Sulfasalazine

Hello all! I would love any tips or tricks anyone can give me on managing side effects... I was diagnosed with RA several months ago. I was first put on methotrexate, but the vomitting, mouth sores, and extreme axiety caused me to ask my dr to switch me. They told me to take a few weeks off (of any meds). I did and had no anxiety during this time. Now I am on sulfa and my anxiety and extreme brain fog are back. I did well in college, graduated from a great law school, and worked in a fast paced environment. Now I struggle at work to complete the simplest tasks, and sometimes experience what feels like a panic attack. Today I had a very piercing headache and then a nose bleed. I can't help but think these are all side effects of the medicine. Will side effects subside as I get used to the medicine or is it time to kick it to the curb? Thank you!

11 Replies

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  • Doesn't sou d like side effects of the drugs, possibly the disease itself. You have to give drugs time to work

  • Hi. Side effects are common and can be different for each person. The drugs we take are very strong and need a certain amount of time for our bodies to get used to them. In my case the side effects I had settled down after a few weeks but they weren't severe anyway. I would let your GP know about the headache and nosebleed. It may be nothing to do with the meds but I really think you need to let them know. All the best.

  • I had side effects from mtx and put on sulpha which worked fine for a while, no side effects. But in some drugs I have had them and I've called my Rheumy who swapped them to another as there are loads of dmards out there for them to try.

    However I haven't heard sulpha causes nose bleeds or headaches so I would chat with my GP , I had high blood pressure which caused those symptoms tho . So for me chat with GP about symptoms and Rheumy team about possible side effects .

    Hope you feel better very soon , it's hard to keep working when you feel so poorly X any chance of some holiday days??

  • I agree completely... I need to tell them because they can't help unless I let them. I just feel guilty calling over there all the time. My husband and I just opened a business a few months before my diagnosis. Getting time off is hard, but doable. It's a blessing that I can take time to go to doctors or just rest for a day if needed.

  • Hello, just to let you know I have been on Sulfasalazine since February and I did suffer from headaches nearly every day, some of it may have been from my eyesight getting worse and needing stronger glasses, but the headaches did start about a week few after I started on the medication. The headaches did last for at least a couple of months and then I started to get less and less. I do get the occasional one now, but it may not be connected now. So hang in there things will get better as your body gets used to them.

    Ganit :)

  • Thank you! So glad to hear they went away with time!

  • Hiya

    Personally I have never had any side effects with sulfasalazine and I take 6 daily. Methotrexate made me really ill. I also have a memory like a sieve thought it was just me but maybe not lol. How long have you been taking them for ?

    Lucy x

  • I have only been taking them about a week. I have had a headache every single day unfortunately. They are the put you on your butt kind of headaches, too, unfortunately.

  • Me too haven't had side effects with sulfasalazine but methotrexate effected my liver on the highest dose.still struggling.hope your side effects stop and I would inform your rheumy

  • With the summer coming on you need to be aware that sulfasalazine can make you more sensitive to the sun. I needed to use at least a SPF 15 on a normal British summer day and stronger on really sunny days. SPF 50 always when abroad.

  • Yes! This is great advice!

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