Low-dose Prednisone in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Low-dose Prednisone in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis

A new way to dose the same old drug?

This is the second post in a series about modern approaches to the use of prednisone for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Please find the first post, Prednisone Dosage for Rheumatoid Arthritis, here at this link. Does prednisone merely mask symptoms or can it slow Rheumatoid Arthritis disease progression? How low is a so-called “low- dose”? Could there be an even lower dose?

Studying low-dose prednisone with early Rheumatoid Arthritis

The doses of glucocorticoids in the 1950’s caused side effects that were severe enough to scare doctors away from using them to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis. Over the years, the doses of have been reduced. In the last few years, some doctors are reducing them even further, especially with patients who are recently diagnosed.

  • A 2005 editorial in the Journal of Rheumatology called Steroids for Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Honeymoon Revisited states that “Some recent studies suggest that prednisone at 5 mg, 7.5 mg, and 10 mg may initially slow the rate of radiographic progression of RA, although these findings are by no means universal.”
  • One German study on low-dose prednisone found that “a single daily oral dose of 5 mg prednisolone as an adjunct to DMARD therapy decreases radiographic progression in early RA at an acceptable level of risk.”
  • A 2002 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine called Low-Dose Prednisone Therapy for Patients with Early Active Rheumatoid Arthritis concludes “Prednisone, 10 mg/d, provides clinical benefit, particularly in the first 6 months, and substantially inhibits progression of radiologic joint damage in patients with early active rheumatoid arthritis and no previous treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.”
  • A Swedish study published late 2005 on low-dose prednisone with early Rheumatoid Arthritis (less than 1 year)concluded that “prednisolone (prednisone) at 7.5 mg/day added to the initial DMARD retarded the progression of radiographic damage after 2 years in patients with early RA, provided a high remission rate, and was well tolerated. Therefore, the data support the use of low-dose prednisolone as an adjunct to DMARDs in early active RA.” (Aside note from me: the prednisone group did statistically better, but the “high remission rate” was still only 55%. And that was by the doctors’ standards. Patients assessments are often more modest.)

Very low-dose prednisone in early Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are many similar articles as doctors around the world are examining whether low doses of prednisone – doses under 10 mg per day – will be effective at both treating symptoms of RA and slowing bone erosions in early Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, one report published this past winter, considers the use of very low-dose prednisone in early Rheumatoid Arthritis. The report titled Efficacy of prednisone 1–4 mg/day in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, asserts that doses even lower than 5 mg may provide some disease modifying effects. The author states, “A few clinicians, including the senior author, have treated most patients over the last decade with an initial dose of 3 mg/day.” Here’s what they found:

“We conclude that this clinical trial documents the efficacy of low-dose prednisone in patients with RA. Although not analysed in this study because of the short time frame, we have observed minimal long-term adverse events in patients who have taken daily prednisone for more than 10 years, sometimes up to 20 years. A multicentre long-term (2 years) ‘de novo’ clinical trial of prednisone in new patients who have not had any prior glucocorticoid treatment would be of considerable value.”

 Would very low doses (< 5mg) be even safer than low doses (< 10mg)?

One German study on low dose prednisone addresses the billion dollar question. “On balance, the safety profile of very low-dose prednisolone therapy established in the controlled trials is not inconsistent with its long-term use. The expected disease-modifying effect has to be weighed against the possibility of side effects, taking the individual patient’s situation into account. It remains to be seen whether dosages lower than 5 mg provide the same benefit with even fewer side effects and whether the same effect can be produced in patients with more advanced disease.”

Recommended reading:

Kelly O'Neill Young

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked over 10 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over thirteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

49 thoughts on “Low-dose Prednisone in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • May 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm
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    Kelly – excellent posts. My Doc has me on 5 mg of prednisone and MTX. Since I am not in remission he does not want to take out of the prednisone. He is afraid that my pain may come back and that the prednisone may not be as effective if I stop and start back again at latter time. Is there any evidence that stopping / starting prednisone may diminish its efficacy and therefore requires the use of a higher dose in the future?

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    • May 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm
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      Thanks!! No, I have not heard that exactly Alberto. It is true with other dmards, so maybe so. What I know is that remission is fragile. If treatment is working, it should not be removed without good reason. Of course w/pred, as you know, the goal is the least amount possible (hopefully, ultimately None).

