Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Arthritis Forum

Can Prednisone decrease Rheumatoid Factor?

I'm in the process of getting a diagnosis for my condition which is potentially suspected to be an autoimmune disease. I had spent the past year and a half trying to find adequate medical care to address my concerns and in the past month have found a doctor who is addressing those concerns. A brief history of my issue is this:

I'm a 31 year old man in otherwise good health, nonsmoker, don't drink, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and try to maintain an otherwise healthy lifestyle. About a year or so ago I got really sick for a few weeks, along with about 10 or so other people that attended a concert. Prior to that I still had some symptoms but they seemed to marketably increase after being sick. Muscle pain, brain fog, eye pain, neck pain, fatigue, weakness, etc. increased to the point in which I was in bed nearly all the time.

So, since seeing this new doctor who took all of my very well documented medical history seriously put me on a trial of Prednisone and Vicodin because of some severe neck pain. I was on 30mg once a day for 2 days, 20mg a day for 2 days, then 10mg a day for 2 days. After taking the prednisone it was like a switch was turned on that made me feel like my old self again. Not only physically but mentally as well. My non existent libido was back, my head felt clear again, and my pain was manageable. I had been getting bloodwork done to try and figure out what was going on right after I started the Prednisone and the blood work came back with a Rheumatoid Factor of 25, which isn't very high above normal. I'm wondering if Prednisone could have lowered that factor? I went from feeling like a 2 to an 8.5 physically after taking it and was curious if the Prednisone affects my blood work? Also, I know that a 25 doesn't necessarily mean anything but I'm just trying to get to the bottom of all of this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I feel like I've wasted the last year or so of my life trying to get to the bottom of this and after tasting a bit of normalcy on the Prednisone and Vicodin I don't want to go back to the agony. I'm ok with having to take drugs for the rest of my life if it means feeling normal as opposed to how I was feeling. Thanks in advance.
Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper User Profile

User Profile
replied March 23rd, 2012
Welcome to e health forum.

Rheumatoid factor (RF) is a nonspecific indicator of inflammation, often used in evaluation of arthritis. RF levels above 20 IU/mL are considered to be High. The higher the level of RF the greater the probability of destructive articular disease.

Glucocorticoids are generally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis that severely limits a person's ability to function normally. For such people, glucocorticoid treatment may help control symptoms and preserve function until other slower-acting drugs with greater ability to prevent joint damage, begin to work. They may also be used to treat flares of disease, while a person is receiving other treatments

Prednisone has been successfully used to reduce joint damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis, especially if used in the early stages of the disease. Hence with the decrease in joint inflammation, parameters like CRP and RF can be reduced with time.

In case, your condition has improved, you should continue the treatment as suggested by your doctor.

Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 21st, 2015
Would steroids interfere with diagnostic tests?
I wondered if the steroids interfere with proper diagnosis. My doctor gave me a steroid shot and then told me to take the blood tests right after. I haven't gone yet but he wants to see me in 2 weeks to go over results, so the most I could wait to keep that schedule is one week. Wouldn't the steroids still be in my blood and affecting the factors he is testing for RH, TSH, ANA, CPF CH50?
Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States. Learn more about types of arthritis here....
Do you feel pain and stiffness in your body or have trouble moving around? You might have arthritis. Learn more about arthritis signs and symptoms here....
Signs and symptoms of rheumatic diseases are common to many different diseases. Diagnose arthritis correctly using these step-by-step diagnosis instructions....
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our Arthritis , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.