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Has anyone had to wait ages for it to kick in?! I started on 10mg a day about 11 days ago, and feel as though I've really gone backwards! Stopped leflunomide at the same time, and am currently just on pred and hydroxy, but feeling joint pains returning in many joints! And don't even have that feeling of loads of energy / insomnia etc that many seem to get from pred! I've been more exhausted on it than I have been for a while!

9 Replies

Hi heatherp, can't help with the prednisolone tablets although others on the site probably can. I have steroid injections every 2/3 months if needed and find it takes about 24 hours for the injection to start to get to grips with the joint pains etc. Within 48 hours, the inflammation is down, my joints have un knotted themselves and I am feeling much better.

Sorry can't be more helpful. LavendarLady x



I had to come off MTX temporarily last year due to pnuemonia and i was started on 25mg of prednislone which was gradually reduced as the MTX was restarted.I felt better within 4-5 days which i think is about the norm.

As Lavendar lady says the steroid injection can offer quicker relief

Have you got a rhuemy nurse?I would give them a ring to ask for advice as i would have expected you to feel some benefits sooner.

Take care and good luck

Julie xx


Hi - thanks LL and Julie. I've had the injections before while on leflunomide, and they did work really well, so rheumy thought the tablets would do as well. Not sure if dose is too low or if I need to wait longer, but will arrange to discuss with him...I'm on BUPA, so can usually get to see him quite easily fortunately.....


Hi Heather,

10mg is not a really high dose, maybe you need a higher dose to get you feeling better, I get great results from high dose oral steriods and also from higher dose injections trouble is Ive also been unable to wean any lower than 20mg a day for over two years now, but this is due to still not finding the right treatment yet.

So hoping I can find the right treatment soon and hope you can too

take care

Julie x



I was put on a 6 wk step down course starting at 15mg eventually stopping at after two wks of 5 mg. I have been on 15 nearly two wks and this wednesday I step down to 10mg for the following two wks.

I noticed a difference in reduction in pain after 2 days and swelling by day 3. It took a full 7 days to get all the benefits of the steroids, i.e no pain and virtually no stiffnes (only some mornings in fingers). I am of painrelief now and only take it when needed and if I do need it it tends to be in the morning only.

I think you should of noticed some difference within 7 days. I think your starting dose is to low, hence you still experiencing pain. 15mg I feel is the bare minimun especially if your disease is active.

Go back to rheumy team and seek their advice.

Good luck



Hi I have not yet been diagnosed but have some type of inflammatory

polyarthritis and have been in almost constant flare for the past 2 months. GP put me on oral Pred a week ago for a short burst to give me some respite from pain and stiffness before I see the rheumy for a 2nd ever consultation -in 3 weeks time. I was meant to start at 20mgs but because I had blood taken first I only started at midday on Friday and took them four hours apart - thinking they were to be taken like ibuprofen which I take 3 of a day. Silly me!

My GP friend came over on Saturday to stay over. She told me to take all four tablets first thing in the morning with my stomach protector and then i'd sleep and they would be more effective - I think this is because this is when the body's natural cortosteroid kicks in anyway? I don't know if it was because I'd taken it in the wrong way but by Saturday night all the swelling in my knuckles and fingers came whizzing back and by Sunday morning things were fairly much back to where I'd started apart from less problems in feet and knees. Both middle fingers looked like pregnant sausages and I was so disappointed?!

But It has started to take a bit of effect today - although not nearly as much as the steroid jab I had last June. But then this time I was a great deal worse to begin with so I guess that has a bearing? I still have stiffness and pain - feels all jangly in my nerve endings but it's as if the swelling isn't there to pad it with any more so it's more raw if that makes any sense? And there's definitely less agony too but also more throb.

Final observation is that I've got an incredibly painful throat which started last night - can't swallow. Not sure if this is just a throat bug or whether it's linked to the disease or the Pred. Was too busy getting stuff done while I can today to phone GP and ask. I'm not on anything else yet apart from pain meds and Ibuprofen but now dreading the step down 3,2,1 next week as if this is the best things will get then I am not really getting more than short day release from pain jail!?

Does it all come flaring straight back as soon as I'm off them again I wonder? Or will it hold until I see rheumy end of the month? Sorry you're the one asking the questions here not meant to be me - but I'm a bit baffled by it all too as first time on Predinisolone so thought I'd jump on the bandwagon! Take care hope it works for you soon but sounds like your dose is way too low to me?


Hi - thanks again all. Have heard from rheumy who wants to see me later this week to review medication and probably give me a steroid injection to boost things. My situation was slightly different because before starting the low dose pred I was virtually pain free after quite a few months on leflunomide, and it was supposed to keep me that way, however it has gone the opposite way and let things flare up it seems! I couldn't do MTX (despite also very good reaction to it) due to continually low white blood counts, and had to come off leflunomide due to low lymphocytes, so pred was suggested as a possible option to keep things under control - back to the drawing board I guess!

Such a strange disease this - wouldn't it be great if it were black and white with everyone's symptoms and reactions to medication the same! But then rheumy's wouldn't have jobs and life would be too simple!


Poor you -but you know it's not just the RA - the medicines are pretty strange too! My pred has kicked in at last and you're making me feel very lucky although dreading coming off it this time next week!


In the past steriod injections have been very useful to me, but the last one I had, had no efect at all. I am told that eventually the effectiveness of these injections will wear off.


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