Steroids, also known as corticosteroids, are similar to cortisol, a hormone naturally produced in your adrenal gland. They reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system, although not to the same extent as immunosuppressant drugs used for RA. Common side effects include increased appetite, weight gain, and bone softening. You may also experience mood swings. Some rheumatologists see them as a valuable tool to treat RA, either as tablets or joint injections, while others won’t use them.