RA and heart\lung problems

I was diagnosed with RA 7 years ago, luckily for me it went away when I fell pregnant with my eldest daughter 5 years ago. Unfortunately it decided to rear its ugly head again. I am on sulfasalazine and naproxen. For the past few weeks I have had a cough which I couldn't shift followed by a sharp sort of pain in the centre of my chest, its painful when I breathe in so went to see Gp on tuesday. She sounded my chest and said sounded fine but gave me antibiotics. This is day 3 of them and chest is just as painful especially when I am lying down. After reading various things on the web (I know, I shouldnt do it!) I am starting to wonder if this could be down to Ra or my meds, rather than just a chest infection or cold. am I worrying for nothing and should have more faith in my gp? Any thoughts would be appreciated

8 Replies

  • I would go back to your GP I have the kind of Rheumatoid disease that also affects my lungs. I am now also under a chest specialist for ongoing monitoring. I hope it gets sorted.


  • Hi Foxy, I think you should call GP back. I have been on MTX and had chest problems and cough. I went for CT scan and am waiting for official report back. I had just started Enbrel and now have been told to not do injections because I will now have to have MRI. I know MTX can cause lung problems, but I'm not sure about the meds you are on. I have been dealing with symptoms of chest problems since December. Dr. Puts me on antibiotics, does a chest X- Ray, the chest X-Ray will come back clear. This time he did ordered a CT scan and something has showed up. I would not wait like I have.

  • Hiya it could just be a virus but I would ring your rheum nurse specialist if you have one or your cc insulators secretary because as others have said it could be the RA affecting your lungs. I used to wake with awful stiffness in my sternum and terrible stinging pains in my ribs. I also had pain on breathing deeply and couldn't stand to wear a bra. I was diagnosed with chronic costochondritis and take Amitriptyline 10mg 2 hours before bedtime and the pain is much much less and now I can sleep. I hope you get to the bottom of it. Take care and let us know how you get on x

  • I agree with the others, I have RA and Sjorgren's Syndrome and developed Bronchiectasis through simply having RA, hopefully you will be referred to a respiratory consultant who might send you for a CT scan for a definitive diagnosis. Although I hope I'm wrong.

  • Hi everyone, thanks for all the replies. chest seems a bit better today and I have an appointment with my rheumatologist on Monday morning so will speak to her about it too. Hope you are all as well as can be and I'll let you know how monday goes x

  • Hi

    I quite often get pluracy with my RA.Its a really sharp back pain when I breath. It comes and goes fairly often,it could be that. Not sure why its connected to RA but my doc says its quite common and nothing to worry about as it comes and goes.

    Hope your feeling better soon.


  • Hi everyone, I saw my rheumatologist today and she has put my mind to rest. She gave me a good examination and thinks it is most likely muscular pain. I also got a chest xray as I am about to start on methotrexate so hoping that would show up anything untoward also. My chest is a lot less painful today too so maybe antibiotics did the trick. Thank you for all your replies again, its reassuring to hear from others in similar situations, makes me think perhaps I haven't lost the plot altogether! X

  • Can't believe I never saw this post before. Please don't ignore lung issues, I'm recently diagnosed with Ra lung.

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