What I have had explained to me is that RA is more than just pain and inflammation. Even if you stop the pain (say, take Motrin) the degenerative effect continues. Not long ago Dr.s tried to treat just the pain for as long as they could before starting disease preventative medications. It was much more common to see deformity and disability from RA. Now, Dr.s start the disease preventative measures as soon as they can, as soon as they verify the need, to slow the progress of the deformity and disability. Now some people can SLOW the progress to the point that it can seem in remission.
You may not see the effects yet, and if you feel that you want to postpone the side effects that come with the stronger medications, it is your choice to make. Sometimes I feel that sometimes the side effects could be worse than the disease, but then I remember the pain I feel during flairs. Talk it over with your husband and your doctor. Research as much as you can about RA. (Be careful where you get your info, and be prepared to be freaked out for a while) Then make an INFORMED decision.
If it were me, (with the little info I have on you) I would try to take the phenocane for as long as it works for pain. I would continue to work with the Dr. for regular testing for inflammation and bone/joint degeneration. AS SOON as I saw any of it, or the pain stopped being controlled, I would start with the more traditional medications. I would also assume that the Dr. would want then to become aggressive in treatment, so treatment would be different than what I saw in others. I have only been diagnosed with RA for about a year, but it has come along very aggressive. I am on a lot of medications. If I could postpone the start of the side effects, I would. Now, just to make sure you understand- I am not a Dr. and can not make decisions for you. I can not tell you strong enough to become an INFORMED patient. Make INFORMED decisions.
Please, let us know what you decide.
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)