What is the typical dosage of corticosteroids in the treatment of giant cell arteritis (GCA) (temporal arteritis)?

Updated: Sep 10, 2020
  • Author: Mythili Seetharaman, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Few studies exist regarding dosing protocols for corticosteroids in GCA. It is generally agreed that most patients with suspected GCA should be started on oral prednisone 40-60 mg/day, with a temporal artery biopsy performed within 1 week. [95] Prednisone doses of 80-100 mg/day have been suggested for patients with visual or neurologic symptoms of GCA. [142] Follow-up care within 72 hours after starting therapy should be arranged.

Alternatively, patients with acute visual changes from GCA can be started on intravenous (IV) methylprednisolone at a dose of 1,000 mg daily for 3 days. Limited data suggest that initial high-dose IV corticosteroid treatment (eg, methylprednisolone, 15 mg/kg of ideal body weight/day) may reduce remission rates. [143, 144] However, further study is warranted before this is routinely practiced.

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