Steroids, which are also called corticosteroids, are effective in relieving inflammation which is caused due to rheumatoid arthritis. Steroids are widely used as part of treatment plans as rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease.
Different types of steroids are available in the market each having certain benefits and side effects. The steroids that are used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are not the same as the ones that are used for muscle building by athletes.
A doctor mostly prescribes steroids for short-term use which helps to reduce flare-ups that are caused due to rheumatoid arthritis. These are also used while waiting for other medications to work on the patient’s body.
Types of Steroids that are used for Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Steroids are often regarded as medicines that are used to mimic the hormonal activities of the patient’s body. The adrenal glands in the body that are situated above the kidneys help in producing natural steroids. The actions of the immune system are suppressed by using steroids that are created by pharmaceutical manufacturers.
This can aid the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis which mainly causes the immune system to attack the joints of the body. Some of the steroids doctors mostly prescribe for treating rheumatology arthritis include prednisone, dexamethasone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone, some of which are more lasting than other steroids. While prescribing a medicine, a doctor will consider patients’ symptoms, parts of the body where the symptoms occur, and their medical history.
Uses of Steroids used for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Steroids are prescribed by doctors for number reasons – to reduce the extent of damage of blood vessels due to rheumatoid arthritis, to reduce the symptoms when other medications are not effective, to reduce the pain that is caused by flare-ups, to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis when a patient is waiting for anti-rheumatic drugs.
Dosage of Steroids
The overall health of the patient and the desired effect are the two factors that will affect the dosage of the steroid. Larger doses of steroids are more likely to produce faster results than low dosages.
Five to ten mg of prednisone per day is the typical dose of steroids prescribed to patients by most doctors even though some people may take more than this. Even though taking steroids for a prolonged time can mask the effects of rheumatoid arthritis, it will not stop the progression of the disease.