Use of Low-dose Glucocorticoids for RA Does Not Increase Blood Pressure

9 Sept 2023 • Glucocorticoids are commonly used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), however they are often associated with adverse events such as weight gain and hypertension.

Patients with more severe disease are more likely to be managed with glucocorticoids, and the dose and duration of these drugs are strongly associated with the severity of the disease.

With an aim to understand the adverse effects of glucocorticoids in patients requiring long - term use, researchers conducted a pooled analysis of 5 randomized controlled trials with 2-year interventions allowing concomitant treatment with DMARDs.

The average dosage of glucocorticoids was set at 7.5 mg or less prednisone equivalent per day.

After analysing data from 1112 participants, the results revealed that low-dose glucocorticoids, received over 2 years for the treatment of RA, increased weight by about 1 kg but did not increase blood pressure.

However, this study was limited by the lack of assessment of body composition and lack of generalisability to non-European regions.

Nevertheless, these findings are significant, as they demonstrate that low-dose glucocorticoid treatment over two years does not affect blood pressure.

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine | Read full story

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