Q. Is it good to take steroids for rheumatoid arthritis?

Answered by
Dr. Penchala Prasad Kandikattu
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sushrutha Muralidharan
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 30, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jul 03, 2021

Hi doctor,

My mom is taking Prednisolone oral tabs daily in the morning. She is taking it for the past five years. Recently she got red spots on her body. The doctors stopped this medicine for weeks. she got very ill. At that time, she was on TB medication. TB is not detected, still prescribed. After getting worse, doctors stopped TB medicine and started steroid medication. She is fine now. Her dosage is 20 mg. her weight has increased a lot. She always feels very hungry. Her legs are swollen. Diet could not be controlled. Physical activity is least possible by her. Her condition is rheumatoid arthritis, and she is 62-year-old. Kindly give your opinion.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

For rheumatoid arthritis, now very good DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) available. No need to take steroids for a long time. Probably she is suffering from vasculitis or other autoimmune disorder, which will give temporary relief with steroids and flare-up of symptoms.

So now she landed with steroid intake associated with Cushing syndrome, probably. So slowly wean off steroids over a period of six to ten weeks, followed by adding immune suppressant medication is useful. Get it RA (rheumatoid) factor, ANA (anti-nuclear antibodies), anti-RNP (ribonucleoprotein), anti-DS DNA (double-stranded DNA), ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), and CRP (C-reactive protein) levels. Review with reports or consult with your physician. He will examine and treat you accordingly. I hope this was helpful.

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