Low dose prednisone therapy in rheumatoid arthritis: a double blind study

J Rheumatol. 1983 Oct;10(5):713-21.


Prednisone, 5 mg taken each morning, was added to other drugs in 18 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Sixteen patients were given a placebo in this double blind study. After 24 weeks, all patients were given the placebo. Slight functional improvement was noted in the prednisone group during the 24-week period, but deterioration after switching to placebo was sustained for at least 8 weeks. Progression of hand erosions occurred in 1 prednisone-treated patient, and in 4 controls. An asymptomatic vertebral spine compression fracture developed in 2 patients given prednisone; this was the only toxicity noted possibly due to this therapy. Minimal dose prednisone may be useful as "bridge" therapy between nonsteroidal antiinflammatory therapy and use of disease-modifying drugs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage*


  • Prednisone