I've been "strongly advised" to come off naproxen completely. I've halved the dose but they don't think it's enough. :(

I'm going to try tumeric. I'm not sure of the dose, if it has any interactions with other meds and what form it comes in etc. I've done a bit of reading but I'd be interested in other people's replies. If I'm up to, I'm going to a pharmacy where I know the pharmacist has an interest in herbal medicines but in the mean time, I though I'd ask here.

Thank you in advance.

26 Replies

  • Dear crashdoll,

    Sorry to hear that you are no longer able to take naproxen. Please do go back to your rheumatologist or GP as there may be alternatives that they can prescribe. It is also important to check with your rheumy team before you start taking any supplements.

    There is unfortunately not a lot of evidence to support the use of supplements however do take a look at our website (http://www.nras.org.uk/symptom-control) and that of Arthritis Research UK who did a large study on supplements a couple of years ago looking into complementary and alternative supplements for RA, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. The supplement that came out with the top effectiveness rating for RA was fish oil, and it was also given a good safety rating based on a number of clinical trials. They reported on 40 supplements in total, if you would like to read more you can download the full report from their website: arthritisresearchuk.org/art...

    Best wishes,


  • Thank you, Emma. It was a joint decision between rheum, GP and my gastroenterologist that I need to wean off ASAP. I'm not sure I can start anything new at this point in time but it may be a possibility in the future.

    Thank you for sharing that info.

  • I read a report by the National Institute for Health a wee while ago, which said that turmeric had proven anti-inflammatory properties. I'll see if I can find the link for you. I also remember something about using the purest, most concentrated essence of the plant - so no just raiding the spice rack. :)

    I was interested, but due to start leflunomide, so didn't want to take it any further then as I prefer to start things one at a time - at least then you know what to attribute effects/side effects/uselessness to. However, it is something I have at the back of my mind to look at once I've finished the breaking in period on leflunomide.

  • Thank you, Livingstone. Good luck on the leflunomide. I had a very good response to it with no side effects.

  • I think this is the piece I read: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/126...

  • Thanks, will have a read.

  • I take tumeric daily. Its better absorbed in your body if you take it with cracked pepper. I just buy mine from the health food shop they come in a capsule with both mixed together. Iam not saying they help 100% but it does help and the days i dont take it i do notice a difference with my joints being more stiff. I also take fish oil and glucosomine to help support my joints aswell.

  • Thank you, Keryn. As long as it can't hurt, I think it's worth a shot for me. I was taking fish oils but I have terrible reflux and kept tasting the reconstituted fish!

  • Yes thats my theory aswell. I have the fish oil repeat on me aswell but i found one that is mixed with lemon so when ut repeats all u can taste is lemon and not the fish. I would suggest finding a good health food shop and having a chat to them.

  • I know a pharmacist who has an interest in herbal medicine as well. His shop is not very local but I think it's worth a visit.

  • You know you suggested this as a possible treatment for me so I will let you know where I've got to on this remedy so far. I tried a large horse pill from my concentrate turmeric tablets bought online last year. I had it about 30 mins after food (chilli con carne and salad) so maybe better taken with food rather than after. By nighttime I was feeling a bit less pained in my peripheries but woke in the early hours with severe heartburn - which is pretty new for me but I have had it a lot since gallbladder removal and it is almost identical to the burning pain I suffer in arms and legs. Very confusing and I slugged away at Mucogel all night.

    Next day pain in peripheries was back with a vengeance so I made a veg soup with a large desert spoonful of turmeric insteadas thought I might digest it better than pills. I've had this same soup each day now. I did have a day off pain yesterday but had a slow release Tramadol the previous night and think I'm crediting this rather than 5mg Pred or turmeric in food. Last night I woke with horrid taste and severe heartburn again and had it all day today so maybe a few days off turmeric now and see how it goes. My tummy is extra sensitive just now.

    I guess the main thing is to be more methodical than I'm being. Introduce one new element at a time and keep a journal. I did read very good things about tumeric with cracked black pepper on seemingly reputable sites. I'm mostly concerned about it causing GI side effects. Going to try Tramadol again tonight so if I have another relatively good day tomorrow I'll assume it's the Tramadol slow release. I will keep eating food with extra powdered turmeric though as carb see that this would hurt.

    A word of caution though - it does say on my tub of pure concentrated turmeric pills, not to take it if you have kidney or liver disease. I may have early stages of both (LFTs soaring and large irregular cyst on a kidney) so another reason I'm exercising caution and advise you to as well. It's easy to assume that herbal remedies are natural and therefore safe. Suggest you ask your pharmacist first perhaps or your rheumy nurse. Tx

  • I had an abdominal ultrasound scan yesterday to look at my gastric emptying and they checked my other organs which are all very healthy, so I'm not concerned.

