Glucocorticoids (GCs) are used extensively in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recent data on the efficacy of these drugs in alleviating symptoms of inflammation, but also in retarding erosive damage, are presented. In addition, a critical review of the rather limited literature on adverse effects of chronic use of low dose GCs is given. It becomes clear that the net effect of low-dose GCs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis favors the beneficial aspects of these drugs above the negative aspects. Prudent use of GCs can be recommended.