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Fewer Lupus Flares on Low Dose Steroids

French researchers have shown that patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and inactive disease are less likely to flare while taking a 5 mg prednisone maintenance dose.

This one year, open-label, trial compared outcomes of 61 SLE patients continuing 5 mg/day prednisone and 63 stopping it. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patient experiencing a flare defined with the SELENA-SLEDAI flare index (SFI) at 52 weeks.

Those who maintained low dose prednisone had significantly fewer flares compared with the withdrawal group (4 vs 17; RR 0.2 (95% CI 0.1 to 0.7), p=0.003).

Time to first flare was also lower in the maintenance 5 mg prednisone group (HR 0.2; 95% CI 0.1 to 0.6, p=0.002).

Adverse events were similar in the two treatment groups.


The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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