Hello. This is my first post. I've been suffering from RA and Lupus since my daughter was born 5 years ago. After a 2 year diagnosis process, and a journey of treatment options, I am now in one of the worst flares I've ever had. My joints are starting to swell quite visibly to the point of looking a little ugly. My wrist joints, foot, ankle, and knees are all very inflammed, as is my right hip at the moment. The pain is also as bad as it's been. I'm currently on Enbrel, Methotrexate and Plaquenil as well as low dose of Prenisone. My concern is that I'm going to have to go up to high doses of prednisone again. After 3 years of high doses I've finally mananged to get down to a low dose and was doing okay for about 6 months, now with the amount of inflammation the best option is increasing Prednisone for immediate results. At doctor's suggestion I did increase significantly for 5 days as a trial, and then reduced again, in order to avoid all the negative side effects. By day 3 felt much better, and since going back down after 5 days, have been sick, sick, sick. SO I know the Prednisone helps, it always has...it seems to be the only treatment that reduces my inflammation. BUT I hate the water retention, puffy face, moodiness etc, and am getting depressed just thinking about looking like a blimp again. ARE there any alternatives to Prednisone? Or ways of reducing the side effects associated with the higher doses? THANKS for taking time to read.