Which medications in the drug class Corticosteroids are used in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used in patients with RA to bridge the time until DMARDs become effective. Prednisone dosages as high as 10 mg/day are typically used, but some patients may require even higher dosages. Adverse events associated with long-term steroid use make dose reductions and cessation important in due course.

Prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos)

Prednisone is an immunosuppressant for the treatment of autoimmune disorders; it may decrease inflammation by reversing increased capillary permeability and suppressing polymorphonuclear leukocyte activity. Prednisone stabilizes lysosomal membranes and suppresses lymphocytes and antibody production.

Circadian (ie, bedtime) administration of modified-release prednisone (Rayos) has been shown shown to decrease morning stiffness with RA.

Methylprednisolone (Depo-Medrol, Medrol, Solu-Medrol)

Methylprednisolone decreases inflammation by suppressing the migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) and reversing increased capillary permeability. It is as adjunctive therapy for short term administration (for an acute episode or exacerbation) in RA.

Prednisolone (Orapred ODT, Pediapred)

Prednisolone controls or prevents inflammation by controlling the rate of protein synthesis, suppressing the migration of PMNs and fibroblasts, reversing capillary permeability, and stabilizing lysosomes at the cellular level. It is as adjunctive therapy for short term administration (for an acute episode or exacerbation) in RA.


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