Methotrexate vs Plaquenil?

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West Girl
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 11/3/2010 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm new to this forum and would appreciate some help.  I've had RA for 5 years and took plaquenil for the first four years.  Towards the end of that, I started having scalp rashes and lost a great deal of hair in patches.  Dr. changed meds to Arava, which has caused severe skin irritation on my fingers, hands, and toes.  I was taken off of Arava yesterday, and now have the choice of plaquenil or MTX.  Any advice would be gladly considered.  I have had no responses, so maybe I should ask all of you out there who have been on both:  If you knew plaquenil kept your RA symptoms pretty well controlled, but you were losing your hair on it, would you go back to the Plaquenil, or would you do the MTX?  Please help!
 
West Girl
 

Post Edited (West Girl) : 11/4/2010 3:22:13 PM (GMT-6)


golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 11/4/2010 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Was the plaquenil controlling your RA symptoms? The trouble is you lose hair on Methotrexate too. But after losing heaps when I first went on it, I have stabalised now, I have thinner hair but it still looks fine and healthy.
If plaq was working for your symptoms I'd go back on it. If you feel like the RA is escallating then go for mtx. Its certainly stronger, great for swelling control. Took me awhile to adjust to it but now I love mtx and wouldn't go off it for anything (except major infections of course)
Hope that helps, golitho

sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 11/6/2010 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
If you did not do well on plaq or arava (which is closely related to mtx) why are those the options you are being offered now?
Ask for other options or see another doctor.

sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 11/6/2010 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I take both, by the way. I would not be without either of them. I did not have hair loss with either drug, I only had hair loss during bad RA flares when I was on neither drug.

West Girl
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 11/9/2010 1:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the feedback. Both were controllling RA very well, but Plaquenil was also irritating scalp very badly (which is why we switched to Arava). Arava started blistering & peeling skin off of fingers & toes (lovely). It also helped RA. I went back on the Plaquenil about the time of my first post, but in two days had horribly red,itchy, irritated scalp. Tried first MTX this morning. Wish me luck. What kind of side effects have you had with the MTX?

West Girl

momto3
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1331
   Posted 11/9/2010 2:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry to hear you are having difficulty! I took plaq for quite awhile and didn't have any issues with hair loss, and I took it in conjuction with MTX. Now I'm only on MTX and I don't notice hair loss, but I notice that I have hair thinning, where my hair isn't as thick as it was prior to the MTX. I don't have any experience with Arava. I noticed that when I first started the MTX, I was pretty sick for the first month, with flu like symptoms and fatigue, but something called Leucovorin helped a great deal, and I still take it with my MTX.

West Girl
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 11/9/2010 3:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much, momto3. How are your RA symptoms? I am blessed that mine have been controlled, but don't think I can deal with the splitting, blistering fingers and toes much longer. I'm worried about the fact that MTX & arava are "cousins" & hoping the MTX doesn't make my fingers any worse. Will remember the Leucovorin. Are you taking folic acid? It seems my skin symptoms are a little rare. Nothing like being a little different!

Anyone else having MTX symptom/success stories please send!

West Girl
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