Newly diagnosed with RA: Hi all..I am new... - Arthritis Action

Arthritis Action

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Newly diagnosed with RA


Hi all..I am new here and have just read lots of posts which have been really helpful. After 3 months of steroids which was the only thing to have any effect on my pain which is mainly shoulders arms and hands but also knees, and three hospital stays i have finally been diagnosed with RA and prescribed methotrexate. I intended to start this on Friday but have put it off every day since being anxious of side effects. I was so relieved to finally get a diagnosis but this quickly followed with anxiety about the treatment and how to manage a return to work whilst taking this medication.

Does anyone have any info to share on this drug? Are side effects tolerable? Or any tips to share. Many thanks.

10 Replies

Methotrexate gave me my life back. It got me into remission and I had no side effects to speak of after the first couple of months. It sounds like a scary drug but it has been used successfully for 40+ years now. Yes, for a small minority it does give side effects but no reason to believe you can't be among the 90% where it doesn't. Drink lots of water, don't drink alcohol for at least the first 6 weeks and look after yourself by eating a healthy diet, gentle daily exercise and proper sleep. And you'll be fine!

Shazz10 in reply to helixhelix

Thank you so much for your reply. It's great to hear such a positive experience from mtx. Thanks also for your reply to the previous post. I had ignored it seeing it as 'hokum' as you described...Very irresponsible. I've no reason to think I won't be part of the 90% with no side effects other than my current 'glass half empty' outlook since this all began over two months ago out of nowhere, along with a DVT. I'm 48 and feel 90 and am dying to get back to work which is why the side effects were worrying me. Thanks to you and all the other responses I've had since posting and all I have read on this site I'm feeling a lot more positive now....Onwards and upwards!

I hope you have a reputable and verifiable source for your statement that aspirin killed 85% of those that died in Spanish flu epidemic. Spreading baseless rumours about common medical practices is a very mean thing to do to people who may be in a vulnerable position and susceptible to hokum.

Following the instructions vital my daughter on this , stared on tabs then switched to eppie pens , she is 42 working full time husband works shifts kids 14&10 takes hers on Fridays

Shazz10 in reply to olive2709

Thanks olive. Great to hear people are working and doing well on this. Was beginning to think I'd never get back to work and miss it terribly especially social interaction. Feeling very hopeful after all responses today.


I too am on methotrexate along with a few other drugs now. Like everyone else, I was pretty scared at first, but it's really ok. The first couple of months I used to feel nauseous and a bit "off" the next day or so, but that improved with an increase in folic acid. Have you been prescribed folic acid as well to help with side effects?

I take mine after my evening meal with plenty of water as advised by others on the NRAS forum. I take it on a Wednesday as I only do a half day on a Thursday. I was off on sick leave when I first started on it and to be honest I would have struggled working the next day, but by the time I was back in work, a couple of months later, I was fine.

Good luck, hope it works well for you.

Shazz10 in reply to Beaches2

Thanks beaches. Yeah I have folic acid to take so hopefully that will help. I am on sick leave at the moment so side effects if any won't affect my day too much. Just about to take my first mtx now so fingers crossed all goes well.

Beaches2 in reply to Shazz10

Ah good. Hope today is ok for you. Just aim for a quiet day today and see how you go. It takes a bit of time and patience to get to the point where you feel things are controlled, but you will get there. I see you posted on NRAS site as well, so see you over there.😉

Thanks again to everyone for your support have finally taken my first mtx which I don't think I would have done without coming on here today. Bottle of water to hand and folic acid ready for morning. Thanks for all the info and encouragement​ ,😀

Hello, I'm newly diagnosed too and like you started 3 months of steroids and have started methotrexate injections .

I'm finding I'm v tired the day after , but apart from that I'm really good 😊 .the tablets did not like me at all , but I have no problems with the injections .

I'm still on steroids , the only puzzle being that my hands , wrists and feet and ankles are settling down but my knees have flared . Admittedly I've only just started methotrexate and was due to stop the steroids . I went down to five and my knees flared up . I've now been on 20mgs and just gone to 15 . The knees are a little less swollen but pain is just grim . Can hardly weight bear if I'm in my feet for my than 15 mins .

But, the methotrexate is doing wonders ...

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