      Reply
  • May 29, 2010 at 1:57 am
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    Kelly,

    I am currently taking Plaquenil, MTX, Remicade and a low dose of prednisone. My doc told me to take 5 to 10mgs a day and at one point had me on 15 mgs a day – this low dose has been on and off for nearly 7 months! At this point I don’t feel that the goal is remission – it’s just trying to get this monster under control. Yesterday (Thursday) I had my second Remi infusion, took all my “meds” like a good girl this morning and did my MTX shot this evening. I am getting extremely nervous about the amount of meds I am taking. To be honest I am just as frightened taking all these meds as I am of the consequences if I chose not to take them! Do you have any advise on when and where I should draw the line when too much isn’t enough?

    Many Blessings
    Mel

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    • May 29, 2010 at 9:06 am
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      Aww Mel. I’m sorry. I know it’s hard.
      Trying to think of a practical way to help. Did you know that people do take mtx for decades safely? Pred is different for different people, & you should take as little as poss & you are doing that. Maybe the Remi. will start working soon and you can drop one of the others. The combination treatment has shown the best success, so at least we know your doc is trying to help you get this monster under control. That is a good start. Now, for your body to cooperate 😉
      You know, thinking about it, one way to conquer fear is with facts – have you already met someone with severe damage or who can’t walk or known anyone who died from RA? I wonder if that would help. RA really is evil & these treatments are all we have right now as weapons to fight the monster. :heart:

      Reply
  • May 29, 2010 at 3:20 pm
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    Kelly,

    You and everyone on the blog are the only people I’ve actually talked to that are taking the same medication or have similar symptoms as mine. t When I went for Remi treatment this past Thursday there was a man in there and we talked for a few minutes as we were walking out but he seemed to be fine and healthy. I’m viewing that as a good sign. He has never taken MTX – I sensed that was a personal decision he made. He was on prednisone 7 years ago but not since then. Apparently he was in so much pain from his knees and hips that he was hospitalized for 3 days 7 years ago and that’s how he was diagnosed. (poor thing). I will keep an eye out while I’m at the rhuemy’s office(not like a stalker- but close – lol) Yes, I love my doctor! She takes good care of me!
    Wondering? What are the fatality risks for RA and what can I do to minimize them? I am currently getting a divorce (not sure If I mentioned that before) will turn 36 in August and am ready to live my life with hope and love. … And I still want to have a baby! Any suggested reading or advise.
    Thank you for the encouragement – I needed it today :o)
    Much Love,
    Mel

    Reply
    • May 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm
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      On the baby thing, I plan to post on that soon, so you can check back. On the mortality question, I have done a lot of research. Unfortunately, the stats are not better for RA patients in recent years as they are for the general population. There have not been enough years yet w/the Biologics to know whether that will help, but I would hope. Many of the deaths are from heart disease, so we need to live as heart-healthy as we can. Others are the myriad “complications,” so we need to be sure we get treatment for anything that needs to be addressed and not just let it go because we have RA. A small number are from infections related to our immune suppressing meds, so we can work hard to avoid infection & again treat them aggressively. There is a little post called Preventative First Aid about that.

      Reply
  • May 29, 2010 at 9:32 pm
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    I’m so glad to see people who are on actual LOW DOSES of prednisone! My old rhuemy had me on up to 100 mg.s a day with a side of 20mg.s Arava just for kicks for 3 years! I do have a new rhuemy and started MTX was scheduled to start Orencia but with having to have neck surgery and now back surgery I’m living on pain pills! The nurse at the hospital after my neck surgery offered me pred. when she saw how swollen my fingers and hands were in the a.m.but I turned it down, that drug has done more than enough damage to me. :pain: The swelling leaves eventually most days! God Bless Everyone! :rose:

    Reply
  • June 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm
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    I was just prescribed Prednisone for a few weeks when I was first diagnosed. Now my magic pill for pain is Arcoxia 90 – I find it very good for pain, swelling and flexibility.

