It seems no one has posted on this thread in a really long time, but this is the only forum I found that seems to have negative and positve info about this med so here it goes...
Here is my RA background: I am 42 and was diagnosed with RA about a year ago and I started to see my rheumatologist shortly thereafter. I was put on plaquenil 400mg daily and I think it has started to work, although it has taken a really long time. I don't think my case is severe as I can still function and do not have any crippling episodes. I have joint pain mostly in my wrists and hands (along with carpel tunnel), ocasionally in my knees and occasionally in my feet. I see my doc every 3-4 months with blood work. I recently went to see her yesterday because for about three weeks my elbow has been killing me. Sometimes I could barely move it or pick anything up with that arm but I worked through the pain (I lift and push heavy things all night long). She took one look at it and said she could tell there was fluid buildup in the elbow and my knuckles on that same side were also very swollen. The funny thing, it felt the best it had in about three weeks. Anyway she wants to add methotrexate to my plaquenil. She wants to start me off at 2 pills a week, but taken on two different days (which doesn't seem to be the norm after reading on it) with folic acid 1 mg everyday. The side effects and everything I have read online have me completely freaked out! I have read about major weight gain (I have been consistently losing weight and am happy about that). I can't be sick and nauseated for even a day afterward so that has me scared. I already have migraines, so more head pain isn't appealling to me. I really like having hair and can't afford losing even a little bit as I was blessed with that annoying fine hair as it is. And the main thing, it is chemo!!
So my major decision is whether to start it or not and see if I have any side effects. The other is, do I really need it? I can still function, even with flair ups. They aren't pleasant, but they don't put me down and disable me. I still move around good. I can still go camping and ride motorcycles and such. I can play with my kids, I can do work around the house and yard, and I work all night moving and lifting heavy items and am on my feet the entire night. I won't lie, I have pain, but I think I have just learned to tolerate it and can't remember what it feels like to not have it.
My doc wants to make sure I don't get further damage to my joints so she is adding this medication. She wrote me the script and told me to think it over and discuss it with the hubby. We are both concerned. I wonder if the plaquenil is enough to protect my joints. The pain sucks, but the side effects of metho seem to outweigh everything else. I am so confused and so scared!!
I would like to know what some of your opinions are regarding my situation. I don't know any one else personally that has this disease, except for my mom and she doesn't treat it. I am really leaning towards taking a pass on this, and continue on just the placquenil.
Thanks for any and all info in advance! Hopefully this thread isn't too old to get any info!
Edit: My original blood work that caused me to be referred to rheumatology was: ANA positive (30.0 IU/ml - normal being <7.5), but I believe my RA factor was negative.
Post Edited (petunia66) : 6/5/2009 5:38:09 PM (GMT-6)