Starting dose is usually 40 mg of prednisone with breakfast for two to four weeks. If the disease is poorly controlled, the dose may be increased to 60 to 80 mg daily but blood pressure, serum glucose and side effects will require careful monitoring. Once controlled, the dose of steroids should be reduced by half for at least two weeks. Further reduction will depend on the break-through dose, the severity of the underlying skin disease and the availability or efficacy of steroid-sparing agents. The dose of long term prednisone should be as low as possible, as for other chronic diseases, and if possible taken on alternate days.
Although soft tissue (fat) atrophy and local depigmentation are possible with any steroid preparation injected into soft tissue, the risk can be modulated by using a corticosteroid agent with appropriate solubility. A less soluble agent such as triamcinolone acetonide or hexacetonide is preferred for intra-articular injections of deep structures, such as the knee, elbow, or shoulder. A more soluble agent, such as betamethasone sodium phosphate and acetate or dexamethasone sodium phosphate, is preferred for soft tissue injections of bursae, tendon sheaths, metacarpophalangeal joints, proximal phalangeal joints, and the carpal tunnel.