Hot Topic: Prednisone and Arthritis

Prednisone: the Drug You Love to Hate

Hailed as a miracle when it was first developed in 1955, prednisone is often cited as one of the most significant medical advances of the 20th century—even though the drug’s reputation has taken continual hits over the years as its laundry list of side effects became known. Is prednisone a miracle drug, or as the blogger known as RA Guy has dubbed it, “Satan’s Tic Tacs”?  Prednisone and arthritis may perhaps be a little of both, but there’s also hope that the newer low-dose and delayed-release formulations will offer patients the best of the drug with less risk.


This CJ Hot Topic looks at prednisone from both doctor and patient perspectives in our under-a-minute CJ Wrap  interviews, and delves deeper into prednisone issues, including a look at the newer formulations that may carry less risk, in our downloadable CJ Takeaways.

We also provide essays and articles about opioids by some of our featured  CJ Bloggers as well as links to Recommended Reading on prednisone.

The CJ Wrap

wraprap n: short for a “wraparound”. A “wrap” is a short news report where the reporter’s voice is heard before and after an interview clip. A CJ Wrap is a news report produced by CJ Senior Correspondent Stacey Cahn about subjects that matter to members of the CJ Community.

Press the CJ Wrap Button to hear what each expert has to say or simply read the accompanying script of the interview if you need to keep the sound down.

CJ-Wrap Dr. Jonathan Krant on how a new prednisone formulation may allow rheumatoid arthritis patients to function better in the morning.

Dr. Jonathan Krant, MD, FACP, FACR, is CreakyJoints Chief Medical Director and Chief of Rheumatology for the Adirondack Health Systems.

CJ-Wrap Dr. Richard Haddad on prescribing the low-dose, time-released version to patients on chronic steroids to taper the dose of prednisone.

Dr. Richard Haddad, MD, a
rheumatologist in Red Bank, NJ, treats diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia.

CJ-Wrap Dr. Jeffrey Sherman of Horizon Pharma, the maker of Rayos, talks about the new low-dose, time released version of prednisone.

Dr. Jeffrey W. Sherman, MD, FACP is Executive Vice President, Development, Manufacturing, and Regulatory Affairs, Chief Medical Officer at Horizon Pharma.

CJ-Wrap Part I: Kristin talks about weaning off of prednisone soon after her doctor tells her she has “prednisone face.”
CJ-Wrap Part II:  Kristin on the importance of working closely with your doctor when you want to taper off a drug like prednisone.

CreakyJoints Blogger Kristin has been diagnosed with a number of chronic illnesses from “Rheumatologic to Neurologic.” The two primary forms of arthritis she struggles with are scleroderma and Lupus.

CJ-Wrap Part I: RA Guy describes how he knew it was time to taper down on prednisone when his body went ‘haywire’ and threw a tantrum.
CJ-Wrap Part II: RA Guy says the emotional side effects—mood swings, feeling like he was on Red Bull—are why he decided to go off of prednisone.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy, aka R.A. Guy, shares his popular blog “Adventures of a Superhero on his Journey through Chronic Pain and Debilitating Inflammation,” from his outpost in South America. He is also a special guest blogger for CreakyJoints.

CJ Takeaway

take·a·way n: a key fact, point, or idea to be remembered, typically one emerging from a discussion or meeting. A CJ Takeaway is concise information on complicated topics presented in a convenient downloadable pdf format.

Press the CJ Takeaway button to view the pdf. Once you open, you can download or print for easy reference.

CJ-Takeaway CJ Takeaway ~  Prednisone Series
Issue 1
What is Prednisone: the Basics
In this CJ Takeaway:

  • What prednisone is not
  • After antibiotics, the most important drug
    ever discovered?
  • How does prednisone work?
  • Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
CJ-Takeaway P 1

CJ-Takeaway CJ Takeaway ~  Prednisone Series
Issue 2
Prednisone: Risks vs. Benefits
In this CJ Takeaway:

  • Taken together, prednisone’s side effects do not
    paint a pretty picture
  • Prednisone, life saver drug
  • Prednisone can reduce joint destruction & slow
    the progression of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Do patients who go on the new biologics
    still need opioids?
  • How to get the most benefit from Prednisone with
    the least amount of risk
CJ-Takeaway P 2

CJ-Takeaway CJ Takeaway ~ Prednisone Series
Issue 3
Prednisone: New & Improved?
In this CJ Takeaway:

  • Does this mean we have to throw out the baby
    with the bathwater?
  • Prednisone, now new & improved
  • What is modified- or delayed-release prednisone?
  • Delayed-release prednisone to ease morning stiffness
  • When it’s time to taper down or go off of prednisone
CJ-Takeaway P 3

CJ Bloggers

Blog-ger n: a person who writes about their own experiences, observations and opinions in an online blog. CJ Bloggers are the best bloggers in the world on anything and everything to do with arthritis.

CJ Blogger Kristin of Kristin 2.0 on Prednisone


Kristin on why she’s blog-free this week

While Kristin wants to quit Prednisone, Prednisone just can’t quit Kristin.

CJ Blogger Dan Malito of Dan’s du Journal on Prednisone

Britt Johnson of Hurt Blogger on Prednisone



A Special Guest Blogger for CreakyJoints, our superhero friend RA Guy has written extensively about prednisone in his personal blog:

CJ Recommended Reading

For a CJ listing of recommended websites and articles on prednisone, click here.