Question About RA

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 2/25/2009 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone, I have not posted in a while but had a question about those of you who have RA.  I am diagnosed with a mild form of RA and inflammatory arthritis.  I take Plaquenil 200 mgs twice a day.  I have been having more problems with my right hand, wrist, elbow and arm. 
I am right handed.  But I was wondering do most people hurt equally on both sides of their body? 
I do work on the computer a lot and thought maybe this was contributing to the pain more on my right side.
My index fingers, little fingers and thumbs are the worst.  Any comments would be most appreciated. 
I go back to my Rheumatologist in May and he is thinking about putting me on Methotrex (sp??)I am not sure about this medication.  I have heard so many pros and cons about it.  I hope everyone has a good day and ...... 
thank you 
There Is Always Hope

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 2/25/2009 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Mine is right-sided -- but occurs about the same (a little worse) in hip/knee/ankle/toes as in shoulder/elbow/wrist/hand

I've been working with computers full-time & hobby since 1975. (I realized early that making sure I had my ergonomics set up correctly might be the key to keeping my job until 65!)


Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Syndrome, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Plaquenil, Prednisone(15 5mg), Piroxicam, Xanax, Trazodone, Boniva, Wellbutrin, Valtrex, Vicodin, Prilosec
Links: Diagnosing Lupus (4 of 11), Info, Lupus Resources, Help HealingWell, Drug Interactions

Life is far too important to be taken seriously. –Oscar Wilde, 1882

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 2/26/2009 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi AnnieRae,

I have RA, and it typically does hit both sides of my body (if my right wrist is affected, so is my left).  That being said, the joints on the right side of my body tend to be worse than on the left.  This is consistent with almost all of my affected joints (wrists, hands, elbows, hips, shoulders, ankles, etc...).  My rheumy told me that for reasons unknown, some people do report one side of the body as being worse than the other, even if they have apparent swelling on both sides.

I took plaquenil for a couple of years, but it honestly never did much for me.  I finally caved and started methotrextate, along with enbrel, and it was the best decision I've made.  within a couple of months, the methotrexate had my pain under control, and when I add in the enbrel, I feel 100% normal most of the time.  Methotrextate requires closer monitoring than plaquenil, but all this means is that you have regular bloodwork done (every couple of months).  Although I was terrifed to start mtx, I'm very glad that I took the risk.



Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, nexium, tramadol, nasonex,Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan, zyrtec, zegerid, aciphex

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 2/26/2009 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi AnnieRae,

While I don't have RA, two months ago I started taking an RA drug -- Arava. I can't tell you how much it has helped me. I've tried Methotrexate, CellCept, and Imuran, none of which worked for me. Methotrexate made me feel worse rather than better because of the fatigue it caused. CellCept was like a miracle drug, but it was causing problems with my kidneys. And I was allergic to Imuran. While our bodies all react differently to meds, I'm glad that I kept trying different meds till I found one that works for me. I hope you have success with Methotrexate. Many folks do.

Let us know how you are doing.

SLE, osteoarthritis, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis, gluten intolerance.

prednisone, plaquenil, arava, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, tri-est, imitrex (for rare migraines), cymbalta, tricor, acifex, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 2/27/2009 12:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Lynnwood, El and Pat, yes the Plaquenil has worked really well for the last three years but I seem to be feeling like I did three years ago when all this started.  Not every day but too often than I have before.  Hope I can get it all back under control again.  Your comments help me alot.   AnnieRae

There Is Always Hope

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 2/27/2009 10:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I have RA-13 years. Plaquenil is awesome for me. I also take Mtx which also works really well.
I have never had an equal amount of swelling on both sides at the same time.
Instead if my right knee becomes inflamed I know that as the inflamation there goes down my left knee will swell up.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 3/2/2009 9:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi sjkly, I just looked at the post and saw your comment.  Thank you that's good to know.  Because sometimes my left shoulder hurts worse, then the right one will chime in after a few days.  Just all of a sudden my left shoulder has been really been hurting.  Maybe it's the weather, we have 70-80 degrees then this weekend it never got above 34.  Thank you for the info.  Everones comments are so helpful      AnnieRae wink
There Is Always Hope

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