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Ariadnes_thread
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2016
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/16/2016 12:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been prescribed Methotrexate by my GP for my Rheumatiod Arthritis. This is the first time I've ever taken any medications for my RA. I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 10, (25 years ago), but it was really mild, and continued to be really mild up until about six months ago. I also resisted any treatment when I was younger. At any rate, I'm new to this, have my first appointment with a rheumatologist December 21, but my GP wanted to start the methotrexate now, since I already have some joint twisting in my fingers. I hate to admit it, but I'm scared of starting this process, my paternal grandmother had RA and I watched her suffer horribly with the pain, joint replacement surgeries, and then her death from complications from Crohn's. Everyone in my family is frustrated because I am taking my sweet time in starting the methotrexate, but I am terrified. Can any of you share your experiences to perhaps alleviate my anxiety?

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/16/2016 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
The earlier to start to fight it the less trouble you have from it.
It's like a Crack in your windshield..... fix it now before it spreads everywhere.

Your grandmother didn't have the medications we have now. You can fight it harder now.

I was a wreak when I was first diagnosed and within a year my pains were less and the progress was slowed down.
Joy
Lupus, RA, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Depression, Allergies, diabetes, and benign familia tremors

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

CA-Lynn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2016
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/16/2016 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
"Spreads like a crack in the windshield" - wow, what a great analogy.

Let's see - you're scared you'll end up like your grandparent.....and here you're being offered the drug that should prevent that.

Shouldn't be a question.

What exactly is your issue with MTX? I've been on it for 25 years and thank goodness for that.

If you had cancer you'd dive into chemo, right? So RA is another serious disease......so dive into the MTX. Aggressive treatment is the current thinking. You want to prevent permanent, irreversible damage.

Don_D
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 10/20/2016 11:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome aboard and take the meds!

My dad had RA too and he was in rough shape. They treated RA so differently back then and didn't have the meds we do now.

Methotrexate can be a little hard to get used to but it really helps for a lot of people me included. I get a lot of fatigue after I take it so I take folic acid every day but the day I take the MTX and it helps a little bit. Let me tell you though, fatigue is a heck of a lot better than agonizing joint pain any day of the week.

If the pills make you sick and you dont get used to them ask about taking it as an injection. That is what I do every week because I have stomach problems from years of NSAID drugs. You get used to the shots and they are no big deal after a while.

Hang in there, this is a great place to get to know people and there is a LOT of valuable info here from people who have been through a lot. Take care, -Don

Ariadnes_thread
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2016
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/20/2016 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I guess my problem is that after my grandma started taking treatments like chemo and a few of the early biologics, she started catching every cold, flu, infection that came around. She was in the hospital quite literally every other week from some infection. I think I'm just scared in general, I have spent so many years trying to ignore the fact that I have RA, it wasn't hard, my episodes were few and far between. Now it seems to be trying to eat me alive. I also have a medication phobia, which I'm trying to work through, so no I would not be the person who "dove" into chemo even if I had cancer. I also am in terrible pain, which makes my mental state even nuttier,and can't seem to get my doctor to prescribe even simple Celebrex for me, he tells me to keep taking the OTC ibuprofen/Tylenol and "ride out the pain" until the methotrexate kicks in. Also what is this about folic acid? Does it help RA? Anyway, thank you for the responses, they made me feel a little less alone.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/20/2016 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Folic acid seems to lessen any side effects from the mtx.
Depending on your doctor you can take the over the counter dose or ask for a prescription strength.
Joy
Lupus, RA, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Depression, Allergies, diabetes, and benign familia tremors

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Don_D
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 10/21/2016 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I am sorry you are hurting :( I understand your Doctor's point of view but I also took aspirin and ibuprofren due to RA and I now can't take any NSAID at all so please be careful and take it with meals because even the coated stuff will take it's toll on your stomach in time.

I understand your concern about the immune system weakening. I now get sinus infections on a regular basis and it takes me forever to get well from colds etc. I honestly don't know that this is a result of the treatment but may be a result of the disease advancing as we age. I don't know why but it seems like it worsens in attacking the body and lessens when it comes to fighting off infection. My aunt who also has RA suffers from this as well. It seems to get worse as we get older and is why I finally started getting my flu and pneumonia shots regularly.

Heat or cold can help with the pain. When I was younger ice packs really helped for me but now it is heat. So, a heating pad and blanket can help quite a bit or a bath with salts has also been a go to for me as well at night when it is at its worst.

I hope that you feel better. There are a bunch of us around who have decades of experience with this disease so make use of the forums anytime you have a question there will eventually be someone along who can answer it. We are all a bit nutty around here so you will fit right in :)

Take care, -Don

Ariadnes_thread
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2016
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/22/2016 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I wonder why my doctor didn't mention the folic acid if it can help prevent side effects. I will be going back to see him the 16th of next month, so I guess I'll ask then unless the side effects are really bad. I made myself take it today, I had about four panic attacks, (one for each pill? lol) and cried for an hour, but I took it. I just reminded myself that the worrying is always scarier than the actual doing. So far I haven't noticed anything except I feel kind of foggy and out of it, but the is probably from all the adrenaline I dumped earlier. Thanks for reassuring me though, I will definitely come back here if I have a question.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/22/2016 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
(((((Gentle hugs)))))))

I hate medication too, but I try to picture each pill I take is a bomb being fired in this war in my body.
Joy
Lupus, RA, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Depression, Allergies, diabetes, and benign familia tremors

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

celebrate life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2082
   Posted 10/22/2016 11:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome.
It's funny, but not in a haha way, that I also hated the thought of mtx.
I started humira with full knowledge of the side effects and didn't worry about them near as much as the mtx. I was able to quit taking it for several years, but I had to keep raising my prednisone to avoid flares. I also hate that I have to get my blood checked for liver issues quarterly.
Both my GP and rheumy have finally convinced me after 12 years that staying on mtx is helping my RA, and I should keep taking it and try to get off prednisone or lower the dose if I feel good.
Folic acid with mtx is standard, and if I were you, I'd just start taking it immediately to counter act any SEs, like hair loss. Its in the vitamin section. Some here have said their doc.recommends not taking it the day you take the mtx so it will work more effectively. That's what I do now.
It's hard to accept that taking meds will likely be your new normal. Prior to RA I was taking no meds regularly. I recalled a friend.of hours saying after he had a heart attack, "I had to stop saying.no.to drugs!"
hope you begin to feel better soon.
Beth

Lisabeans
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2015
Total Posts : 144
   Posted 10/24/2016 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I have not been diagnosed yet but am being treated for lupus/ra right now. I have just started Methotrexate last week. I know it is too soon to tell but I have been taking folic acid as well. My only side effect is being very tired. I have been told to take vitamin c or airborn as well since it does suppress your immune system. I know everyone's reaction is different. But if you are careful, wash your hands often and stay away from people you know are sick, you should be able to beat getting sick often. I hope you start to get relief soon.
Lisa
Ulcerative Colitis (remission) on lilada
Reflux on dexilant
Recently low positive ana and now on plaquinal
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