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Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2002 Jun;4(3):218-25.

Glucocorticoid use in rheumatoid arthritis.

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Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) of Musculoskeletal Disorders, University of Alabama at Birmingham, MEB 625, 1813 Sixth Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-3296, USA.


More than 50 years after their discovery, glucocorticoids continue to be a mainstay of treatment for many patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although the short- and moderate-term efficacy of glucocorticoids in RA is seldom debated, increasing evidence favors a disease-modifying role of glucocorticoids. Despite renewed enthusiasm based on this newer long-term data, glucocorticoid use is marred substantially by the potential for many serious adverse events. Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis is one of the most predictable and serious complications for many chronic and some acute users. The correct identification of patients at high risk for bone complications and the institution of appropriate preventive measures may partially attenuate this adverse outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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