How can you know whether or not you are in complete remission while taking hydroxychloroquine? If the RA has been diagnosed & treated within the first 6 months and now have only very minor symptoms, is it okay to take a drug holiday? Can early intervention stop RA in its tracks and you can discontinue medication--or would that affect the usefulness of the hydroxychloroquine should you need to go back on it?
I'm too scared to go off my meds. I watched my grandmother suffer and have extreme pain and disfiguring RA. Bad Flares are no fun. I had a thumb that is swollen and has a large joint. This happened prior to me receiving a diagnosis and I don't want the rest to become like that.
Sometimes a diagnosis of RA, an autoimmune disease, is misdiagnosed. However, once you have officially determined that you suffer from an autoimmune disease, there currently are no cures. Meds like Plaquenul work to slow the progression of the disease. I have never heard of anyone being cured from RA, despite aggressive treatment, antibiotics, etc.
I have read medical journals that discuss research attempting to “fix” the mechanism that causes a healthy immune system to become an unhealthy one (autoimmune). However, any sort of “fix” is a long time coming.
Remission is possible, however rare, and some folks have been told by their Rheumatologist that they can reduce their meds or even more rarely, take a break.
Yet, by all means, only follow the instructions provided by your physician.
Please remember everone is different. And please discuss this with your doctor. It does not appear to me that you are in remission from what you are saying, but again, I'm not a doctor. Please let us know what you end up doing. This could be a learning expreience for all of us.
Like Jimmy, I don't go off any meds wihtout my doctor's approval or direction. Soime you need to taper off and if you don't, there's a real possibility you could have a bad flare. If you are in remission, you won't have any symptoms. Talk to your doctor, please.
But aren't there cases where the RA gets nipped in the bud, so to speak, from early/aggressive treatment? Just hoping I won't have to be medicated for the rest of my life if it is not absolutely necessary...but it sounds like that is not going to happen! (Sigh!)