Help - need information and suggestions - new RA diagnosis/TNF blockers

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/8/2010 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with RA this spring. Low dose of pred (2.5mg) a day and an attempt at sulfasalazine were my initial meds. However, the sulf made me really sick so i was cut back to one pill 2x a day. The pred does keep my symptoms in check meaning I can move around and do what I need to do.

Today, it was suggested that I try a biologic. I was given drug company literature on humira, enbrel, and cimzia. I need to make a choice as to which one I would like to try and call back so that insurance approval can be started.

They did not feel that I would benefit from plaqinel (sp?) and would like me to try this.

I realize this is a significant step for me and would like to make an informed decision and drug company literature is not my thing. I have done some internet searches. It seems these are all fairly equal in discomfort and side effects.

I am a teacher so moving and being mobile are important. I also have a competitive golfer who I like to follow around the course - so far I have made it through both his tournaments this summer (a bonus as I did not think it possible).

I should also add that this rheumy is not big on MTX especially since I have had some relief with sulfasalazine and pred. I am positive rheumatoid factor (77) and have a high sed rate (which does fluctuate between normal and high)

What are thoughts on these three meds that would be helpful to me in making my choice.

I was stunned by the prices of these meds and am glad I have good insurance that will require me to use a specific pharmacy (but with just a $10 co pay)!!

Thanks in advance.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/8/2010 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I should probably add that while I don't have tons of pain thanks to the pred, I am exhausted. I am glad it is summer since I can nap when I need to. I did develop a lump on my Achilles (which is what seemed to raise the red flag at the rheumy today. It's no painful. The discomfort for me seems worst in the am and is in my right foot and arm.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 7/10/2010 7:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey cnymomof2! I have been on Humira for a little less than a year. I haven't had any problems with it. I started on 20 mg prednisone and gradually lowered the dosage. While still on it I added the following in the order given: prednisone, plaquenil, methotrexate, humira. I am still on all of those but the prednisone is down to 2.5 mg. It was just with the last blood work that I had done that I finally had good numbers and no inflammation. My energy level is good now, too. Most of this is trial and error. I wish you the best of luck.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2285
   Posted 7/23/2010 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I am surprised your RD is not big on MTX since it seems to be the 1st drug of choice from everything I read. Especially if the less potent dmards like plaq or sulfazine do not work. My doctor likes to use MTX and a biologic if the MTX alone is not doing the job.

What doesn't he like about MTX? I have used it alone with success for 3 years.
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