Corticosteroid therapy for the treatment of acute attacks of crystal-induced arthritis: an effective alternative to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs

Rev Rhum Engl Ed. 1996 Apr;63(4):248-54.


To evaluate glucocorticoids as an alternative to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs in patients with crystal-induced arthritis, a study was conducted in 27 patients with acute attacks of gout or chondrocalcinosis. Patients with contraindications to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug therapy were given either a single intramuscular injection of 7 mg betamethasone (group B, n = 10) or, if they were receiving anticoagulant therapy, a single intravenous injection of 125 mg methylprednisolone (group C, n = 7). The remaining patients (group A, n = 10) were given diclofenac in a dosage of 150 mg per day for three days then 75 mg per day for three days. Efficacy was evaluated based on the self-evaluated subjective improvement (%) and on the severity of joint swelling on days 1, 3, and 6. Both parameters improved promptly in all three groups. C-reactive protein decreased between baseline and day 6. Few patients had relapses. Glucocorticoid therapy was well tolerated. Our data show that a single intramuscular or intravenous injection of a glucocorticoid is safe and effective in patients with crystal-induced arthritis and risk factors for intolerance to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Arthritis, Gouty / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Gouty / drug therapy*
  • Betamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Chondrocalcinosis / diagnosis
  • Chondrocalcinosis / drug therapy*
  • Diclofenac / administration & dosage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Diclofenac
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Betamethasone
  • Methylprednisolone