Advice please

I've been very, very lucky so far & have not had a single cold or 'flu since diagnosis. Until now. Throat was gritty most of the night, it's getting & worse & a cough is starting. My husband's had exactly the same thing & GP diagnosed a chest infection & gave him antibiotics.

What I'd like advice on please is should I see my GP straight away? And is it always necessary to stop Mtx whilst on antibiotics? I'm trying to decide whether I should take myself & my germs to the GP this evening as my husband needs the car tomorrow & we are not on a bus route worthy of the name so I won't be able to get to the doctor then.

(I'm on Sulfasalazine and Mtx).

Luce x

14 Replies

  • If it was me I would see GP this evening if I was able to get an appointment, it is better to take antibiotics to clear up any infection rather than continuing with the MTX and the infection gets worse.

    I hope you feel better soon. xxx

  • Hi Luce, I know advice does vary but my rheumy nurse said to stop MTX if you need antibiotics. I used to be the type of person who didn't rush to drs with infections and always tried to fight them myself but now I think its best to be safe than sorry as our bodies are coping enough without fighting infections. Your GP will always say if they don't feel you need antibiotics (hopefully) and wont mind you checking. Hope you feel better soon xxx

  • Hi Luce

    It's probably a good idea to speak to your GP about this if you can, and see if they advise you to stop the methotrexate. Also, this drug can react very badly with some antibiotics, so check that they have made sure that the antibiotics they give you are suitable to take whilst on this drug.

    Kind regards


    (NRAS Helpline)

  • Hopefully been to GP & returned, and now tucked up in bed with (non-alcoholic) hot toddy... But like others I think that it's sensible to go to GP sooner rather than later with RA, and it's not being wimpy but making their life easier as they then don't end up with very sick person that needs an out of hours doctor. I've kept on MTX with antibiotics, but everyone's different, and depends on you, the antibiotic and your underlying health I guess. And, as Victoria says, do double check. I've just had to take an anti-fungal for my toes and despite GP sitting there with screen showing all the meds I take when I got home and read the patient leaflet it was contra-indicated for me! But hope it clears up quickly, not the moment in the year to be struggling with a cough. Px

  • Thank you for your replies Georje, Trace, Victoria & Polly. I'm dithering somewhat having survived a trip to the supermarket which makes me think I'm not too bad. I'm getting the message strong & clear that I shouldn't take mtx until I've consulted a doctor & as my mtx day is Sunday I've got a bit of time.

    I'll phone the doctor tomorrow & ask for advice. Unless I can fend cough / cold off of course, like I might have done in the good old days! Luce x

  • You mean the good old days when RA was overactive and so was your immune system or the good old days when your immune system did what it was meant to do? I never get sick at all most of the time since RA but when the MTX was at it's highest dose last summer I got lots of colds and sick bugs etc. I felt that this was because the MTX was actually doing it's job and suppressing my immune system quite well because my ESR was down to 30 or so. Now I'm back to being healthily unhealthy and never catch 'owt! When I turned up to see the GP about something else but sporting a very heavy cold last summer - she put me straight on antibiotics but made me carry on taking the MTX because she chose antibiotics which were okay with MTX. I then got a septic finger and a sick bug and same thing - stay on MTX were my orders. But you should ask the GP always because your immunity is obviously effectively very compromised now. Hope you wake up feeling well tomorrow. Tilda xx

  • I mean the good old days before RA & Mtx when I had some idea of what to expect when I got a cough or cold. I'm not sure I'm particularly immune compromised because my husband was worse than me with what seems like the same bug but then as well as being adept at man flu he has a wonderful way with doctors & could get a same day appointment with a spot on his flipping nose! x

  • best to be cautious if not sure x

  • Have just phoned my GP & she says my neutrophils are great. Which apparently means I can keep taking Mtx. I'm also seeing GP tomorrow to get checked over & probably to get antibiotics.

    I'm very proud of my little neutrophils now, gawd bless 'em. What a complicated business it can be living with RA.

    Luce x

  • Nothing like a happy clutch (swarm? herd?) of neutrophils to cheer up your day... I had a book as a child that had pictures of tiny bakers stoking stomach with food, and engineers making little pistons work in my heart and so on - so am convinced that I have all sorts of mini-beings wandering around inside my body making it function. Px

  • Well between you, me & the gatepost I sometimes wonder whether we are all micro-organisms in the digestive tract of some enormous being. And also whether the tiniest things that live in us have their own (to us) incomprehensible society.

    Neutrophils do sound very nice - rather floaty & ethereal. Have finished work for today so am about to look them up. x

  • Definitely go to your GP asasp - there are a couple of antibiotics that you can take and continue with MTX - but I have found most GP's don't know what they are - so can you ask your Rheumy Consultant or Nurse what they are and then prompt your GP when he prescibes. Do hope you feel better soon - it's rotten to have a chest infection in this muggy heat.Good Luck Kathy

  • Thanks for your reply Kathy. I saw a great GP last Friday. Great because he sent me for a blood test pronto just to check on my immunity, did seem to know about antibiotics & mtx and also suggested that I have a nice glass of wine that evening! Star! He gave me some antibiotics that are okay with Mtx as well as alcohol. Feeling much better now, thanks. x

  • That's great woolly - I think a laid back approach to mtx is really vital to accepting some of the nasties that might come with it - I feel mtx has given me back my life, and thank fully my Rheumy agrees with your GP - that glass of wine makes it all worth while doesn't it? Hope you are back to normal really soon...K

You may also like...