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Prednisone and Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Is prednisone for RA like fire hydrant or a wet blanket?Prednisone is the most common symptom treating medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Medicines which fight the Rheumatoid Arthritis disease activity are called disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).  Rheumatoid arthritis usually requires both disease treatment and symptom treatment.

Lately, I’ve given a lot of thought to the prednisone Rheumatoid Arthritis issue. Like so many other RA issues, the prednisone one is huge. But we have to start somewhere.

Prednisone and Rheumatoid Arthritis themes

Looking over comments and messages, I notice some interesting themes.

  • Dosage: Some medical sites like Johns Hopkins say prednisone is prescribed for Rheumatoid Arthritis in a low dose of five to ten milligrams per day. However, patients often mention doses as high as 30 or 50 or even 70 milligrams, at least on occasion. Of course they vary, but the numbers that patients give are consistently higher than what is on the books about RA and prednisone.
  • Length of prednisone use: Typically, prednisone is described as a “bridge” medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Supposedly, RA’ers use prednisone to temporarily help them manage symptoms until disease treatments become effective. However, patients describe using prednisone for RA for months and even years. I know several people who’ve used it as long as ten years.
  • Dislike for prednisone: This one seems pretty unanimous. Surveys say 80 percent of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients will use prednisone at some point, but it seems that none of them welcome its side effects. There is a long list of reasons patients see prednisone as a mixed blessing.

What’s your experience with prednisone for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

How do you feel about prednisone? Were you surprised by anything about your prednisone experience? Do you think your experience was typical?

Note: Much more on prednisone and Rheumatoid Arthritis – click here.

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 8th, 2010 at 7:03 am and is filed under RA Education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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