Steroids (also called corticosteroids) are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that quickly and effectively reduce swelling in joints.
While they are not suitable for long-term treatment of JIA, they frequently are used (often in combination with other types of drugs) as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Steroids can be given in different ways:
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If taken only intermittently and for a short time, steroids normally do not cause significant side effects. Those required to undergo a longer course of steroid treatment, however, may experience weight gain, mood swings, acne, excess hair growth, or other effects. The benefits of steroid treatments generally outweigh such unwanted effects, which settle when medication is stopped.
It is important to note that it is never advisable to stop steroids abruptly; any change to prescribed steroid treatments should be overseen by a doctor.