recently diagnosed with seropositive rhuematoid arthritis


I just want to ask a question.

I'm on the MXT 20mg weekly started in January and hydroxychloroquine 200mg twice a day added 5 weeks ago.

I've read they treat to target. I feel a lot better now apart from one thing. Stiffness in my hands and wrists.

I tried to call the Rhuematology helpline to find it's now manned by the reception staff. As I am new to this And all I wanted to know is whether the stiffness will ease off in time. The person I spoke to said she would ask a nurse to call me back but I didn't get a call. I'm not sure if I should call again or leave it a little longer or if someone on the forum is able to advise me. I know the NHS is being stretched to its limits as I work for them too and my own department has lost 1.5 staff in the last 6 months due to not being replaced living 3 whole staff to cover a large hospital.

Hope someone can help me as it's causing me problems with work as need to write quite a lot.

Thank you in advance

16 Replies

  • Hi there ,I'm fellow RA sufferer and I know it takes about 12 weeks for stuff to take affect but don't suffer in silence get stronger pain relief from gp or phone your rheumy secretary they are there t help

  • Hello Matilda. As popsmith mentioned it does take time for the medication to start working. Does the stiffness linger or does it dissipate as you go about your daily routine? For me I often wake up with some stiffness and a bit of pain then it gets better once I get going. There are some glorious days when I can wake up with neither pain or stiffness. 😊

    I can tell it's worrying you so why not give the helpline again. That's what they are there for after all. I really hope you feel better soon.

    Cas xx 🎶

  • Hi caspina

    Thank you

    It's preventing me from my work. As the majority of it is handwriting which is causing me discomfort as I write. It goes away more or less straight away but I often need to stop as I'm writing and massage my hand while writing.

    It is a lot better I just wanted to know whether it will improve further.


  • I see Matilda. I guess because RA is so unique to each of us it is hard for me to say. I do hope it gets better though. Take care. :)

  • Thank you

  • IMO Rheumatology Helplines can be a bit hit and miss, they either don't ring back ever, or it takes 7-14 days in which time you've probably coped or found an alternative way of seeking help/advice.

  • Someone from your rheumy team should call back within 24 hours so definitely call them back. Also find out if they do a drop in clinic - some hospitals do. My hands and wrists are terrible, infact having bilateral carpel tunnel surgery was when they found I had RA. What ever you do don't suffer in silence.

  • Sat first they thought I had carpal tunnel therefore went down that route although I kept saying its in both hands and wrists but the right in particular ( dominant side)

    Took a long time for this referral 6 months in total who said they felt it might be something else. Had investigations then a referral to a rhuematologist. I feel I was very lucky as was seen within 4 weeks.

    I have a GP appointment today will ask their advice.

    Thank you for responding


  • As others have said it can take 12 weeks or more for you to feel the full effect of the hydroxy. So still likely that you will improve more. And if you phoned your helpline now they would probably not be motivated to do anything until you've been on it for a while longer.

    I carried on improving for about a year/18 months after I started taking the drugs. It was very slow, and sometimes hardly noticeable, but it did kept getting a bit better. I'm now in remission, although still get morning stiffness in hands and feet.

    So look after your hands, maybe think about whether wrist supports would help, and if no improvement in a few more weeks get on to your rheumy helpline.

  • Did you know you can get help through Access to Work as they can provide equipment to help you do your job. Contact details are on


  • I've had work base equipment put in place but my main problem is hand writing which cannot be adjusted. I am hoping that electronic record keeping comes in soon

    Thanks for the information I will keep it in mind

  • I saw physiotherapist and was provided with wrist splints which Ive only worn a couple of times but was also given gloves (minus finger tips) thryvare stretchy and I wear them every night for bed plus tne odd times during day as I type alot at work. I find tne gloves help a lot.

  • I have wrist support but due to the nature of my work I cannot wear them because of cross infection

  • I've got the same problem with hands & therefore with my job being mostly hand writing. Access to work just funded me with dicta phone which inputs straight to a computer saving my writing just means cut & pasting with laptop worth checking

  • I've recently had access to work and they have been great

  • Hi. I would advise getting some wrist splints. OT will provide them but you will have to be referred by rheumy so keep ringing. Good luck

You may also like...