    Reply
  • June 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm
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    Irene- I’ve never heard of it, is it prescription? Talk to me woman I need a “magic pill” LOL! I’m intrigued by anything that’s NOT prednisone but works. God Bless! :rose:

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  • September 13, 2010 at 10:33 am
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    I started low dosage 5mg 2x a day Sept 2nd 2010, my bodies response has been very good, pain dropped from a perieved 6-8 in the morning to 1-2 or none, however I had to increase my doseage of novalog insulin at the time I took the dosage, using 10mg to keep my blood glucose level under 150. I havent been on it long enough to know if any other issues have developed, I am going to a Rhematoligist on the 23rd of this month with my findings. My last Al1c was 6.5 but that was before starting prednisone, my RA first became noticeable in July of 2009 then that flare ended in Sept 09 this last started in May 2010 with relief from 9/2/10 to now.

    Reply
    • September 14, 2010 at 11:49 am
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      Mike, I hope together with the doc, you find a good plan for you. Are you taking any other RA med than the Prednisone? Some of the side effects only appear after a long term of usage. Everyone responds differently to it.

      Reply
  • November 13, 2010 at 8:50 am
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    I was diagnosed in June 2010. I had suffered from several RA attacks in my hands, wrists, shoulders and my right foot (I could not even walk). Like most first-time patients, I had to wait a few weeks to get in to see the Rheumatologist. I had already been to my GP, of course, who would not prescribe prednisone, not wanting to mask the symptoms for the rheumatologist. What got me by during those first weeks was Vicodin.

    Anyway, the rheumatologist placed me on 4 mg. of Prednisone per day. It was immediately effective. So, this was a very low dose used as a bridge under the MTX kicked in, which it did in a couple of months. The Prednisone was then tapered off; I took one less mg every week, until I was completely off. I had gained 30 lbs., but I was free from pain, swelling and redness.

    When the cold weather came back recently, I found that my hands just ache, and also my wrists. The doctor said that I could go on 1 mg. of Prednisone every day, but I have chosen not to do so. The slight ache is nothing in comparison to what I had experienced. In fact, this *could* be due to my osteo, although I think it’s the RA.

    I am one of the very lucky ones — I realize that. I have responded to all medication extremely well and am functioning at 100%. The very low dose of Prednisone worked for me.

    Reply
    • November 13, 2010 at 8:52 am
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      That second paragraph should have read “UNTIL the MTX kicked in.”

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    • November 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm
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      Thank you Cindi & wow. What a great result & evidence of early treatment working. That is what they are hoping we could all see one day. 🙂 Were you on only 4 mg the whole time & stilll gained weight? That part really surprised me. Was there any other prescription or factor?

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  • November 13, 2010 at 9:35 am
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    I’ve been on the low dose of prednisone for months and I’ve been expecting the doc to take it away one of these days. After reading these studies, maybe he won’t.
    I had been wondering why RA patients couldn’t take a long term low dose while others people can. A friend with scleroderma has been told that he will be on 5 mg per day for the rest of his life.
    Members of my family have, unfortunately, been on high doses for long periods. I know what prednisone can do, but I’m not afraid of 5mg per day and it has made a big improvement in the quality of my life. If it’s actually slowing the RA I’m even happier.

    Reply
    • November 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm
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      Kay, thanks so much for adding your opinion here. I know many doctors do view it that way – as helping suppress the inflammation of the disease & slow it. Some patients don’t respond enough to anything else that is available at this point. There are always risks that are increased with the prednisone so there is no perfect solution yet, but I’m so happy to hear something helps you live your life.

      Reply
  • November 14, 2010 at 6:46 am
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    I had previously taken lo-dose prednisone and find it to be a wonder-drug when I have an RA flare up. I know my Rheumatologist does not want me to take it long term?. I will have to ask her to consider it.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm
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    I take 7.5mg of prednisone a day. If I’m having bad, bad days, I will take 10mg. For a while I thought it wasn’t really helping until I ran out and couldn’t get to the pharmacy for a few days. I learned my lesson! I know that a lot of people with RA have trouble accepting they have to take prednisone because of the side effects and dangers of long term use. At this point I would rather have the little relief the prednisone brings and I will just have to deal with the long term effects later. I think its all we can do when dealing with the disease.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2010 at 10:15 pm
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    I have been on 6-10 mg of prednisone daily for over 2 years. I have done well with Remicade, MTX and prednisone. I was able to discontinue Plaquinal in March. I have been spared the side effects of the daily prednisone, and I cannot complain! I feel better!

