Generic vs. Brand Arava

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 808
   Posted 8/21/2006 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, everybody -
I usually post on the lyme board.  I have lyme disease and reactive arthritis.  I am being treated for the ReA with long-term antibiotics and Arava. My rheumatologist started Arava after trying the other typical drugs, including Arthrotec.  I have been approved by my insurance company for the Arava, and I have taken both the generic and the brand.  When I took the generic, I got extremely fatigued and had terrible diarrhea.  I have not had these problems with the brand.  If I want to take the brand, however, I am going to have to order it from Canada because my insurance will only pay a small percentage of each dose and I would have to spend about $500 a month out of pocket.  I am debating over whether I should try the generic one more time before a final decision and wondered if anyone else had a similar experience.  Also, I am curious if any of you are seeing a rheumatologist that is willing to treat ReA with long-term antibiotics?  I have to take the abx anyway because of the lyme disease, but my doc has had success with this protocol. She made me have my gallbladder removed first because she said it could harbor the pathogens that are causing my ReA. 
Any perspectives on the Arava are welcome - and would be very interested to hear from anyone with reactive arthritis (Reiter's syndrome).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 8/22/2006 4:34 AM (GMT -6)   
hey there,
the only thing i can add is from personal experience. my neurologist that treated the Lymes i contracted was trying to help the RA triggered by the Lymes with adjuvant antibiotics.
can honestly say that i do a lot better when i am on antibiotics.
some docs use antibiotic therapy quite often, but i think you might have to be the one to step up and ask to give it a go...some mught not think to offer it to a patient unless the patient hiself brings it up.
best to you!
Active/Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns. AS. Chiari Malformation & Right Brain venous anomoly. Partial complex seizures. Emphysema. Rheumatic Lung & Heart. MVP and Tricuspid prolapse. Had Lymes disease for 10 years.
Meds: Humira 40mg Q 4 days; Prednisone 20mg; Pentasa 4G daily; Imuran 50mg; Dilaudid 4mg; Diazepam 5mg; Avinza 60mg; Reglan; Antivert 25mg tid; LidoDerm; MiraLax & too many others.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 808
   Posted 8/22/2006 2:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Erin -
I don't know if you ever check the lyme board, but I hope you visit us. There are a lot of new developments in treatment of chronic lyme and you might benefit greatly.

Thanks for your response.
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