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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
OxPARC

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Intra-articular steroids

Intra-articular steroids are injected directly into the inflammed joint. This increases the concentration of the medicine where it is most needed and reduces the effects on the rest of the body.

We use one of the following when injecting intra-articular steroids:

  • Local anaesthetic (such as EMLA cream)
  • Entonox (reduces the feeling of pain and anxiety)
  • General anaesthetic

In general, we expect there to be an improvement within 24 hours which lasts for at least 3 - 6 months.

We may re-inject joints that have not had a lasting response, but try to avoid doing this more than 4 times per year.

If repeat injections of the joints are required, we will generally recommend starting methotrexate or recommend a new drug if the current one has not worked well enough.