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Pulse steroid therapy in rheumatoid arthritis: can equivalent doses of oral prednisolone give similar clinical results to intravenous methylprednisolone?
  1. M D Smith,
  2. M J Ahern,
  3. P J Roberts-Thomson
  1. Department of Immunology and Rheumatology, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia.


    Pulse methylprednisolone therapy has dramatic effects on clinical and immunological parameters of disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Previous studies of this treatment have all used the intravenous route and methylprednisolone succinate. This study addresses the question of whether oral prednisolone in equivalent doses can substitute for intravenous methylprednisolone in pulse therapy in a double blind parallel study. It is shown that oral prednisolone has clinical and immunological effects equivalent to those of intravenous methylprednisolone, making it possible to administer pulse therapy to patients with rheumatoid arthritis as outpatients without the inconvenience and inherent dangers of intravenous administration.

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