    Reply
    • November 14, 2010 at 11:07 pm
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      it’s always good to hear a story of treatment that works. It sounds like your doc is creative & aggressive & it’s helped you. Thanks for sharing it here. 🙂

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  • May 4, 2011 at 9:45 am
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    I have found that 2.5mg of prednisone works to keep my RA in check, i have tried dosing with 2.5mg in one day but seems that my RA is able to become active again so i go back to 2.5mg in am and again in the pm. I have tried to use methotrexate but it makes me sick with stomach cramps and breathing problems in the am, leaving me gasping for breath.

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  • October 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm
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    hi, from italy. After 6-month interferon-ribavirin (HCV) therapy -some 2-3 weeks after therapy ended – I started having RA-like simptoms. A diagnosis has not been made. I was initially given 50 mg twice a day of indoxen: not good. Rheuma doc switched to predisone: 35 mg for two weeks, then 25 for next two months (free public health system -times are long ‘tween visits). Prednisone works: no syptoms -gone. I am gradually reducing daily amount as much as I feel safe to do so. Will be glad to hear from you. If intrested will send my clinical data: rheuma factor, anti-citrulline etc. very good site. compliments.

    Reply
  • March 17, 2012 at 1:37 am
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    this was such a good find! informative and in layman’s terms.thanks for the great work accomplished!

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  • March 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm
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    After starting with plaquinel 7 months ago then adding MTX and working up to 20mgs over multiple vists with 1mg per day of folic acid and 1 month of Enbrel I started on Prednisone, two 30mg tapers to get my feet under control. I am now on 5mgs daily for the past two months. I have constant hunger but not so bad I can’t ignore it. The tapers had me starving above 20mgs. Gained 10 pounds from those. My face is a little poofier from the pred as well (I know it’s the pred because a year ago I weighed more and my glasses didn’t dig in then). I will gladly take the 5mgs per day because it helps a decent amount and I would take 10 or 15mgs if given the option. Nothing to date has done more then temporarly slow the progression of the RA.

    Reply
    • March 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm
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      A cautionary note (which you are probably aware of): I was on 5 mg Prednisone for years, had very few problems, would be fine with being on that dose indefinitely. But when Enbrel stopped working, I ended up on 10 mg and then 15 mg of Prednisone.I was trying to continue working and that was the only way I could do so; it has been life-saving (have failed many many meds). But on 10 Pred, I started having problems, on 15, just about every side effect/adverse effect possible, and I am having an impossible time even tapering 1 mg lower from 15 to 14. We all make choices with trade-offs, but just wanted to share my experience.

      Reply
  • June 4, 2012 at 5:34 am
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    After a year of keeping my RA in check with prednisone its back, I am suspecting that my recent kidney infection from a
    kidney stone has started this current flare, I am treating the
    infection and will have to see if it subsides, am taking 5mg in am and 2.5 at night. I am curious of a possible relationship to infections and RA.

    Reply
  • September 7, 2012 at 12:05 am
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    I need advice badly. I was just diagnosed with RA from my young, smart, great, general practitioner from where I go to school in Idaho (here for testing). I just came out of I believe my 3rd flare. It has subsided but my hands now ache all the time especially at night. I am taking Meloxicam 15 mg a day now for 2 weeks- doesn’t really seem to do much- and my GP has also prescribed me a burst of Prednisone(Spell check wants to change “Prednisone” to “Prisoner” lol) 40 mg a day (2 pills @ 20 mg)30 pills so it looks like 15 days. I didn’t want to take it until I got approval from RA doc. I have an appt with the RA Oct 31st where I live in Palm Springs. I asked the nurse who booked my appt what I should do in the interim vis-a-vis the Prednisone and she said whatever my Dr here prescribed to get me through the next month and a half.

    So, is a burst effective when I am not having a flare? Is this dose too high? I don’t really think my GP here is really well versed in RA stuff although she is great otherwise. I am worried as I have to drive 3 days straight back to California and I am scared to take the Prednisone due to side effects while driving but also scared I will flare without it! Thank you, N.

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  • January 24, 2013 at 8:51 am
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    Frequent mention of “side effects” without specifying what they are. Some mention of “safety profile” with no designation of what “safe” means in this context.

