new to RA forum---new med questions

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 8/29/2006 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone.  Hope this finds you as well as you can be. I have been on the lupus forum for a while now, but I have some questions concerning meds for you RA folks.
I'll try to keep my background story the late '80s I was dx w/RA, but the bloodwork had odd ball markers, but never enough to dx lupus.  For approx. ten yrs. the doc had me on Motrin (as much as 2400 mg/day) and eventually Celebrex (400 mg/day).  about two yrs. ago, I began having more & more problems and in July 2005 ended up w/new bloodwork and a dx of lupus, w/neg RF...I've had bloodwork done every six weeks since w/only two positive RF my rheumy says I have both lupus & RA.
My rheumy prescribed Enbrel & Cymbalta (which I have not started yet...waiting on approval from companies for patient assistance programs).  My question is to those of you who are taking one or both of these meds...are they working in your case?...what, if any, side effects have you experienced?...and, are you happy w/the results overall?
I look forward to hearing from you and getting to know you.  God Bless each of you.  Aggiemom.
Dx:  RA, 1985 / High BP, 1990 / SLE, 2005 (first symptoms, 1972) / various kidney problems beginning 1970.
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg/day, Methotrexate 20mg/week, Celebrex 400 mg/day, Metanx tab (vitamins & folic acid), Lasix 20mg/day, Nexium 40/mg day, Enalapril Maleate 40mg/day, Lipitor 20mg/day, Vit. E 800/mg day, asprin 81mg/day, OTC allergy/sinus / Tramadol (w/flares)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 8/29/2006 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   

also Enbrel is excellant and my daughter is on it and having wonderful results
Syringomyelia T4-T10
Chiari Malformation
Decompression Surgery 1999
We are normal people, trying to live normal lives,
with bodies that have forgotten what normal is
"Remember I'm pullin' for ya, we're all in this together" Red Green

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 8/29/2006 2:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Aggiemom,
A big welcome to you!  I'm very excited for you in your start of Enbrel!  And to touch upon your previous labs, it is very likely that you do in fact have RA.  The RF titer is a tricky little rascal sometimes showing up & sometimes not.
I did very well on Enbrel for 2 years @ 5omg per week.  It helped the most with RA related fatigue. Next in line it helped the AS in my lower back tremendously. What a relief.  Unfortunately I plateaud after 2 didn't help my joints enough.  Then again, the RA was very advanced so I most likely needed added meds to it.
On Humira and Imuran and a bunch of immunosupressives...the stronger combo works better for me.
I did well with Enbrel.  Only had swollen glands and a cold once while on it. My labs were great, nothing too significant happened in regards to systemic adverse effets.
The one thing I can add is that the single dose Enbrel 50mg injections burn a bit! devil WATCH OUT! devil LOL. tongue's ok.  The Humira burns too, but I inject in the abdomen and it's a great place to inject because the vascular system is better, less bruising, softer skin, easier to inject. :-)
I hope you get some responses on the Cymbalta. I could list what's in my nursing drug reference guide but it's probably the same as what you'd find on the web.
The very best to you! Write back soon.
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 Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 8/29/2006 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Aggiemom, I ditto what Erin said. Enbrel works wonders for a lot of people. I'm currently taking it, and it helps a bit, but I actually need a combo of drugs to help my joints. It's a great starting point, though. With lupus and RA, have you ever tried plaquenil? I'm currently taking that too, although not sure what it's doing. I understand it is a normal drug for rhupus, and a lot of people find joint pain relief from that as well. I don't know anything about cymbalta. Is it an NSAID? I can't take any NSAIDS.

Also, enbrel has not adversely affected me in any way yet (I've been on it for about 6 months now). I'm thinking it may be a fairly benign drug.

Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 4305
   Posted 8/29/2006 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I see you have all ready got some good info.I just wanted to welcome you to HW.........................................................................................................

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 8/30/2006 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. Last night and today have not been good, but I'll muddle through.

razzle...I do not have insurance, so I have applied to the drug companies for patient assistance, since my income is low. I've had good luck with several of my other meds, so I'm optimistic about the Enbrel and Cymbalta. I'm sorry to say your post did not have a link listed for the Cymbalta...don't know what happened. Thanks for trying.

erin & elcamino...your reply concerning the Enbrel is really encouraging. I started Plaquenil and MTX over a year ago for the lupus and they helped a great deal until about three months ago...then the RA again reared its head and all "you-know-what" broke loose...severe joint, back and foot pain, terrible fatigue and all the rest. My rheumy said that I have her totally confused w/signs of lupus, RA, MCTD and who knows what labs keep changing every six weeks...the only constant so far is the lupus (that only showed up in the last year). I do have faith in my doc, she really does try to make me feel better and in that, I feel very thankful. doc says the Cymbalta is Rx'd for depression and anti-neuropathic pain (joint & muscle), which is why she gave it to me, but considering how I've been feeling lately (mentally, emotionally and physically)...I'm hoping the depression part will help also. 

Thanks again for the replies. These boards are a blessing. God Bless all of you.  Aggiemom.

Dx:  RA, 1985 / High BP, 1990 / SLE, 2005 (first symptoms, 1972) / various kidney problems beginning 1970.
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg/day, Methotrexate 20mg/week, Celebrex 400 mg/day, Metanx tab (vitamins & folic acid), Lasix 20mg/day, Nexium 40/mg day, Enalapril Maleate 40mg/day, Lipitor 20mg/day, Vit. E 800/mg day, asprin 81mg/day, OTC allergy/sinus / Tramadol (w/flares)

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