    As a side note, about 9/10 years ago, I sustained liver damage from a harmful medication. (Long story that I won't go into.) I was treated and I made a full and complete recovery. Livers are amazing regenerating organs and can recover. My numbers do tend to shoot up when I've had an infection but we've acknowledged that this is normal for me. My rheum made a little chart for me! I know it can be worrying but it isn't always. When livers are really struggling, believe me, you'll know about it! Fingers crossed that your issue is resolvable.

  • Thanks. I'm not too worried about my liver as I know you are right and they are very resilient. But I don't want to exacerbate my heartburn so not introducing turmeric in tablet form yet.

    Also, as others have said, it is best to introduce one thing at a time and while I'm adjusting/ tapering steroids I don't want to introduce anything new.

    It's great that your organs are all flourishing at least. Always good to have some things functioning well - I had a very good moment when my breast and bowel screening letters came back the same week with a thumbs up. You'll be a long way off having these routine tests but it feels a bit like Russian Roulette when you get to 50!

    Folic Acid and AdCal D3 could be described as natural therapies but of course they are far more than this. I somehow suspect Tumeric is going to be an increasingly big player for pharmacutical products soon. But I'm glad you are going to check it out before using to make sure it's compatible with your existing meds.

  • I've got some on order. I went for tablets with the highest percentage of curcumin. Which isn't much help to you! I've not asked my rheumy about possible contraindications but did ask the dermatologist yesterday (she's putting me back on Mtx & I'm already taking Humira). She said she couldn't comment ... I gathered that was because it runs counter to protocols ... i.e. she works with approved medicines, is not a herbalist etc. But she did mention that she'd be surprised if turmeric presented any problems.

  • Thank you for your reply. I will check with a pharmacist before I start anything.

  • I always check with my drs before starting any new meds natural or other wise. I wanted to take a thisel stuff to support my live but found out it wipes out mxt so didnt end up taking it. I guess its each to their own some natural meds work for others and some dont its very hard to find that balance.

  • I will definitely check first. Thanks. :)

  • I`ve been taking turmeric for 8 months along with MTX and Leflunamide (with my rheumy`s blessing) and feel it`s helping - I no longer need ibuprofen. I take it in the form of Golden Paste - turmeric, black pepper, coconut oil and water. It needs to be taken regularly as it doesn`t stay in the system for long. If you`re on Facebook there is a very good Turmeric User Group which will answer all your questions.

  • That sounds great, thank you! Do you know the name of the FB group please?

  • it`s called Turmeric User Group UK. Good Luck, hope it works for you

  • Thank you, I have now joined. It looks great, I feel quite hopeful. This is always half the battle, I think. :)

  • I take Turmeric Paste. It's really easy to make. Take 1.5 cups water and put in pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup organic turmeric powder and stir. Let simmer, then add 2 teaspoons of fresh cracked black pepper and stir. Then add 1/3 cup coconut oil, stir, simmer a couple of minutes, then pour into a bowl, cover and place in fridge. I've been taking it for a long time just for general overall inflammation, and was on it long before I got dx'd with RA. So, I don't know if it helps or not for the RA. But I figure it might be what's keeping me from REALLY being in pain...who knows, but I think it's a good thing to be doing for my body whatever the reason. :-)

  • Hi Carottopgal - just copying your recipe - when you say you take it is this your daily amount or do you make it last over a few days? And do you add it to food or just have it neat? Tx

  • Hi Twitchy! I put a teaspoon full into a little glass, add a bit of water, swish around, (VERY IMPORTANT! Hold nose, LOL!) drink, add a bit more water, swish, drink. I'm a pansy about taste, that's why I hold my nose. I also put a teaspoon a day into each of my dog's bowls. If it's good for my inflammation, it is good for them too! This bowl will last me a couple of weeks. Keep it in the fridge. Let me know what you think of the taste! LOL!

  • I'm holding out for a bit longer Carotopgal in order to have a better overview on what Prednsilone taper is doing or not doing. I don't want to end up crediting the wrong one if I suddenly feel overwhelmingly pain free and energised! Have kept this post for a rainy day though so I've got the recipe or until Crashdoll posts again with her experience of Turmeric. Tx

  • Hi crashdoll, I take tumeric capsules I have for a while now, I get mine from Holland and Barrett. I also was on Naproxen but take them very infrequently now. Hope you find some relief taking tumeric also, all the best.


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