The objective of this study was to improve the therapeutic efficacy of methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by incorporating the drug into the hydroxyapatite (HAp) nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were synthesized using a chemical precipitation technique and their size and morphology were evaluated by dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The solid-state behavior of the nanoparticles was also characterized by operating X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The Brunauer–Emmett–Teller and Barrett–Joyner–Halenda N2 adsorption/desorption analyses were also performed to determine the surface area, Vm (the volume of the N2 adsorbed on the one gram of the HAp when the monolayer is complete) and the pore size of the samples. Furthermore, the therapeutic efficacy of the prepared nanoformulation on the adjuvant induced arthritic rats was assessed. HAp mesoporous nanoparticles with a particle size of 70.45 nm, pore size of 2.71 nm and drug loading of 44.53% were obtained. The specific surface area of HAp as well as the Vm values were decreased after the drug loading process. The nanoformulation revealed the slower drug release profile compared to the pure drug. The MTT assay indicated that the MPA-loaded nanoparticles had a lower cytotoxic effect on NIH-3T3 and CAOV-4 cell lines compared to the pure drug. Interestingly, the in vivo study confirmed that the drug-loaded nanoparticles could considerably decrease the paw volume and normalize the hematological abnormalities in the arthritic rats.