Posted 1/13/2017 10:41 PM (GMT -6)
Hey there. I'm 29, I was diagnosed with RA about a year ago also with quite high CCP. I was on plaquenil and sulfasalazine for about nine months, and just this week switched from sulfasalazine to methotrexate. Honestly, I wish I'd started on the mtx from the beginning! Even though you don't feel pain right now (which is excellent) you still have an inflammatory autoimmune condition, and current medical practice is to treat RA aggressively when first diagnosed to help it into remission and hopefully avoid that serious pain ten years down the road! Doctors used to start with very conservative treatment and wait till there were radiographic symptoms in bones and major pain before prescribing methotrexate (which has been the gold standard for RA for at least fifty years) which didn't work.
If it makes you feel better, I'm four days into my first week of mtx and no side effects! It sounds like you're starting on a low dose, and if you take folic acid you shouldn't have a problem. The scary side effects are generally people taking a very high dose.
400 mgs of plaquenil is a standard dose for RA, and it works very well with methotrexate. Sometimes sulfasalazine is prescribed as well, but that would be down the road when and if your symptoms present more strongly. There are also the biologics (humira, for example, which you've probably seen ads for) which can be added to dmards, generally later on.
You can't drink alcohol on methotrexate, I'm not sure if that is an issue for you. If it is, you could discuss trying sulfasalazine first since you can have an occasional drink on that med, but for me at least it just wasn't up to the job!
(Rheumatoidarthritis.net is another website with great articles and a forum which seems less active than this one but has excellent moderators who are super quick to respond.)