Should You Consider Steroid Tablets as Treatment for Arthritis?

The use of steroid tablets as a form of arthritis treatment is not without controversy. Sports people in particular might end up losing their professional careers if they take this medication without authorization. There are some naturally occurring steroids such as cortisol and they come in the form of hormones that help the body to function well. The use of manmade steroid tablets can have an impact on the level of inflammation that the patient is experiencing. With the right type of treatment, it is possible to improve the quality of life for the patient. The commercial forms of steroid tablets include Prednisolone, which is quite popular when dealing with rheumatism.

The development of steroid tablets as treatment for arthritis

Inflammation is one of the overriding symptoms that are associated with arthritis. Therefore the treatment programs will attempt to tackle this symptom as a priority. In the case of steroid tablets, this is where the attention is focused. Prednisolone has been given to patients in the form of a tablet or it might be modified to include the form known as “enteric coated” medication. This coating ensures that the medication dissolves slowly in the stomach. In that sense, the patient will have long lasting benefits from the treatment program.  The conditions that are managed using steroid tablets include rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica or PMR and systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE. They tend to reduce the swelling associated with these conditions.

Patients that simultaneously suffer from indigestion will be required to take the form of medication that is coated. This is done in order to protect the stomach from high dosages of the active ingredients. Patients need to take Prednisolone once a day. The morning is the ideal time and you should endeavor to eat some food before taking the medication. The use of steroid tablets might be prescribed on an alternate day basis. If the tablet is coated then you need to swallow it whole in order to avoid upsetting your stomach. Your weight and the severity of the disease will be influential factors in determining the correct dosage that will be applied. Where the patients have been on steroid tablets for extended periods of time, the doctor will attempt to reduce the dosage gradually until they are no longer dependent on the medication.

Of course there are cases where steroid tablets become part of the treatment program for a chronic condition. The patient will remain on these tablets on an indefinite basis but the level of dosage will be significantly reduced in order to minimize the side effects. It is important that you do not stop to take your tablets unless there is clear guidance from the doctor. Stopping steroids on an abrupt basis can be very dangerous to the health of the patient. Patients that take steroid tablets should carry a card in case emergency teams need to deal with them. Likewise any adverse side effects must be reported to the clinician that is responsible for handling the case.