Arthritis Treated with Prednisone

Question

How long can someone be prescribed prednisone for the treatment of arthritis, what dosage would be appropriate, and how is one monitored while on the drug?

Answer

Many patients with inflammatory arthritis such as RA are kept on low dose prednisone (5 to 10 mg daily) for many years. Patients tolerate prednisone differently and thus the decision to keep someone on low dose prednisone should be an individual one. Side effects increase with dose and are many. They include weight gain, easily brusinig, irritability, jitteriness. facial hair, round face, fluid retention.. It causes osteoporosis and worsens but does not cause high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated cholesterol.

Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University