Prednisone and joint pain are linked only when inflammation and swelling persist despite other types of arthritis treatment. Doctors prescribe prednisone, a corticosterioid, when the hormone it is similar to that is produced by the adrenal glands is not produced in sufficient amounts naturally by the body.
As an arthritis medicine, drug companies make prednisone available in pill or liquid form. The liquid form is often a concentration that must be mixed with fruit juice or soft foods such as yogurt.
Most commonly taken in the morning, this arthritis relief medicine helps with joint pain, redness, swelling, and tenderness when less-aggressive treatment fails. However, the side effects of prednisone must be cautioned against, though these do not occur often. Some of these include:
- weight gain
- mood swings
- bruising easily
- thinning of the skin
- thinning of the bones
- immune-system suppression
- high blood pressure
- muscle weakness
Because of these potential side effects, prednisone rarely rates as a first line of defense as a pain relief arthritis medication. Allergic reactions to aspirin and other drugs, fungal infections, stomach ulcers, and pregnancy also preclude the use of prednisone.
As joint pain and inflammation subside during arthritis pain relief treatment, the dosage of prednisone lessens. Abrupt discontinuation of it is not recommended, however, and can lead to nausea, vomiting, and fever. Stopping it suddenly can also cause weight loss, drowsiness, and confusion, as well as joint and muscular pain.
As a rheumatoid arthritis treatment, prednisone excels in suppressing the diseases activity, but is not a cure. Synovitis, the inflammation of the lining of the joint, becomes effectively alleviated with the use of prednisone when used as prescribed. The muscle and joint pain common in lupus arthritis also benefits from treatment with prednisone.
The use of prednisone for arthritis relief has made inroads in the treatment of this many-faceted disease, but no drug can claim total victory. It is up to the patient as well as his or her doctor to determine whether or not prednisone is the right arthritis medicine. As with many other treatments, only by allowing adequate time to test dosages and by keeping track of other health factors can the success of prednisone therapy be established.
So talk to your doctor about prednisone as a viable option for arthritis pain relief. It just may open the door to a healthier, more pain-free way of life.