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Low-dose glucocorticoids for rheumatoid arthritis may still carry some risk of serious infections

Journal
Annals of Internal Medicine
Reuters Health - 22-09/2020 - Even low-dose glucocorticoid treatment is associated with an increased risk of serious infection in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a new study. "It was interesting to find that the risk of serious infection with a low dose of glucocorticoids (<=5mg/day) was similar to what studies have shown for biologic medications," said Dr. Michael D. George of Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. "Some patients may be hesitant to take biologics because of infection concerns but may not realize that the risk is similar to low-dose glucocorticoids (and likely substantially less than higher doses of glucocorticoids)," he told Reuters Health by email. Glucocorticoids are widely used as bridging therapy in patients starting or changing treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). But controversy remains over their long-term use because of continued uncertainty a...


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