Hi All. I am new to this group today. This Monday I was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Spondyloarthropathy. I'm 45, have had increasing pain in my spinal joints for a couple of years now and finally thought wow, I have chronic pain perhaps I should look into that. My family practice physician referred me to a rheumatologist (not my first rheumatologist; I've seen many over the past 20 years always with a diagnosis of vague symptoms) who he respected as a good diagnostician. She did a battery of tests and examinations and feels that the diagnosis is an obvious one. Over the years, I've taken months to years of a variety of NSAIDs. They really don't do much to improve things over time and with many of them I've had noticeable side effects - headaches with Indocin, metal taste with naprosyn, etc.
This rheumatologist gave me information about pursuing treatment with a couple of different options. Her choice would be Sulfasalazine, but she also gave me information on Plaquenil and Methotrexate. I believe these are all DMARDs? I understand the meaning of that. She also approached taking Enbrel so I have read the information about that.
So my question is how in the world do you decide what course to try?
The newer drugs have that unknown factor but at the same time, the old ones don't seem to stop the progression of damage from the disease. What things have you all tried? How have your side effects been? How have they worked?
I open to hearing from as many people as possible in great detail. I am an information gatherer so I do want to make an informed decision.