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How do oral corticosteroids treat psoriatic arthritis?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Oral corticosteroids such as prednisone are man-made versions of hormones secreted by the adrenal gland. They are powerful drugs that can reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system.

No studies have shown that oral corticosteroids are effective for psoriatic arthritis, but these drugs are often used. Usually they are used for short term treatment of people with arthritis in several joints that is not improving with NSAID treatment. They can cause a flare in psoriasis skin disease when treatment is stopped, so dosage must be gradually reduced. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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