Early disease control by low-dose prednisone comedication may affect the quality of remission in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Apr;1193:139-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05367.x.


In order to identify rate and stability of remission induced by low-dose prednisone comedication in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we evaluated patients with early RA (<1 year) who were randomized to receive (P) or not (non-P) low-dose prednisone in association with step-up disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy over 2 years. Prevalence and duration of clinical remission were evaluated in the first and second year. Each treatment group included 105 patients; no significant differences were found at baseline. During the first year, P patients achieved higher rates of clinical remission with a time-averaged odds ratio (OR) of 1.965 (CI 95% 1.214-3.182, P= 0.006). Moreover, they showed a higher probability of sustained remission during the second year (OR 4.480, CI 95% 1.354-14.817, P= 0.014). In conclusion, we found as in early RA low-dose prednisone comedication is associated with higher rate of clinical remission, earlier disease activity control and more stable remission over time.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use*
  • Remission Induction / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Prednisone
  • Methotrexate