There is a reduction in inflammation in Rheumatoid arthritis with the use of methotrexate and prednisone. Guidelines recommend against their use in exceptional circumstances.

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many parts of the body. It causes pain, limits your movement, and worsens without treatment.

There are many treatments for RA that can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) recommends disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) as the first line of treatment for RA.

The drugs are part of a class of drugs called corticosteroids. Reducing immune responses that can lead to swelling, pain, and joint damage is what these drugs help people with.

The ACR recommends against the use of corticosteroids for most cases of RA treatment. Doctors may recommend a short-term course of steroids to reduce inflammation.

The ACR recommends that doctors only use the lowest effective dose of corticosteroids.

The article looks at the effects of methylprednisolone and prednisone.

Methylprednisolone and prednisone are both corticosteroids.

The table compares the features of the two medications.

Methylprednisolone Prednisone
Drug class corticosteroid corticosteroid
Brand-name version Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol Rayos
Are generics available? yes yes
Available forms oral tablet, intravenous solution* oral tablet, oral solution
Typical treatment length short term short term
Is there a risk of withdrawal? yes† yes†

Only healthcare professionals can administer this form.

If you have been taking this drug for a while, you should talk to your doctor about it. You will need to take the drug slowly to avoid the withdrawal symptoms.

The strengths of Prednisone are:

The oral tablets are similar to the strengths of prednisone.

The following strengths are where the intravenous solution of methylprednisolone comes in.

Doctors rarely recommend the use of a steroid for treatment of the disease. It is more common in the treatment of the disease.

Both Methylprednisolone and prednisone have long-term risks.

Side effects of both medications include:

Long-term use of corticosteroids can lead to serious complications, such as Osteoporosis., cardiovascular problems, and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Learn more about the side effects of methylprednisolone and prednisone.

Both drugs can interact with other drugs. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. It can be harmful or prevent the drug from working.

Tell your doctor about all your supplements and medications. This can help your doctor.

Both drugs interact with other drugs.

The drug cyclosporine suppresses the immune system and interacts with the other drug, meth.

People with certain health conditions can experience adverse effects from the drugs.

Make sure you give your doctor your medical history. Tell your doctor if you have any of the conditions.

It is possible that these conditions may make therapy with methylprednisolone or prednisone more difficult.

The ACR doesn’t recommend methylprednisolone and prednisone for the long-term treatment of RA. The following treatment options are more common and more effective in treating the condition:

  • Methotrexate: This type of DMARD is the first line of treatment for those with the condition. This medication weakens the immune system, reducing the damage to joints.
  • Biologics: If DMARDs are ineffective, doctors may prescribe biologic treatments. These intravenous medications block chemicals in the blood from triggering immune responses. Common biologics include adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab.
  • Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors: JAK inhibitors are oral medications that reduce inflammation and slow RA progression.

When creating a treatment plan for RA, doctors often use a treat-to-target strategy. Setting of management goals on the way to full remission is involved. Remission is the absence of symptoms.

Treat-to-target may help people stick with treatment programs and improve overall treatment outcomes.

To learn about other treatment options for RA, check out this list of rheumatoid arthritis medications.

Most of the time, the drugs methylprednisolone and prednisone are available at the pharmacy.

Generic versions of methylprednisolone and prednisone are the only ones that come with the extended-release prednisone tablet. The brand-name drug Rayos is the only one that can be used with the extended-release tablets.

Generic drugs are cheaper than brand-name drugs. You and your doctor will decide which form is best for you, so talk to them about your concerns over paying for your medication.

“Most health insurance plans cover both methylprednisolone and prednisone. The brand-name drugs may need your doctor’s approval.”

“Both steroids are corticosteroids. The ACR doesn’t recommend long-term treatment for the disease. Doctors should limit the amount of corticosteroids they give to the lowest effective dose, according to the guidelines.”

If you want to know what the best treatment options are for you, you should talk to your doctor.