What is the role of corticosteroids in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy (USpA)?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence H Brent, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Oral corticosteroids are occasionally helpful in controlling AS symptoms. However they should be used only for short-term management; long-term management carries a high risk of adverse effects. No evidence has shown that corticosteroids alter the outcome of the disease, and these agents are known to increase the tendency toward spinal osteoporosis.

Local corticosteroid injections are useful for symptomatic sacroiliitis, peripheral enthesitis, and arthritis, although the response is not typically as rapid as in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.


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