Women's Health

Why Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Worsen During Menopause?

Prednisone is not a long-term treatment

In the meantime, some women may take prednisone, which is a steroid that is used to treat inflammation in RA. “We often start people on it so they get immediate relief. A lot of other medication takes weeks to months to fully kick in, and we don’t want people to have to suffer before then,” said Bauer. However, the combination of prednisone with a decline in estrogen levels during perimenopause raises a red flag, due to loss of bone mass. For this reason, it is not considered a long-term solution. “I tell patients, when I first prescribe it, that it’s a medication that works great as a Band-Aid to get inflammation under control, but it’s not a long-term treatment,” said Bauer.