How Much Prednisone

Question

My doctor but me on 20mg of prednisone a day for rheumatoid arthtitis for one month. Then he tried to reduce it to 15mg. I was on 15mg for a little over two weeks and the pain and swelling came back worse then before I started taking the prednisone. So then they put me back up to 20mg. What kind of effect could increaing, decreasing and increasing the prednisone have on my body? Is it safe to be going up and down like that?

Answer

The problem is not increasing and decreasing but with amount of prednisone taken over time. It is clearly beneficial to use the lowest possible dose of prednisone for the shortest period of time. Thus, rheumatologists are always attempting to taper prednisone if symptoms will allow.

Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University