Rheumatoid Arthritis Information

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause, Diagnosis And Treatment


Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments Including Drugs, Homeopathic Remedies And Therapy.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Blog
Diary About The Pain, Depression, Symptoms, Treatment And Recovery From Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Experiences and JMT
A Report From A Seminar Involving Other Rheumatoid Arthris Sufferers And Jaffe-Mellor Technique (JMT)

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Methotrexate Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Methotrexate has become the most popular first-line DMARD agent because of its early onset of action (4-6 weeks), and relatively low cost. Methotrexate is the only conventional DMARD agent in which the majority of patients continue on therapy after 5 years.

Methotrexate is effective in reducing the signs and symptoms of RA, as well as slowing or halting radiographic damage. It was as effective as leflunomide and sulfasalazine in one study, and nearly as effective as etanercept in another study.

**Methotrexate is the medicine I was given.

Dosage: In a study comparing methotrexate to etanercept in early RA, methotrexate was begun at a dose of 10 mg per week, and increased to 20 mg per week by week 8. This dosing regimen is now fairly well accepted in clinical practice. Maximal dose is usually 25 mg per week. Methotrexate can be given orally or by subcutaneous injection. The latter route of administration can be advantageous for patients who have methotrexate-associated nausea.

Usual Time to Effect: The onset of action is 4 to 6 weeks, with 70% of patients having some response. A trial of 3 to 6 months is suggested.

Personal Experience with Methotrexate

The doctors put me on Methotrexate and it took a little while to kick in but after a few months I started to feel better.  The pain was much less frequent and I seemed to have more freedom of movement.  I still couldn’t dance without pain and I would have the occasional swollen knee but I felt much better. 

Unfortunately, over time the effect of the medicine started to lessen and the side effects got worse.  I would swell in a knee or an elbow and have to have it aspirated. (A procedure in which the stick you with a needle and draw out the fluid).  Not to mention having blood work done every 2 months to make sure the kidneys were okay.

I found that the nausea was what troubled me most.  I also had a lot of gastrointestinal issues when I was on the medicine as well.  Over time the medicine became less effective, I found myself fatigued and sick 2-3 days of every week.  I read lots of different articles on alternatives but all the medicines seemed to have worse side effects and unknown long-term effects and I am not really keen on giving myself injections.  They tried to give me medicine to make the nausea go away and that was a $300 cost I could not possibly absorb.

I started swelling in my hands, knees, wrists and feet.  Some areas never going back down.  I have nodules on a couple of fingers and bumps on my toes (hammer toes). (Photos to come)

I have ½ the strength in my hands, along with a trigger finger. (A finger that when you bend it gets stuck in a trigger-like position) Along with all of this and feeling sick 2-3 days a week I went into depression.

Depression and Lexapro  

They put me on Lexapro to try and help me deal with they depression that comes along with chronic pain.  I guess you could say it took the edge off the depression but in the end the problem was I needed to stop being in pain. All I was being offered was stronger medicines that I would have to inject with even more side effects. 

I was sick and tired of feeling this way and fighting the fact that they kept telling me all I could do was try and relieve the symptoms. I found myself even more depressed.  At 41 I am just not willing to give up hope of having my physical self healthy again, that there isn’t a better way to combat this than roll over and take my medicine and deal with it.

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