Arthritis and Prednisone

I have been taking Prednisone for the past 10 1/2 years for (Juvenile)Systemic Rheumatoid Arthritis. The average dose has been 20mg daily. I recently (over the past 6 months) had gotten the dose down to 15mg (the least I have EVER been on). I had been experiencing stiffness in the mornings, but was able to manage the pain throughout the day. Last week, the pain became so great that I increased the prednisone dose to 20mg. This did not help. Today, I increased it to 25mg. Because of the prednisone usage, I have to monitor my blood sugars and take insulin daily. I called my rheumatologist and he said that he didn’t know what else he could do for me. I know Prednisone is killing my skeleton – the bone denisity reports tell me that. But when I try to get off of it, I have a relapse and have to take more of it! I have tried all kinds of other drugs; I take Arava, Ultram, and Apsirin daily. I have tried Methotrexate, Enbrel, but neither worked. In fact, these drugs seemed to make the pain worse (I had a lot of swelling and joint pain). I currently take 2 fluid pills for the swelling in my legs and ankles, but the swelling doesn’t seem to go down. I’m only 26 years old — what can be done to help me?????

steroid round face

I took steroids for 3 weeks for a very severe case of poison ivy. I finished the medication 5 days ago, but the “round face” side effect still persists. How long can I expect to look like this?

RA and Osteoporosis

My mother had severe RA for almost 20 years. In April of 2004, she was told that she had severe osteoporosis and the doctor put her on Forteo. How long has it been known that long term use of methotrexate and prednisone would increase the risk of developing osteoporosis? And with my mother having osteoporosis, does this increase my risk, since her’s was pathological?

long term prednisone vs methotrexate for pmr

I was first diagnosed w/ pmr in 2001..originally on prednisone then added methotrexate to taper off prednisone… I was in remission for about 1 yr only using otc meds… In past year have had flare ups and have been on 3- 4 mos of tapering prednisone dosing on several occasions.. If I had to make a choice of long term low dose prednisone (5 mg or less ) vs methotrexate which one would you consider to be less harmful in the long term?