Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 240

Early treatment with addition of low dose prednisolone to methotrexate improves therapeutic outcome in severe psoriatic arthritis

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Dr. R.P. Government Medical College, Kangra, (Tanda), Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Vikram K Mahajan
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Dr. R.P. Government Medical College, Kangra, (Tanda), Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.110847

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Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is increasingly being recognized to cause progressive joint damage and disability. PsA unresponsive to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the conventional first-line choice of treatment, is usually managed with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) especially methotrexate. An 18-year-old HIV-negative male had progressively severe PsA of 4-month duration that was nearly confining him to a wheel chair. He did not respond to multiple NSAIDs, alone or in combination with methotrexate (15 mg/week), given for 4 weeks. Addition of prednisolone (10 mg on alternate days) controlled his symptoms within a week. The NSAIDs could be withdrawn after 4 weeks as the treatment progressed. The doses were tapered for methotrexate (5 mg/week) and prednisolone (2.5 mg on alternate days) every 8 weekly subsequently during 15 months of follow-up without recurrence/deformities or drug toxicity. For years, the use of corticosteroids in psoriasis has been criticized for their propensity to exacerbate the skin disease on withdrawal. However, monitored use of corticosteroids, even in low doses, combined with DMARDs may be a good therapeutic option in early stage of the PsA rather than 'steroid rescue' later. This will help in early control of joint inflammation, prevent joint damage and maintain long-term good functional capacity and quality of life. This may be useful when the cost or availability of biologics precludes their use. However, we discourage the use of corticosteroids as monotherapy.

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