My RA started in my hips and on an MRI I had large effusions and evidence of osteoporosis damage in both hip joints. My rheumatologist started me on only sulfasalazine about 6 months ago. It's since moved to my elbows and knees too but the pain is much improved. I'm worried though that just sulfasalazine isn't enough as I'm still stiff in my hips and I'm not sure if damage is still occurring to the joints... Is it normal to start on one drug? What was everyone started on when diagnosed?
I was put on plaquenil and mtx, then taken off because my liver wouldn't tolerate it. This went on for some time before I said no more mtx. She was trying least evasive, so I understood her reasoning..so we moved on to Enbrel which made a difference but I couldn't quite get over the hump, so to speak so she switched me to Humira. I have been doing much better. I have had two flares since I have been on it for 7 months. One was my fault I overdid house cleaning, because I could finally clean. So a burst of steroids put me back on track. But the current flare I am in is just because I guess. And cold winter weather of course doesn't help.
The stories I read here broke my heart. I am so sorry for all the pain and suffering you all have had to endure. You are all tough and strong.
I started on MTX and prednisone, when my blood work cleared and I still had pain, she added sulfasalazine after about 2 months. When that didnt work after about a month of side effects, she kept me on MTX and added Enbrel. I didn't go as long as you. I would suggest asking for another treatment plan. 6 months is too long.
My Dr was not aggressive at all after my dx. However, she wanted to see me every three months. After nine months I complained about joint pain in my fingers and wrists. Her response was to send me for an ultrasound because she did not see any inflammation. The report showed I do have inflammation so she prescribed Plaquenil. I felt better in two weeks and have been taking it for 9 mos. However, within the last three weeks my right knee became swollen and I had a difficult time nesting down and getting up. The inflammation is getting better, but I still have discomfort when I sit down and stand up. My hands are also hurting again. I am scheduled to see my Rheumatologist in a month.
My pain started in my neck in Dec. 2013. It got worse and over time effected my shoulders, lower back, hips and knees. I had 2 rounds of PT, saw a chiropractor, had a MRI of my neck, tried acupuncture and all the while I was taking a Rx ibuprofen which did nothing. I was in total pain but without redness or swelling and my hands & feet were not affected. In July 2014 I finally went back to my PCP in worse shape, he ordered blood tests. My inflammation markers were very high so I was referred to a rheumatologist. She diagnosed me with RA in Aug. 2014. It took me 2 years to be pain free and I can thank Humira for that. Prior to Humira I was on Plaquinal for months then MTX pills that were increased over months, then I switched to MTX injection and finally I agreed to start Humira in Aug. 2016. After a few months on Humira I felt great. I am still on 15 mg of MTX injection weekly. It was a long journey.
I was diagnosed with RA 14 years ago at the age of 37. The experience was scary and painful and seemed to take forever before I began to feel well . I am very grateful for the approach my rheumatologist took which was aggressive. I was put onto methatrexate: prednisone: quinine ; an anti inflammatory and folic acid as well as calcium. 14 years later my joints are in a good condition ! I am only taking the methotrexate and folic acid and calcium now - pain killers/anti inflammatory when necessary. I do get pain every now and then but can honestly say it is NOTHING compared to what it was . I could barely walk /hold a toothbrush manage driving etc. So TAKE THE MEDICINE - thats my advice . I was also advised to take an anti nausea tablet in the beginning to counteract the methotrexate. I trusted my doctor and listened to him - while Still battle with flare ups every now and then; overall I am good! and the condition of my joints have not deteriorated . p s a natural remedy for immflamation is tumeric powder . Mix with a little honey and ginger and boiling water - it helps !!!
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