shock 3 damards

hi all just hadletter through from consultant and my esr has gone up from 4 to 15 this was really really high when first diagnosed so a bit worried at mo , 1wason metho and sulpha b ut took myself off sulpha side efeects wernt good dizzy spells holding on to walls headache nasia etc consultant put me back on them and toldma totake them at a level thats acceptable to me. she also said she going to put me on lef is it normal to have 3 dmards sick of tablets, at mo

went to gp today soooooo tired doing bloods for b 12 which i had injections last year at diagnosis andalso testing for diabetis as tired and dry mouth lots of toilet just thought itwas all thewater drinking with tabs .thyroids went squiffy in dec but have rectified with extra tabs

any one else on3 damards and reading other posts i am so cold feet, here as i used to be sandy shawt etc more tabs i expect lol

11 Replies

  • Hi, the normal level for ESR is 20 or below. Anything up to about 25 is ok, but over that the medics begin to twitch. The highest mine has been is 85, so I shouldn't start to worry just yet. When I was on sulfa, I could only manage 3 a day for ages, but eventually managed to cope with the prescribed 4 a day. Sending hugs.

    Kath xxx

  • "Triple therapy" is quite common as I understand it. I was on Sulphasalazine, then added hydroxy chloroquine and finally methotrexate. I was lucky and only had minor side effects. The tablets may be a bit of a bind but if you were not on them how would your joints be. RA can't be cured yet, only controlled. Damage to joints can't be reversed.


  • Hi yes I have heard of a lot of people on triple therapy. Sounds like your doctor is taking you seriously ! Hope they kick in quickly for you xxxxA

  • Hi Im on 3 Dmards Mtx, Hydroxy & Sulfa also. I know what you mean being fed up with taking all these tablets! I take 17 most days & add 1 folic acid on 3 of those days & on sunday also take 7 mtx. & if I need 1-2 amitriptyline if I need them. I do believe we all probably rattle if we listen carefully, haha. Hope you are going on ok, Rie x

  • I'm on 3 DMARDS too. it's quite common to take lots, and it's supposed to be very effective even tho' it's a struggle sometimes to stuff them down. It does get easier over time as you get used to them.

    Re your ESR, it is something that does vary between people a bit, so you will get to know what's normal for you. Generally 'normal' or having no inflammation is considered to be 5 or below. But I know several people who have higher ESRs all the time, and with no signs of inflammation or pain. And although 15 isn't high for some people, as it can go much higher, it sounds as if it is for you. I know that for me, anything over 9 means I'm flaring but other people would laugh at a level that low! If mine goes over about 20 then I tend to be lying not he floor screaming with pain...

  • Hi - I'm only on Hydroxichlorquine just now but I've tried the other two first line DMARDs on their own and in combination. I hope the triple approach makes a big difference to your pain. My ESR is a very good reflection of how active my RA is and this is a useful tool for rheumatologists but it is only one measure - the most important one being your symptoms. I'm one of those Helix above is referring to whose ESR is usually relatively high. But yesterday it was down to 17 for the first time ever and my body is reflecting this with lack of pain and stiffness. So please don't worry - things will surely improve when the right mix of drugs is found for you. Tilda

  • Hi, I am on 3 Dmards as well, Mtx, Sulpha and Hydroxy and have found them very effective. My ESR normally varies between 4 and 7. it was a lot higher when I was first diagnosed and dropped rapidly when treatment commenced. I have very few side effects the worse of course being mtx. without them I would be lot worse off. I also suffer cold feet and hands which I have been told may be Reynauds.

  • I'm on 3 Dmards as well sulphalazine & hydrox was mtx but changed last week to leflunomide and struggling a bit with feeling sick and light headed it's crazy amount meds were given with my tramadol co codamol and all my other meds it's 40 + tabs a day , I use to break a paracetamol in to 4 bits but now just pour them all in one go down the hatch lol , like you it's a bit worrying taking all this medication but has long has your being monitored by hospital / gp you will be ok just make sure you have all your blood tests done etc wishing you well let us know how things are going x

  • I am starting to get worried reading the replies. I thought esr of 30 was ok. Mine at last visit was 45 and she hasnt changed my meds as im not taking pain relief. Im only on mtx 25mg sub cut. Should I b worried?

  • i wouldnt be before i started treatment/diagnosed mine was 1020 yes 1020 thought i was dying itsjust right down to4 nowupto 15

  • Do you feel that you need pain relief notts. I was on 25 mls mtx injection and 10 mg Leflunomide but no pain relief. Rheumy told me I could take paracetamol if I needed it. Try that if you need to, but if you haven't much pain, I shouldn't be too worried. I had to stop the mtx and am now just on 10mg Leflunomide with the occasional OTC Ibuprofen and/or paracetamol. I'm assuming you are having blood tests for mtx, ESR will show up on that.

    Kath x

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