Sick as a dog

Hi all I am new to this. I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid athritis. I have been to see my consultant he has put me on sulfasalazine. I started taking 1 per day and now up to 3 per day. My joints are really swollen and feel like I am constantly in pain. Just been for my bloods today the nurse said it could take up to 6 months before they get into my system. Is anyone taking these and do they work. I take painkillers as well as naproxen. Went out for a drink last Saturday did not have to much but felt Unwell all day Sunday. Feel like my life is not worth living at the moment

11 Replies

  • Hi and welcome. I'm on Sulfa along with MTX, Hydroxy, naproxen, folic, paracetomol. Yes it can take a few months for the meds to get into your system. Did you get a steroid injection to help you through until the meds kick in? Sometimes they give you one to carry you through. Alcohol doesn't always mix with our meds. Be guided by your Rheumy team. But I cant drink at all as it makes me feel really ill now. I've been taking sulfa for over a year now no problems with it. I hope this helps and reassure you. I always recommend drinking plenty of water, helps to keep you hydrated. This is a lovely support group and you will find lots of help and support. X

  • Yes I take Sulpha too - plus the others too. They work well for me, and I'm pretty much back to normal, although it took a long time to get there. For me it was about a year, but it's often quicker than that. I don't drink alcohol much any more, maybe one drink one Saturday, as I find it makes me feel ill now. Sad, but I've got used to it and don't really miss it anymore.

    It's rough to start with, but you will feel better eventually once the drugs start working.

  • Thanks for the replies. Yes I was on steroids about 7 weeks ago but they are out of my system now my GP is reluctant to give me anymore. This is what is going to be hard I still enjoy going out for a drink and am going on holiday to Tenerife in November. I also play poker once a month which goes hand in hand with a drink. I know I must sound selfish but I've always tried to look after myself health wise and gave up smoking 10 months ago. My weight has never gone up since I was in my teens and I've always remained a size 10 which sometimes has been a struggle as I love my food. I just feel a bit hard done by and maybe if I'd carried on smoking this might not have happend.

  • Well done for giving up will really help you in the long run and financially too.I used to smoke years ago from being age 10.My Mum died from COPD give years ago and before that I was have fibromyalgia, RA and Hughes syndrome. I got very angry at first and kept asking why me but then thought there are lot worse than me.It has destroyed the life I had but I have had to realise I must try and live with what I have which is hard as I can't work now so don't socialise. I am on a few days coach trip today to just get out if the house.

    I on 4 sulfasalazine a day plus 10 mg prednisolone, 450mg pregabalin,6mg warfarin and still suffering with swollen joints and muscle pain..its crap.think due to last diagnosis of Hughes syndrome consultant not putting me on extra drugs.I have tried other DMARDS and biologics but not helped. These drugs take a while to work n some don't with some people. I use ibroprofen gel on my could try this and keep moaning at the RA nurses and even cry then they might help you more.

    Alcohol was OK for me until I went on warfarin and now can only have 2 units.I had 2 large glasses one night last week n like you was ill next day and half day after.

    Really feel for you. Keep coming on this forum as its good to talk

  • Thanks for your reply. Me to I have smoked a long time age 11 when I had my first. The truth is I enjoyed a cigarette it should of been easy for me to pack in years ago as my husband is a non smoker but truthfully could not go back now as I can't stand the smell of them anymore. Sorry to hear you have so much going on with your health at the moment it does help being able to talk to other people who are in the same position as you hop you start to fell better soon take care x

  • Poor you, it sounds awful. Hopefully the sulpha will kick in in less than six months.

    I know how you feel. Right now I'm on a 12 week course of steroids to be followed with hydroxychloroquine, but because the steroids made such a difference I managed to get started on the HCQ last week - with seven weeks of steroids to go so I'm hoping the HCQ will kick in while I am still getting relief with the steroids.

    I started my HCQ on Saturday - the day after I developed a UTI infection and have felt sick as a dog and really ill for the last three days and now my IBS has reared it's ugly head and constipation has kicked in. I'm finding I just can't / don't want to eat - especially sweet things - I force myself to eat enough to be able to take the tablets without destroying my stomach. Don't know if it's the RA drugs, the antibiotics for the UTI thats making me feel so ill or if it could be due to withdrawal symptoms because I've gone GF (cold turkey ) in an attempt to calm my autoimmune system but it could be anything.

    I had a couple of glasses of Cava a few weeks ago - first one was so nice I had another! I felt OK next day but didn't half go to my head at the time. I'm going out again tonight so my order will be just one glass of lovely Cava and (Reidenise is right ) a big jug of tap water.

    Hope feel lots better soon 😊

  • Hi Kazwilks,

    Welcome to the site. Sorry to hear that you are struggling to cope at the moment and please be aware that giving up smoking was a very good thing to do and that carrying on would not have prevented this. Please feel free to call the helpline and have a chat with us about all the ways in which you can be supported and helped whilst you are waiting for the drugs to take effect. Unfortunately it can be a bit of trial and error in the early stages finding the right course of treatment and this is probably the worst that you will feel. Hopefully things will improve dramatically for you once you feel the full benefit of the drugs. Our contact details are:

    0800 298 7650 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm

    Please do call us, in the meantime I have put a link to our publication called " Newly Diagnosed" Hopefully this will help:


    Beverley (NRAS Helpline)

  • Hello Kazwilks.

    I know it's hard, but please hold on. There is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. I'm on week 8 of 2000grams of sulfa a day. I know everyone is different, I started to feel the positive effects of sulfa at the begining of week 5. Every morning I look at my hands and I can actually see the swelling going down from day to day, I have viens!!!

    Take care


  • Thanks Suzanne pleased you are doing so well. I am just finding this disease a lot to take in at the moment. It happened so quick and is in an aggressive stage. Hopefully I will get there and start to feel better

  • Hi Kazwilks,

    Also new to this. I get days when I am struggling with the diagnosis, but then come on this site and there are loads of others who are worse than me, and they are so brave and stoic. It definitely helps to have 'another ear', what better place than here. We can be happy some days, swollen, other times and just pure frustrated at other times,and no-body will care.

    Wish you luck.

  • Hi cyprusmum

    Thanks for your reply. I wish you well in your recovery. It is hard trying to be positive when your in pain but hopefully it Will get better. Take care

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