Objective: The aim of the study was to establish the antiinflammatory equipotency between prednisolone and deflazacort.
Methods: Thirty patients with newly diagnosed polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) were treated double blind with either prednisolone or deflazacort in a 12-month study. The initial daily dose was 20 mg prednisolone or 24 mg deflazacort.
Results: The clinical control of muscle pain was significantly inferior in the deflazacort group from 6 weeks to 3 months. Otherwise there was no difference in the clinical and biochemical variables. The ratio between antiinflammatory equipotent doses of deflazacort and prednisolone (mg:mg) stabilized at about 1.55 for the daily doses and about 1.40 for the cumulative doses.
Conclusion: In PMR the antiinflammatory equipotency (mg to mg) between deflazacort and prednisolone was close to 1.40 (7:5 mg). Twenty mg prednisolone/day was fully sufficient to suppress symptoms in 94% of the patients.