Starting to feel like my old self

I really hope I'm not talking too soon ...

I have been on methotrexate for six weeks and I feel it has started to work

Although I still can't straighten out my left arm and there's still some pain in it, the rest of my body doesn't feel so fragile. I am not in tears getting out of bed each morning, I don't feel so anxious when I leave my house and have a smile back on my face.

I still get a bit stiff but don't need pain relief for this.

The only downfall is the side effects from MTX, I have developed an annoying cough, some tiredness and I've had a constant cold for the last 6 weeks. I work in a school and have caught every bug going, I wonder if this is due to a lowered Immune system?

but I would prefer this any day compared to the terrible pain I used to be in.

I thought I'd share this because I was petrified about going on this medication and I know others are too. It's really not that bad...

Sandra :)

15 Replies

  • So glad to hear that you have got such a lot of improvement and pain has subsided. Think the stiff joints have been seized up for a long when our meds have not worked or us waiting for new ones to work, that often a bit of physio help can get us back on track for freeing those stiff limbs. Can you ask your Rheumy to refer you to the hospital physio? x

  • Great news Sandra :-) Its still quite early days so things should hopefully loosen up over the next couple of months. A persistent cough is something you should mention to your rheumatologist or GP just to make sure it's not being caused by the mtx. x

  • I did mention this at my last app but rheumy said it's the end of the virus I had. Thing is I have a cold now and still coughing. I did have a lung X-ray recently and everything was ok. But I will bring it up again with him.

  • Good news Sandra, I am 4 weeks in on 10mg and have felt no change. I am going up to 15 mg tonight so I will see what happens. It does lower your immune system and working in a school you would be exposed to everything going, poor you. Have you talked to your dr about the cough? It is one of the side effects to watch out for apparently.

  • I also need to go up to 25mg, I have mentioned the cough but he was sure it was due to the virus I had, but since then have another cold and still coughing. I hope you start feeling the benefits soon. It so nice not being in all that pain that I used to be in. Just waiting for my collar bone ,elbow and shoulder to heal now although it's not as half as bad as it use to be.

  • well I am glad you are feeling relief from the pain, it is relentless. Funny what we get used to living with isn't it. I am only going up to 15mg until I see rheumy next March.

  • I hope It's working for you too.i see my rheumy once a month at the moment and have bloods done fortnightly. Last time I saw him he want to up the MTX but I said 'please not this time ' I wanted to get use to the 15mg first.

  • I am sure it will eventually. I have fortnightly bloods due to liver issues but I don't go back until March. yeah the 15mg I took last night has hit me, feel a little bit sick, but it is the headaches and exhaustion that wrecks me.

  • Been on Metho for years now and about to change drugs. It worked for a long time but side effects not so good. Tiredness breathlessness, liver disease skin sores and mouth ulcers. Always good to remember that ra sufferers suffer in many different ways and...what works for a while may need changing. It is a strange illness.. Some days good and often 2 or 3 days in bed. Steroids or intra muscular steroids will work but will never be a long term solution. Good that you are healthy now keep well.

  • Sorry to hear you had all those side effects and yes although it seems to be working now, it might not in the future. I'm not entirely better but they do say you get best results after 12 weeks, so I have another 6 to go. Can't wait to see how I feel then.

  • I remember replying to your first post Sandra. MTX got my RD sorted & has now for 5 years & know of other members who have been taking it longer so hopefully you'll be one of those & the benefit outweighs the side effects. I'm always more tired the day after taking it & a little off my food but compared to how I was without it I'll have those side effects all day long! Your regular bloods will pick up anything untoward & be addressed quickly, you might have noticed a change in some of your levels since you've had your cold.

    As you mention you're open to everything going it would be an idea to have the flu jab if you haven't already because as you rightly think our immune system isn't as strong as most peoples & can leave us susceptible to whatever's going round but you'll know schools are perfect for that! If your cough becomes persistent & isn't a regular cold-type cough it's best reported to your Rheumy team, just to make sure it isn't due to MTX. I know it's probably difficult to determine but if your cold's been going on so long it sounds like your system isn't strong enough to fight it & they can last longer than they normally would because the MTX is doing it's job. It can be a double-edged sword!

    Your stiffness will likely lessen in the coming weeks though you'll still have morning stiffness but it shouldn't be as painful as it's been before. I've noticed when I get a cold nowadays I ache & hold myself anyway which will add to stiffness but the more you feel better the more movement you'll gain. Hopefully yours will ease as your cold eases & you feel the full benefit of MTX. It's really good though that you're not needing pain relief but do take it if you feel you need it, don't push yourself too hard now you're feeling better. ;)

  • Thank you, I will mention my cough again at my next app. In 2 weeks time.

  • Awesome news Sandra, I'm glad you are finding relief. I tried many DMARDS and MTX was the only o e that seemed to work good, gave me my mobility back. You will probably keep getting better with time as it does take time to reach its full effects.

    I just started Celebrex today along with low dose MTX - it said on the pharmacists attachment that it works within 1 hour. Holy Cow! now that is fast, it's only been 1/2 hour so I don't feel anything yet. This is my med plan until my Humira is approved which my Rheumy expects sometime early December.

    MTX sure does get a bad rap. To me it was a godsend of relief dispite some pretty bad side effects. If you been in it this long and only experience fatigue the day after and sniffles consider yourself very lucky. You get the benefits of MTX and not bad side effects. This is the best one can ask for. It's hard when your on MTX to know if it's a cold or caused by the MTX because some side effects mimick a cold....stuffy nose, dripping nose are common. Definitely ask your Rheumy about the cough but if your chest X-ray is ok your probably ok.

    I avoid sick people like the plague! I go the other way in grocery stores and malls, esp coughing children that won't cover their mouths.... And adults that don't cover their mouths. You got a challenge there working in a school. But if you worked in school a lng time perhaps you are already immune to a lot of the germs.

    Again, so glad to hear you are doing good. Perhaps your story will help others who are afraid to take MTX, the benefits certainly outweigh the risks in most cases.

  • Thanks hobbits

    Yes I can't wait to see how I feel after 12 weeks & upping the MTX, hopefully by then my left side will feel better. It made me laugh how you described avoiding people who are ill. Unfortunately where I work there's always someone ill and they're hard to avoid. I am also going to see a doctor through occupational health at work because my attendance is low due to illness but mainly hospital apps. but they are very supportive and fight your case for you also make any adjustments to make working easier.

  • Lovely to hear MTX is going well for you, despite the increased colds! I'm not on MTX and have had a nasty chest infection and cold for 4 weeks now so I think there are some really nasty bugs going around this year that won't be doing you any favours.

    I hope the cold disappears soon and you can enjoy feeling more like your old self again! :)

You may also like...