How long do steroid infusions take to work?

I had a steroid infusion last week and I expected to feel much better by now but if anything, my joints are worse - more painful and even more swollen. The Rheumatoid Vasculitis rash has gone down quite a bit but it hasn't gone.

Has anyone else had an infusion and if so how long was it before you felt any benefit?


11 Replies

  • Hi Mary,

    I would have expected it to work by now. Phone your rheumy nurse and ask for advise.

    Unfortunatly in some people they dont work wonders like they do for others, you may need something else to help.

    Take care

    Julie x

  • Thanks, my rheumy nurse rang me today. I'm seeing her again on thursday. I on't have a great track record with steroids, the injections never do anything for me.


  • no they never work wonders for me either however I do get a little releif from them x

  • Rubbish isn't it. How are you after the Rituximab? That's next for me if Enbrel doesn't work although I'm not keen as we want to have kids.

  • Well then I really hope the steriod or enbrel works first so you have your chance off children.

    To be honest it was last wednesday when I had my first rituximab treatment and since then Ive felt worse, but Ive been told this can be normal and short term, Ive felt very fatiuged, drained and a little dizzy a bit like the feeling after youve had anesthetic and past two days Ive had real bad stomach cramps, but hopefully these will ease off soon, Ive been told the rituximab treatment can take around 2 months to feel the effects so Ive not expected a difference yet, however Ive got a few friends who expect me to be running the marathon now Ive had treatment and think Im feeling sorry for myself by not being up to joining them at weekend for drinks!

    I know its a question I shouldnt ask a lady but how old are you?

    Just thinking I thought I had seen somewhere you were early twentys and if so you have plenlty off time for kids and I would try and get your ra under control first before it does any permanent damage so you can enjoy your kids and not be in flares all the time with your ra.

    Take care

    Julie xx

  • Thanks Julie, I'm sorry you're not feeling too good, my rheumy nurse also said the rituximab can take up to 3 months to work so I'll keep my fingers crossed once I can move them again.

    I'm 31, got diagnosed at 29 but I'm pretty sure I've had RA since I was about 25 as I was previously told I had mortons neuromas in both feet, a sprained knee and wrists and a trapped tendon in my shoulder but the pain was the same as the RA pain for all of them.

  • hi mary

    when i have steroide injection it usually takes 2 days for the pain of the injection into the joint to go away then another 3 days for the steroide to start working

  • Thanks Phil, it wasn't a joint injection, it was high dose prednisolone on a drip. I've found the joint injections and the intra muscular injections don't work for me so I'm pleased they work for you.

  • MaryO, I have had some steroid injections helped immensely and some that never took effect or helped in any way. A couple of times they even made it hurt worse. My Dr rarely gives me any though, because he says too many can hurt the joint.

    Good luck with your infusions.


  • Hi MaryO, I had two lots of steroid infusions when first diagnosed and spent 4 days in hospital having the steroid dripped in over a number of hours. I did find I could wee for England afterwards and it did take a few days to kick in and start reducing the inflammation. I was still in a wheelchair but gradually my hands unknotted, joints began to calm down and I was able to get out of the wheelchair and walk a little.

    I then went in for a further infusion for 2 days a month later and by the time that had gone through (I had to have 24 hours complete bed rest as well), the swelling and pain had gone right down and I felt almost back to normal (as much normal as you can with RA!).

    I also have the odd steroid injection when the pain is bad and that usually works within 48 hours but occasionally, hasn't and I have felt worse.

    Hope it all begins to work for you soon. LavendarLady x

  • Thanks Lavender Lady, they didn't make me stay in bed but I haven't been doing much and the swelling in my joints is actually worse and the rheumatoid vasculitis seems to be recurring so it doesn't seem to have been a great success!


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