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  • March 9, 2013 at 3:07 pm
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    I don’t see a Rhumy, am afraid of the meds used today, heard they are like chemo. I am almost 80 yo. I was diagnosed 2 years ago. Keeping it (under control)? by taking 10 mg oxy daily and during a flare up, which comes more and more often, do a burst. it is traveling along all bones in my body, including feet and knees. I think I will jsut continue with this treatment. I feel palpitations more while on pred. Any advice for me from experienced fellow sufferers? Thanks.

    Reply
    • March 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm
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      Gigi, maybe you could talk with your doctor about the meds. Yes they are like chemo but in very low doses compared to with cancer. It’s possible that with your symptoms it could help you a lot & then it wouldn’t progress or disable you. I think it’s completely up to you how you want to treat your RA, and it does sound like it’s not severe at this time, which is common when diagnosed after age 60. My only suggestion is to make sure you’ve heard about all of your options. Good luck to you.

      Reply
  • March 20, 2013 at 10:44 am
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    I was just diagnosed 4 months ago with RA. I started out on MTX and pred. as needed for flares. This seemed to be helping a lot the pain and burning were much better and finally able to sleep. The last two weeks have been a different story, lots of pain especially at night and for two nights straight it every joint was on fire!!!! No sleep and 4 kids = grumpy me. Called doc yesterday and she called me back immediately ( Thank you Lord for a caring doc) she wants me to take 5mg of pred everyday until next visit (about 3 months) kind of worried about taking it for so long but i will if it helps . I have been very healthy until this all started about a year ago, very rarely even took Tylenol. BOY WHAT A CHANGE! I thank the Lord that He will see us all through our trials and I pray He will keep us all strong.

    Reply
  • September 28, 2013 at 10:15 am
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    I was diagnosed a couple of years ago with RA and Sjogrens. Dr. put me on Sulfasalazine and Plaquinel. Pain was under control until I started doing planting and putting down pavers in the back yard. Then everything went haywire, major swelling in my wrists. Couldn’t even hold a cup of coffee in one hand and my back was killing me in the Thoraxic area. I had been avoiding MTX due to previous lung issues but told the DR. I couldn’t live this way so she added that and 5mg of Prednisone daily. Worked like a charm! 6 months later relatively no pain. Went to a new Dr. recently because mine had moved and now he wants me off the Prednisone. Now 10 days later, on just 4 mg daily and all of the pain is coming back in my wrists and back not nearly as bad as before but it’s there and constant. Couldn’t believe that 1 mg difference in Prednisone could affect me that way. I have had no side effects on the 5 mg. and it helped my lung issues as well, no more coughing. I will wait another week on the 4 mg but to see if things settle down but I am ready to drop the MTX again since it appears the prednisone is the one that works best at relieving the bad RA symptoms and go back to the 5 mg a day of Prednisone. Blood work has been ok as well no signs of any adrenal, renal, liver issues.

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  • May 4, 2014 at 9:38 am
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    I have recently been diagnosed sero-negative RA. I love reading the medical journal articles but many of the links you provide connect to abstracts or ‘forbidden’. Can’t the powers that be grant sick people access to these journals?

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    • October 13, 2014 at 11:11 pm
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      great point Gwen. There has been a movement in that direction with some journals – others not so much. Maybe you should write to the editor when you can’t get access. Some give me access as a journalist – others won’t.

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  • June 20, 2014 at 4:53 pm
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    I haven’t been diagnosed with RA, though my doctor thinks whatever my inflammatory condition is may turn into RA. It started with swelling in various places (face, back, and hands), pain primarily focused in my neck arms and hands but gets into back and legs too with a flare up. I have a very high pain threshold but it wears me down over time, and makes me exhausted and irritable.
    I’ve had a number of flare ups, prednisone works like a dream. Was on 5 mg a day for a year but got worried about it. have been tapering off. down to 3 mg over a few months and now having another flare up. In pain all over, exhausted. Hands swollen, hands and neck killing me. my rheum says i can take 5 mg for the rest of my life but I’m worried about side effects (bone thinning, cataracts).
    Does anyone know if there are problems going up and down? Does that effect the efficacy of the drug? I can’t find good info about prednisone use.
    thanks for any advice

