Prednisone flipped the switch on my severe onset of RA. I kid you not- after 3 months of suffering 12 hour each day off the charts pain cycles, extreme swelling and not being able to even sit up unassisted- I changed doctors and he increased my prednisone to 40 mgs. per day and told me to continue with 20 mgs. MTX 1 x per week. I am small- 4' 10" and at the time RA had eaten me up so I only weighed 90 lbs.
I went to his office in the afternoon dressed in stretchy pants, baggy shirt and slippers that were the only thing I could get my Shrek feet into. My husband half carried me in. I took the 40 mgs. when I got home.
The next morning (!) when I awoke in the recliner chair that had become my bed since all joints would freeze up if I laid down in the bed, in wonderment I saw that I was able to move without every joint screaming. I was able to stand up and hobble to the bathroom unassisted! From that day forward I got better & better until I went back to work full time 1 month later!
I continued this dosage for a few months and then it was a long slow taper to get off- like 1 1/2 years.
The health I enjoyed had its drawbacks- sporting mustache & pork chops, weight gain, moon face....but those things (except the weight gain) were gone by the time I was down to like 15 mgs.
Once I got to 10 mgs the taper took really long and I could only drop 1/2 to 1 mg every 4 to 8 weeks or I noticed pain. It got to a point where I wanted off the prednisone so bad that I decided to shoulder through and accept a little more pain than I wanted to. Thing was I really wanted to exercise to get some of that weight off...it was a good thing I had gotten so wasted away before I started on it because I had to go to bed at night just so I would stop putting food in my face. But I had muscle wasting from the prednisone and when I would try to go for a walk the whole time all I wanted to do was sit down on the curb and cry. I pushed through that too and was able to include some low impact and light weight training into my life. I felt a lot better once I started to get some exercise.
It would take a lot to get me back on prednisone- but if I was in the same shape as when on it originally...I would take it in a heartbeat.