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Oral steroids

These are sometimes used to control inflammation quickly while waiting for a disease modifying drug (such as methotrexate) to work.

The dose and duration of treatment with oral steroids depends on the severity of inflammation, but in all cases we will give a plan for reducing (weaning) the dose over time.

Advice for prolonged use or high doses

If on high dose or prolonged steroids, we advise that you:

  • Carry a steroid card and inform anyone looking after you that you are taking steroids, should you become unwell or require an operation.
  • Do not stop the steroids suddenly. This will cause a severe flare of the inflammation and other harmful affects.
  • Do not have live vaccinations.
  • Let us know via the advice line if there has been contact with chicken pox.
  • Use ways to avoid weight gain.
  • Take calcium and vitamin D to keep bones strong