Hi,I have just joined this site,hoping to learn more about RA.

I am 61 and have was on methotrexate for 6months,but had to stop taking it as i developed a dry cough .I was on sulfasalzine, for another 6months and still have the cough. has anyone else ,suffered with a cough with these medications? What a terrible disease R A is , i wouldnt wish it on anybody.

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20 Replies

  • Hi welcome to this site!!

    Yes RA is a horrible disease.

    I'm on Hydroxy, sulpha & MTX & I'm finding that my voice is getting deeper, although I don't cough I do think the drugs are affecting my voice. I love to sing but my range is getting narrower. I've been coughing over night as I was singing at church yesterday!

  • HI pauline thank you for your kind welcome, hope you are well today.

  • Hi Jay, a really warm welcome to this site. You will find that there are lots of lovely people here to offer help, advice & support.

    I know this RA is a devil of a disease.....the suffering it causes and the debilitation is horrible! :(

    I have been on MTX some time ago and had to stop because of other side effects but not a dry cough. I've also been on Sulfa and luckily I didn't get any side effects with this one....just unfortunate that it stopped working for me.

    I think we all sometimes suffer different side effects.....it's good though that we can come here and discuss them.

    Hope you are feeling OK today. xx

  • Thank you for your kind welcome,its great to be able to share our problem.I am waiting for a CT scan to see if the medi has done any damage to my lungs.Hoping all will be well.im not on any medication at the moment,had a steroid injection to get me through the next couple of weeks.The consultant said i should think about certolizumab pegol if all is well my lungs

  • That's what I'm on at the moment (Cimzia). Hope your CT scan comes up with no damage to your lungs....will keep everything crossed for you.

  • Hi Jay,

    I developed a lung problem when on MTX and had to stop - it started with a cough and revealed rheumatoid nodules in my lungs after a battery of tests. Took a while and a load of steroids to settle but 4 years on the cough hasn't reoccurred and I'm on a range of other meds. Welcome to the site, it's a goos place to 'chat' and ask questions of other folk with RA :-}

    Cece x

  • Hi Cece,thank you for your imformation,that may well be my problem to.i have a bit of chest pain, wouldnt say im breathless.How long have you had RA?

  • Well, 14 years since diagnosis but rheumy has acknowledged that I may have had it since my early 20's but I was on and off steroids for a long time because of kidney disease and this masked the symptoms. I became extremely breathless and was on 8Omg of pred in order to be able to breathe at all - plus nebulisers. It took a while to sort out what it was exactly, was referred to the cardio-thoracic doctors who then conferred with the rheumy. The main thing is that you're getting your tests done and they're taking it seriously. It's not something to ignore but seems to be manageable once diagnosed. There are quite a few different lung problems that you can get from RA and the drugs and I've come across a couple of people on this site over the past few years who have had some sort of lung complication. Let us know how you get on:-}

    Cece x

  • I had a dry cough and went for lots of tests. It turns out to be late onset asthma, and not MTX related after all.

    I believe it is partly to do Sjogrens which affects 25% of RA patients. A condition which dries up your eyes, nose, mouth, lungs etc.

    I hope yours turns out to be nothing serious.

  • thank you for your answer i will let you know the out come.

  • I think i have sjorgens Pheobe though they won't say,i have recently had my tear ducts cauterised due to dry eyes. I have also developped Fibromyalgia as well to add to the mix.xxx

  • I wonder how many of us actually get diagnosed with Secondary Sjogren's Syndrome. Worth a survey maybe. I had no idea that my sore throats, croaky voice, dry eyes, dental problems and "personal" dryness were connected to having RA, and hence Sjogren's.

    There is a HU group called TASSA which is an Australian Sjogren's group.

    Cauterised tear ducts has to be Sjogren's.What else could it be?

  • I had a dry cough for ages , all the time my mother was dying of cancer. I was worried that i would give her an infection , had several causes of anti-biotics. After she had died i still had the said cough and it was found to be my blood pressure tablet. This has now been changed and my BP has taken some settling since. The cough has gone and went within 2 weeks of stopping the tablet. So it might not be MTX , i am still on MTX at the moment.

    Hope they find the cause for you .


  • Hi, welcome to the site. I finally got diagnosed jan this year, though had symptoms for 10 years or more, also go Sjorgens & Asthma. Im on MTX& Hydroxy & Sulpha, Ive got a dry cough but have put that down to my asthma & get a croaky voice but no sore throat. Maybe it could be down to the Sjorgens or now Im thinking could it be the MTx. If it continues then I shall go back to Gp or Rheumy.

    I hope you get your problems sorted out, Rie x

  • Hi Jay, i'm fairly new to this site too but have picked up useful information from others here. RA is so complex and unpredictable, my main confusion used to be around 'flares'. I was never really sure of the difference between a real flare and what is general RA aches and pains. I've had good information from others but also is reassuring that i'm not the only one who finds it all confusing.

    I'm currently on MTX and Hydroxy and all in all is working quite well, haven't experienced any coughing problems just occasional nausea. Good luck with your CT scan results. x

  • Welcome Jay you have found the best group going for support.I have RA/Fibromyalgia and i also have Asthma as well,which i have had all my life. It will take a while to get the drug regime sorted out so please be patient. I know that you might think once they know whats wrong with you it will be plain sailing,sadly it is not.They have to find the right drug that suits your ra and then you will have to wait until it gets in your system,this takes up to 12wks. Then the mix might not be right,i take supha,mtx,co-codamol and pregablin plus the steroids. I had started anti-tnfs,but due to a fall i haven't been able to take them at the moment until i have seen my consultant.

    Anyway if there is anything you are worried about don't be afraid to ask.There will always be someone one here who can answer your fears and the helpline is very good as well. S|o welcome to our group,i am sorry that you have had to joins us,but it is the best group around. xxxx

  • Ive. Oh bless you...I've had R/A for over ten years I'm on MTX injections, I've been on

  • Sorry, made a mistake. This is a very good site to tackle to others about your concerns and to just have a moan. I only joined last week. I've had R/A for ten years. I'm on MTX injections every week and infliximub infusion every 8 weeks. I was first put on sulfazrlizine (probably wrong spelling). Like yourself. It didn't agree with me. There are times when I feel so rough I wonder if meds are working...but for you it will take time so hang on in there and you are right it's a bloody awful complaint. Take care x

  • I have had RA since 23 (am 21+19 now lol) and for the last 4 yrs no matter what meds (currently hydroxyl, pred, rituximab) have had a cough, saw chest consultant for couple of years but eventually they gave up on a diagnosis and termed it as 'non-specific' I have nodules in my lungs but not to the extent they feel would explain the cough. Result regular inhaler prescription and a 'maintenance' regime. Welcome to site, nice to know we are not alone in this awful disease and reassuring when sometimes it feels that the medical community isn't listening to have a friendly ear and useful suggestions for our concerns. Linda x

  • I hope you all have had a good day.My scan result came back normal,thank gooodness.I have been off all medication for 2 weeks now and feel better each day, Still coughing but not as much,i have been told it will take 3months for the side effects of the methotrexate and sulfasalazine to clear.I would rather put up with the pain of my RA than have those terrible side effects .

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