ANA & Prednisone Question

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/30/2015 10:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello All,

I am new here. I have had 2 ANA tests to check for Lupus. One was negative ( but I can't remember the actual result) and the other was 1:80. I was sent to a rheumotologist who diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. This was about 2 years ago. Since then, I have had more signs and symptoms with much more pain. Today, I went to the doctor for swelling in my hands, with fairly uncomfortable joint pain. The doctored ordered more blood work and put me on Prednisone 20mg., 3 tabs for 2 days, then 2 tabs for 2 days, then 1 tab for 2 days, then stop. Does this sound ok? I don't like taking any medication that's not needed, but if it helps with the pain, I'm all for it. I just don't know if this is something a doctor would commonly do with no positive ANA test.


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 12/30/2015 11:31 PM (GMT -6)   
That is a fairly normal treatment to reduce the inflammation it seems you have in your hands/joints.

Typically they tell us prednisone will have no effect on fibro pain (since it's pain, not inflammation) but will help with inflammation from Lupus.

You could also have inflammation for a number of other reasons.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2002
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 1/1/2016 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Beside being a powerful anti-inflammatory prednisone is also an immune suppressant and is used to control your immune system. However, such a short course of treatment sounds more like one for pain. Lupus is a chronic disease and requires a long term approach particularly if your flares are getting worse. I have yet to see a short course of treatment with corticosteroids that produces lasting suppression and disease control.

Pred is not a drug you really want to be on long term but it usually works and works fast. I was on it for 6 years and also took a prednisone sparing drug so I could taper off it. Didn't quite work out according to plan but that is a typical treatment scenario for lupus and many other AI diseases. Pred and another, slower acting but more tolerable drug is normal.

I use a low dose of pred for joint pain now but only take as needed. Can't take NSAIDs now which is the reason I take it occasionally when my arthritic/lupus joint pain is high. When my lupus flared last spring and attacked my platelets and liver severely I took high doses but only for about 3 months. It helped but I am now talking to my doctors about a longer term treatment that is not a steroid.

MCTD (SLE Lupus, polymyositis, scleroderma). Diagnosed 2005. Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005. Recovered and now active in downhill skiing, golf, hiking. Meds: amlodipine, benezapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide.

Remain Optimistic and you can overcome.
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