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How can I lower my chances of having side effects from steroids?

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doctors follow these guidelines:

  • Use steroids only when necessary.
  • Monitor closely to look for serious side effects.
  • If possible, use steroid injections for problems in a specific area.
  • Use the minimal dose required to gain control of the disease.
  • Lower the dose gradually if the disease remains under control.
  • Monitor blood pressure often and treat, if necessary.
  • Recommend calcium supplements, vitamin D, and bone-building prescription medications to help maintain bone strength -- especially if steroids will be taken for a long period of time.
  • Have your bone density checked every 1 to 2 years.

From: Steroids to Treat Arthritis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicines: A Guide for Adults." UpToDate for Patients: "Patient Information: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." AGS Foundation for Health in Aging: "Arthritis Pain." Medline Plus: "Cushing Syndrome."




Reviewed by David Zelman on June 13, 2017

SOURCES: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicines: A Guide for Adults." UpToDate for Patients: "Patient Information: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." AGS Foundation for Health in Aging: "Arthritis Pain." Medline Plus: "Cushing Syndrome."




Reviewed by David Zelman on June 13, 2017

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Who should not take steroids to treat arthritis?

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