Methotrexate funky actions

Hi everyone,

I started my RA treatment a couple of weeks ago. The first drug I was prescribed was MTX with Plaquenil.

Why do I have the feeling that before treatment I had less pain???

This is my third week with MTX 7.5 m/week and my fingers, shoulders and arms are really aching like never before. My fingers are swollen like never before.

Is this what they call aggressive treatment and the drug is fighting the inflammation so hard, or something else is happening???

Any idea?

6 Replies

  • hi halaahmed,

    it can take up to 12 weeks for you to feel the full benefits of your DMARDs. We do speak to people on the helpline who feel a bit worse before they get better. It is still early days in your treatment and it can take this amount of time for the drugs to build up in your system and take effect. It may be worth going to see your GP in the interim and ask about pain relief to see you through the period until your RA drugs take effect. They may be able to prescribe something to help you. I hope you start to feel better soon.

    Best wishes

    Beverley (NRAS Helpline)

  • Many many thanks.

    I really appreciate this. I was much worried before I got your reply.

    cheers :)

  • Many many thanks.

    I really appreciate this. I was much worried before I got your reply.

    cheers :)

  • It may be that as the DMARDs take time to build up in your system it's the RD basically progressing & not being controlled & the inflammation (swelling) is what's causing the aching. I had relief basically from day one of taking my DMARD (hydroxychloroquine, the same as you) because I was also given a course of steroids (though an injection is often given instead) & that brought my inflammation down quickly. I was also prescribed celecoxib (an NSAID) & pain relief, were you not given anything else to take in the form of an NSAID or pain relief? If not I'd either phone your Rheumy nurse or GP to see if you should have something to tide you over until the HCQ & MTX are fully working, that could be up another 21/2 months so best to ask as soon as you can really.

    I hope you receive help of some form, uncontrolled RD isn't easy & it's sounding as though you'll need something until the DMARDs reach their full potential.

  • Thanks for the reply but what's RD. I am sorry I'm new

  • I'm sorry halaahmed, it's RA the same but some of us prefer to use RD Rheumatoid Disease. Despite efforts many people still misunderstand what it is to have the disease & since using the term & not being brushed off all but one person now understand it's not just aches & pains. Usually they hadn't the first idea it is an autoimmune problem with all the issues that comes with it as they'd always concentrated on the arthritis bit not realising just what it really is.

    And welcome!

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