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  • July 18, 2014 at 8:12 am
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    Hi,
    I have just read most of the comments above. I am from the UK but moved to the Canary Islands (Spanish) some 11 years ago. Healthcare from that time has been with a local private MD that serves expat holidaymakers in the main – so I suspect that policy is a quick fix while here, see your own doctor when you get home. I was first diagnosed with RA since I have been living here and for 8 years have managed well enough albeit on a gradually increasing MTX dose in response to a gradually worsening (although controllable) disease profile. I have also been seeing a Rheumatologist in the UK privately annually for the last 2 years. Most recently he recommended increasing my MTX to 25mg weekly and adding Hydroxychloroquin 250mgs daily plus 1gm daily of sulfasalazine as the RA was not under control. Subsequently a blood test showed a sedimentation result of 100mm and I had joint stiffness all day. So control was still not evident and I was not getting on with the Sulfasalazine – (it made me feel sick). As a result I have taken medication into my own hands now – dropped Sulfasalazine altogether and substituted it with 5mg Prednisone a day. Oh I also take 5mg Folic Acid daily, and Celebrex. Control has returned. As I don´t qualify here for biologics (probably too expensive for treating old men with in Spain and without now being a UK resident I do not qualify for UK health service diagnosis and treatment any more) -I therefore have to manage with what I can get. The next step which I am reluctant to take is to reduce my MTX below the maximum level that I am on or gradually reduce the Prednisone to below 5mg/day and reflect on progress or the lack of it.

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  • July 25, 2014 at 11:49 am
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    I just had four cortisone shots in my knees and shoulder (bursitis in the shoulder) and I had a complete and full of mercy remission of pain. I was feeling like I had the worst flu of all time, every single day. My head burst with pain feeling like it was in every vein on my brain. My whole right side was pretty well useless and dragged me down into that abyss of complete “no control”.
    Then I got the shots, and hello! I was free from pain – EVERYWHERE! I didn’t expect that. Whatever is wrong with me disappeared. It’s been 2 months now and the old pains are coming back and I’m feeling the veins in my head pain again. What is that? Why did I feel so great with these shots?
    I am on enbrel and plaquenil and metho – max dosages. They stopped working and I was complaining to the rheumy every visit about how I was feeling so flu-like and my head veins but she just said I needed a sleep clinic.
    Well those shots removed all justification about my sleep – I slept BEAUTIFULLY! My pain was keeping me awake.
    I went back to her and said “no more excuses, these shots made me feel amazing so let’s figure out what is going on and change my meds because they definitely DO NOT WORK anymore. I’ll keep you posted.

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  • June 27, 2015 at 8:12 pm
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    I like how you’ve included information on prednisone in more a consumer driven medicine format. However, I’m having difficulty typing with your site having so much active content running. I will write a blog on my experience and frustration with the lack of consumer user medical information on prednisone. I told one drug mfr I’m likely to find more user & safety information with a garden tool. Drug mfrs are just adhering to out of date FDA user safety standards. Someone needs to tell FDA it’s 2015! I’ll share your site in my blog. Thanks

    Reply
  • January 5, 2016 at 7:35 am
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    I was taking Betnesol(5mg) for my crohn…a quarter of a bag and notice my back pain would go away every time I would take a quarter or a 3rd of one bag of Betnesol. So I asked my doctor to prescribe 1 mg prednisone to see if it would work…I am starting today…I do not need to use Betnesol anymore because since then, my Crohn is not active anymore.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2016 at 4:16 pm
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    I’ve not been able to take biologics because of my diastolic heart failure. And I am super-sensitive to every other drug that they have given me. (My throat swelled shut on MTX!) So I’ve been using Prednisone 10mg/day until this month when I was told to take 20mg to keep moving. I am worried that by taking 20mg I may have bad side effects coming eventually. But I’ve no other choice really.
    Has anyone used 20mg prednisone ONLY for any length of time? What is your experience?
    Thanks! Carol

    Reply
  • January 16, 2016 at 4:23 pm
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    RE: Irene Doonegan in 2010 and Arcoxia.
    I found this online. Guess I wouldn’t be able to take it even if it was approved in the USA, because of my heart.
    “Arcoxia has not been approved by the FDA for the U.S. market. The manufacturer of Arcoxia received a non-approvalable letter from the FDA in April of 2007. This non-approvable letter was due to safety concerns of an increased risk of cardiovascular events (including heart attack and stroke) and questions on the benefit-risk ratio in patients taking Arcoxia. Merck will continue to market Arcoxia outside the United States.”

