Lysine/Herpes(Cold sores) and RA

I was wondering if anyone has tried Lysine supplements for their RA? I came across a website (search David W Gregg and Rheumatoid arthritis) in which he gives a theory that RA is somehow related to the herpes/cold sore virus and he gives details of patients who took lysine which made their symptoms better.

Lysine supplement is supposed to help prevent and treat cold sores and mouth ulcers so I've bought some to see if they can help with the mouth ulcers I've developed since starting on methotrexate 3 weeks ago. I also get cold sores and think I might have got RA after having a bad case of cold sores that spread inside my nose when I had chicken pox a few years ago.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has noticed a link between herpes virus and RA. Also before I start taking the Lysine has anybody else tried it?

8 Replies

I'll be interested in looking at this as the first thing that took me to my GP was recurrent cold sores. I was getting them every couple of weeks and felt really run down. I also had awful scabs inside my nose. The GP ran blood tests which showed raised esr and rheumatoid factor. The symptoms got worse until a couple of months later I had my first proper flare. Thanks for sharing and I hope the Lysine helps you x


Hi jb

I've had RA for 21 years and never had a cold sore. My husband gets them when he's run down, maybe one or twice a year but he has never passed one on to me. I would check with your gp or rheumy department before taking the supplement.

KiKi x


Hiya jbwalley. Like kikideelili I've never had a cold sore or mouth ulcer either before I was diagnosed or since diagnosis & been on MTX 5 years. I think if you're predisposed to them then you'd probably be susceptible to getting them anyway & often times of stress can bring them on. My m-i-l used to get them from using gloss paint when decorating, she had a proven allergy to the chemicals & it presented as a cold sore breakout.

If you're considering using it I would run it by your Rheumy first just to make sure, as you would any other supplement. Always best to be on the safe side with anything that's not specifically prescribed for you.


I have always been prone to cold sores. I was diagnosed with RA a year ago. I had my first coldsore this week. I have been suffering with nose sores (big angry white pimples) which burst and eave scabs. I am only on MTX. I would love to get rid of them - they get worse, 2 days after taking MTX!



Maybe there is a link between cold sores and RA so it'd be interesting to hear from more people.

I bought lysine tablets from a health store and I could tell I was getting a coldsore so been taking 3 of these tablets daily and the cold sore never fully appeared ( which is unusual for me)and also my mouth ulcers are getting much better and no new ones have appeared. I looked up some info on the web and it looks like there's been research to show that lysine can help so it might be worth a try. Hope your sores clear quickly.


I have RA & cold sores/lesions in my throat, mouth, & lips. I've tried lysine (on my pharmacist's recommendation. I feel like it helped. I ran out and ended up w a bad round on my lips (it's horribly painful! :-/)

Lysine is just an amino acid. It can't hurt, and I really think it helped!

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I have had RA for over 10 years but never a cold sore. I did take lysine last spring and summer and NO MTX. I got along very well except the RA flare in my knee. So I went back on mtx in September. I have again began taking lysine past 4 months. I do believe it helps. I take 3000 mg per day. I am still taking mtx injections and find that mtx seems to dilute the lysine effects , compared to last year without mtx. I do not believe ones body attacks itself without a cause. Mtx just covers the symptoms, not a cure. I am not advocating that anyone follow my protocol. Like Hross said " it's only an amino acid" and it has not hurt me.



That's interesting. I may also have had a link as I had very strange illness no one could give me a straight answer and the doctors were a little confused about some symptoms - could have been herpes or shingles or cold sores at the base of my spine ( sorry not nice ) . I used to get a weird sensation like a cold strip running up my spine and one night went to bed thinking I was going to get Bels Palsy as my face was affected but luckily woke up ok. I developed inflammatory arthritis about 18 months after but the cold sores returned as soon as I took hydroxychochlorine . Could be due to it mildly suppressing my immune system. I was ill of or months with this. It took effect me about 6 months to fully recover. I used to take lLysene then. Not sure if it helped or not but you have made me think that I might give it a try. I also had a particularly severe case of chicken pox when I was a child. I was about 12 and put that down to it being a little late as it is meant to get more severe when you are older- I've not a young child.


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