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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Is Tylenol Arthritis Better than Prednisone for Relieving Pain and Swelling?

01/31/2008

Question:

I have RA for four years and been on Prednisone for three. I have only been off Prednisone for three months. I am still on it and about to try to taper off again. This time I want to taper off and stay off. Every time I taper off or down to a certian point my RA gets bad and my doctor increases it again. I am also taking NSAID, Enbrel, Methotrexate and the Prednisone. Would it be okay to taper off again and when the pain and swelling comes back to take Tylenol Arthritis and not to increase the Prednisone? I really want to get off of it and not go back on it even though my rheumatologist always increase it.

Answer:

Tylenol Arthritis will help with the pain symptoms but it will not help the swelling of the joints.  If you are unable to taper off prednisone with recurrence of disease activity (increased pain and swelling) every time the prednisone is decreased, more immunosuppressive medications may be warranted. Methotrexate dose may be increased or switch to different anti-TNF agent than Enbrel if methotrexate is already at maximum dose.

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Response by:

Johnny  Su, MD Johnny Su, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University