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Corticosteroids can be given by injections or taken by mouth (oral steroids). Steroids are very effective in reducing swelling. Drugs in this category include prednisone and methylprednisolone.
A corticosteriod shot in a joint can offer some pain relief for up to four to six months. Oral steroids are usually taken only for one to two weeks.
Serious side effects can occur if a person takes these drugs for a long time, including weight gain, stomach ulcers and mood swings. It is very important to take this medication only as prescribed.