The best treatment for an individual patient is best discussed between the patient and their doctor. A few people develop serious complications to their rheumatoid arthritis, which means that, in spite of the risks, it is still best for them to take even quite high doses of glucocorticoid. Patients who need rapid short-term control of symptoms might be given glucocorticoids by injection (which can be given into the muscle or directly into an affected joint) or as tablets for a few weeks or months. Patients who develop new rheumatoid arthritis are often offered prednisolone either at a low dose of mg daily, or sometimes at a high dose (60mg daily) quickly reducing to the low dose over a few weeks, and then continue low dose treatment to control the joint destruction. The length of time that patients will remain on steroid treatment will vary between patients (and rheumatologists). Some patients may only be given low-dose oral steroids for the first few months following diagnosis, while others may stay on steroids for longer. There is evidence to suggest that patients can experience a continued reduction in the progression of the disease from steroids for 1 to 2 years, but this will not be appropriate for everyone, so the decision will be made on an individual basis. These patients can also get symptom improvement for a year or two as a kind of 'beneficial side effect'.
Researchers found that steroids did not significantly improve bile flow in infants 6 months after surgery. Fifty-eight percent of infants on steroids achieved improved bile drainage compared to percent of those in the placebo group. Results also revealed that survival rates were nearly the same, with 58 percent of infants treated with steroids and about 59 percent of infants receiving placebo still living with their own livers at age 2. While members of both groups had serious adverse events, 37 percent of those on steroids experienced their first complication within 30 days of surgery, compared to 19 percent in the placebo group. These adverse events included surgical complications, infections and bleeding in the digestive tract.
One last point: Because steroids have all these side effects, a lot of abusers will then take other drugs to offset the effect—steroid abuse causes you to grow man-boobs, so people take another drug to mitigate those side effects. Guys who take steroids often also take augmenting drugs to decrease estrogen production or to improve athletic performance even further, like human growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin, erythropoietin, stimulants, diuretics, levothyroxine, and/or gamma-hydroxybutyrate, according to the study in FP Essentials . That means on top of all these side effects of steroids, most abusers are also looking at a whole separate list of effects from their peripheral drug habits.