Rheum Factor has trippeled in 3 months

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 3/11/2017 3:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been diagnosed with Rheum, Sjogrens and lupus.
The lab results shows the r-factor has elevated from 847 to over 1K and now 4K.
I'm only taking Enbrel at this point and now my Rheumy wants to introduce methotrexate.
It appears the Enbrel is not working and I'm thinking I should stop it all together and just use methotrexate.
I am very sensitive to medication so switching and adding new meds makes me anxious.
My numbers were lower when I wasn't on anything... other than advil.

It's weird that the common side effects for these medications are the same ones we are trying to fight -joint pain being one of them.

celebrate life
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2082
   Posted 3/11/2017 10:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Graygirl,
I railed against methotrexate too, but finally relented in an effort to get my prednisone down. Have you been on humira? I doubt methotrexate alone will help if you've already had to go to a biologic, but if you switch you might get results. They seem to wear off after 5 years for effectiveness. I'm considering switching again myself. I've had constant foot flare for over two weeks and nothing seems to reduce the swelling.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 3/12/2017 8:53 AM (GMT -7)   
The meds all say "fatal events have happen" and I would rather live with RA than not live at all. I have difficulty pulling of the cap to take these meds I figured Enbrel was enough gambling for me. I seem to get steady relief with plaquenil whereas the Enbrel wears off just before the injection is due.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 3/17/2017 8:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi graygirl,

I had a similar thing happen when I was very sick and it got a lot worse when I stopped taking the biologic.

MTX can work really well in conjunction with other medications. It definitely helps me. I take it with Avara now and my bloodwork has definitely been improving as of late although, I still hurt a lot and have a lot of fatigue. I have had RA for 25 years though so I have damage that is not going away.

Only you can make these decisions regarding your medications ultimately. In my case, with severe RA I can tell you that I have tried repeatedly to get off of biologics. Firstly because I too thought I would rather live with RA than die because of some RX a doctor prescribed. To be quite honest though that is not the case. Hopefully your RA is not as severe but when I am sick and in a flare I am in so much pain that I would much rather die. It was why I even considered Enbrel back in 98 to begin with. It worked for me for 12 years.

Also, RA is a systemic disease. So it can affect your internal organs as well as your joints. I have had this happen and have other problems now as a result. My point being that you can also become deathly ill as a result of RA. It is not simply arthritis of the joints as Im sure you know.

As far as the side effects of the RX, they are listed because they are legally covering themselves from symptoms which are common with RA (even untreated) like leukemia and other cancers. People diagnosed with RA are already at a heightened risk for these along with heart disease and a host of others. The pharma is just protecting themselves from lawsuits.

Be careful with the Advil and ibuprofren, it caused me some really bad stomach problems and I can't take it at all anymore. sad

How long have you been on Enbrel? For some people it can take months for it to begin working just like methotrexate. I would think about also what your numbers are going to look like if you stop taking it. As well, long term plequenel use has its own set of wonderful side effects. Why did your Doctor take you off it?

I hope that you feel better. smile I know that these meds are scary, I too have spent a lot of time worrying about them. Overall though, my experience has been good. They definitely improved my quality of life for many years. I worked and was very active and overall had limited pain compared to the last few years when they stopped working as well.

Take care, -Don
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