hours. Here is some information about pleurisy that you might find helpful — https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pleurisy/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351866. Good luck and by the time you are reading this, I hope you are on the mend! Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.

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