This Week In The Bmj

Prednisolone can be used for short term intermittent control of rheumatoid arthritis

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 14 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:b

Oral corticosteroids are used mainly for their symptomatic effect—for example, for acute exacerbations of rheumatoid arthritis. The effect of low doses has been variable, however, and was recently questioned. In a systematic review of randomised trials comparing corticosteroids (15 mg/day prednisolone or equivalent) with placebo or with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Gotzsche et al found that prednisolone is highly effective and has an acceptable risk of adverse effects, even when given for longer periods (p 811). Oral low dose prednisolone may therefore be used intermittently in rheumatoid arthritis that cannot be controlled by other means.

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