Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation in the body, which can help relieve joint pain and swelling caused by psoriatic arthritis. However, they cannot slow the progression of joint damage.

Corticosteroids for treating psoriatic arthritis include prednisone, and methylprednisolone acetate.

Prednisone (Winpred®, generics)

  • What does it do?Prednisone reduces inflammation in the body.
  • How do I use it? Prednisone is taken orally (by mouth) usually once a day.

Methylprednisolone acetate (Depo-Medrol®, generics)

  • What does it do? Methylprednisolone reduces inflammation in the affected joint.
  • How do I use it? Methylprednisolone is given as a single injection into the affected joint by a health care provider. The injection may need to be repeated at regular intervals, depending on specific individual circumstances.

Short-term side effects (within the first days or weeks of treatment) of corticosteroids include increased eye pressure, mood changes, and increased blood pressure.

Longer-term side effects include cataracts, muscle loss, thinning bones, thin skin and easy bruising, and increased risk of infections. Corticosteroid injections may cause pain, infection, or tissue shrinkage near the area of injection.

If you will be using corticosteroids over the long term, your doctor may recommend regular checkup appointments and lab tests.

Talk to your doctor for more information on treating psoriatic arthritis with corticosteroids.