So I've been on Leflunomide since early April and I can safely say I may as well be drinking water for my RA. My pain was already quite bad along with increasing side effects of nausea, fatigue and hairloss when my rheumatologist suggested lowering the dose to 15mg.
Since lowering my dose the nausea has gone but I'm permanently hungry and my weight is going up The hairloss has decreased and the fatigue has gone but unfortunately the pain and stiffness has steadily increased. The worst pain is in my arms from the outer shoulders running down past the elbows. Its like a deep hot ache which throbs like a blood pressure cuff is tight around my arms. I'm hardly getting any sleep as it wakes me constantly throughout the night, I struggle to turn over as the pain is so bad. Last night I eventually got up at 3am and sat tearfully in the kitchen making a cup of tea and wondering if the leflunomide would finish me off if I hit the booze to ease the pain. To be honest a few glasses of wine would probably be more effective and help me sleep!
This morning I've spoken to my specialist nurse who suggested increasing back to 20mg but I declined as at the risk of sounding vain I really can't live through my hair falling out again. She suggested I try sulfasalazine and assured me that although I'm sensitive to aspirin this shouldn't make any difference. So she's faxing a script to my GP for sulfasalazine and a steroid jab and I hope with all my heart that this drug works. It seems to be a very long time since I was pain free and I'm really feeling depressed by it all. I'd love to get back to my swimming and gym but at the moment I just can't find the energy.
Feeling pretty deflated at the moment but hopefully the new drug will help and my next post will be more positive. x