Have been on methotrexate for about 5 years now. When first on the drug, experience diarhea and some slight stomach discomfort for the first few months on the day I took the drug. (take it only on Sundays, 7.5mg a.m. and 5mg p.m.) Eventually, these symptoms subsided. Have varied on other meds that I take in conjunction with this, but have never gone off the methotrexate. I was in so much pain and had been for at least 6 months before I started taking it, I couldn't turn on a light switch. Every joint in my body gave me constant pain and I was still working long and stressful hours. Was determined to battle any drug that might help. Sometimes it takes 6 to 8 weeks before you start feeling benefits from a drug. However, if you experienced terrible side effects right away, it is probably not for you. Just know that I can't go without it, and even with it and the prednisone and plaquenil I take daily, still need to resort to pain meds occasionally in order to be able to sleep. Have learned to manage my pain with the help of these drugs.
My rheumy gave me a drug once (can't remember the name) that did make my ankles swell up. I continued to take it for three days and noticed the swelling all three days. I stopped taking it. I can only get in to see my rheumy every 3 moths, he is that booked up, so I just continued to take the other drugs he prescribed at that time until I could see him and told him what it did. He said I was right to dc the drug myself and he prescribed plaquenil. I take this a.m. and p.m. and it seems to work well with the prednisone and methotrexate. You have to take folic acid when you are on methotrexate also or you can get sores in your mouth, etc. I also have to nexium a.m. before I eat and before I take the other drugs as these drugs can be very hard on the lining of the stomach. I drink low fat milk when I take the metho, prednison, etc. Seems to work for me.
You just 'hang in there' and keep trying until your Rheumatologist helps you to find the right cocktail of meds that work for you. There are plenty of them out there. Do not be discouraged. Attitude is very important.
Wish you well and hope and pray you will find what works and be able to manage your pain better.