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  • January 17, 2016 at 11:20 am
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    I have been on low dose for the past 3 years, never more then 15 and finally I am at a 1/2 as of yesterday. Woke with really bad flare in wrest and elbow, almost can’t type this. Each drop I have huge emotional drama and flare but after a couple of days it gets better. Anyone have experience with the last 3 and whether this flare will pass?

    Reply
  • January 20, 2016 at 11:14 pm
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    I have also been on a low dose, never more than 15mg for a year and a half. I want to get off it so bad. A week ago I tapered from 2.5mg to 2mg and all hell broke loose. My rheumy told me to back up to 5mg but I decided to go back to 2.5 bc I don’t want to taper again from 5! I am still having severe pain and swelling in my wrists and hands and terrible mood swings and depression. I am also taking embrel and plaquenil. Is there never an end to this prednisone madness?

    Reply
  • April 15, 2016 at 1:56 am
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    I am on 5 mg prednisone-used to be on 10 when started methotrexate and it was kicking in, then started to taper. My rheumatologist has been trying to get me down/off of the 5 mg for the past 7 months-keep leveling out and feeling like I’m in remission with prednisone on board, then we try to taper prednisone and I flare up again. Then we have to increase meds/add meds to get me back to the same place I was before. It’s been a frustrating and viscous cycle. Part of me wishes i could just stay on the prednidone, but I think for me I do need to get off the prednisone, just because I am getting immunosuppressed mainly from long-term prednisone use. Has anyone else been trying to get off prednisone without any luck? Any advice?

    Reply
  • September 23, 2016 at 3:06 pm
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    About 10 years ago I would wake up with my index fingers and my thumbs on both hands
    Swelling with the beginnings of RA. My Mother had suffered with this disease for 20 years and ended up with gnarled fingers and limited mobility.
    Being a guitar player I dreaded the future of my Creative ability.
    Having researched how many European doctors have had such success with Prednisone
    I found a Doctor open to its treatment and began a 10 mg per day dosage.

    10 years later I have complete mobility and no signs of RA
    my dexterity is as fluid as it was 30 years ago ,
    And I have no noticeable side effects.
    What I have done differently is to take 5 mg in the AM and 5 mg at night
    although this is 10 mg per day
    The effective composure of the drug is actually 5 mg as urination depletes the drug evenly every 12 hours.

    After 1 year on prednisone the swelling in my hands disappeared and since then I am RA free.
    Although other family members are currently without treatment and fighting increased pain and calcification in limbs.

    I have to believe that staggering the dose every 12 hours keeps an effective and more consistent amount of the drug present rather than 10 mg once a day that slowly diminishes throughout a 24 hour period – which creates a high level in the AM but a diminishment to almost nothing for the last 12 hours.

    I would recommend this treatment to anyone and taking half doses every 12 hours
    instead of all at one time– this may be why it has been so effective for me.
    The proof is I can play guitar now as good as 30 years ago
    whereas 10 years ago I was in pain and could barely wrap my fingers around the instrument.

    Good Luck and God Bless all you RA sufferers.

    Reply
  • August 30, 2017 at 9:06 am
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    I was just prescribed prednisone. I’m scared 2 start taking it bc of all the side effects, plus I had a bad experience with an reaction 2 a medicine called welbutrin. I almost died from the alergic reaction from that. An I will not take somethg that will make me gain weight. I have trouble keeping weight off as it is..I gain weight easy, an I read that this medication will make u gain weight.. I’m prescribed 10mg an I’m 2 take this 4 nine days. 4 at once 4 three days ,then then 3 for 3 days then 2 then 1 ..I dnt want 2 start it.

    Reply
  • August 30, 2017 at 9:08 am
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    I was given this for hip pain an my lungs.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 9:19 am
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    I also suffer with kidney stones, so I’m afraid this medication will make that problem worse, an dnt plan on being on this med, 4 yrs like all these ppl have been bc they can’t get off it bc of the pain an stuff.

    Reply

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