Treatments for RA

Posting on behalf of my husband aged 67. Diagnosed with RA two & half years ago having never been ill in his life before. Symptoms of knee pain, swollen/dead/painful hands. Had bilateral carpel tunnel which worked for 6 months but symptoms now back. Tired, flu like symptoms. Shoulder pain. On 20mg methotrexate & 20mg prednisolone. Stopped hydrochloxychloride months ago. Co-codamol & morphine for pain. 6-7 months ago told meds not working but candidate for & plans put in place to go onto Humira. First to be checked for TB & cancer. TB clear but has just had prostate biopsy and a very small amount of cancer cells have been found. No treatment at present as very low risk. However, were told unlikely now to be given Humira. As RA not controlled & suffering badly with symptoms, this is a major blow. RA consultant has just left so not yet met replacement consultant.

Does anyone know of any other treatment which might be effective/available/offered?

2 Replies

  • Look up the Paddison program. I have now been on it for 11 months and have never felt better. Also medication has been reduced dramatically.

  • I think you will need to have a really detailed conversation with the new consultant about the various risks and benefits, and will maybe have to push a bit to get them to consider options for you. The research is not completely clear cut about increased cancer risks of the different drugs, or indeed whether some of them actually can protect against certain types of cancer. I think all too often it's easier for the hospitals just to say no than really consider what the risks are of a specific drug on the specific type of cancer your husband has. And even if there is a risk I feel you should still be given the information and the choice as only you/your husband can decide what risks you're prepared to take for quality of life.

    There are different groups of biologic drugs that target different bit of the immune system. Humira is I recall an anti-tnf, and does carry and increased risk I think of lymphomas. But you need to ask searching questions about this, and whether the same applies to the biologics that target b-cells, t-cells or IL6. And of course also what the risks are with the traditional DMARDs as there are more than those you've tried.

    In the meantime I do agree that diet can help a lot for some people, so always worth a try!

    Good luck, and keep pushing.

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