HELP! I was switched to azathrioprine after I failed on Methotrexate and Arava for side effects. I also take plaquenil with the azathrioprine. I have only been on it for three weeks. I am having a huge flare with intense joint pain in my jaw, SI joint hips and shoulder. I have a balky dry cough when I lay down. I have not felt this horrible since I was diagnosed with Seroneg RA. Laying on an ice pad for my hip and took Aleve. I feel hopeless, even though I am usually a positive person. I would greatly appreciate any advise or encouragement.

16 Replies

  • Sorry about the pain, one bad thing about these drugs is that It can take months to set into your body, after your last medication is wearing off, the new one slowly starts it's not a over night wonder sadly! But I'm on the same as you and it does get better. Just give it time.

  • Like jess said give it time some of these drugs can take up to 12 weeks to work. Try to see your GP and get some stronger pain medication to help in the interim.

  • Sorry to hear you aren't feeling good. I took Azathoprine for 31 years and only changed to methotrexate in August due to small skin cancers, I should have changed from humira to Rituxamab, as well, but have been doing well on this. I also take naproxen and low dose steroids 5mg, my bloods are good, but still getting used to methotrexate, it's about finding a cocktail of drugs to suit you. I have erosive steroneg. RA. Maybe a steroid injection would help while you wait for Azathoprine to work. My life got better when I took Humira. I too have a cough when I lay down at night, have had it since Xmas, that could be one of my bp meds. Waiting for a ct scan as have a small abnormality in my chest. Wishing you better soon. X

  • I greatly appreciate you sharing your experiences. My cursed insurance is very frugal about my sequence of protocols. Did the Aza mostly control the flares for you? At what point did you have to start the humera? MTX really reduced my inflammation but gave me a pleural effusion and digestive problems. I wish I tolerated it better because it really helped.

  • Hi Lorin. Just read your profile, good to meet you. Having had RA for so many yearfs,life has been a roller coaster. However I am a postive person and live my life alongside it. I was given Azathioprine by the rhuematogist when I was first dx with lupus alongside RA. I did change to methotrexate about 15 years ago, but didn't think it worked as good as as Azathioprine, so I stopped it, however I was only on it for 3 months. I have to truthfully say no it didn't control my flares enough, however I was given Humira 8 years ago, not 4 as I say in my first post. It was a wonder drug and gave me a better life. I also have Hashimotes. I started a low carb high diet 3 years ago with a lot of success You will notice on here, so many people can't tolerate certain drugs, it's a case of finding what's good for you. It's the same here, you seem to have to fail on dmards before being offered biologics, we didn't have these type of drugs years ago. I do wish you luck and hope this works for you. X

  • Thanks so much Gigi for reaching out. Sounds like you have had a long journey living with an immune system that is not cooperating. I am very hopeful that Imran (Azathrioprine) works. Tell me about your low carb diet. I am interested to know if it helped you. I look forward to our continued mutual support. 😀

  • Hi Lorin. The diet I follow is The Harcombe Diet. 3 Step plan by Zoe Harcombe. It's low carb high protein. I did need to lose weight initially, but the diet is more a way of life now. The first stage is hard and designed to curb your sweet tooth. No processed food, gluten free, caffeine free and no sugar foods. 2,you add more foods but don't mix carbs with protein at the same meal, 3 is adding even more foods, and not losing weigh. I eat simply, oat based cereals, bio 0% yogurt, berries or eggs for breakfast, home made soup or salad for lunch. Fish, chicken meat,simply cooked with spices and herbs and veg. Herbal teas, have to say not as good as I was these past few months, have found Naproxen makes me very hungry. It made a lot of difference to my inflammation levels. See if you can read up on line, she makes lots of medical references. Good luck, enjoy your weekend. X

  • Thank you so much for sharing. Do you find that meats are inflammatory ? I watch this documentary called Forks over Knives. Pretty compelling. Not sure if it would help RA though. I will check out the Harcombe plan.

  • No sorry, not heard of it. I don't have lots of meat though. Her book shows the importance of meat to rebuild our bodies. Sugar in particular is an empty calorie, as is too much carb. We have a lot more programs highlighting the importants of fats and proteins. I'm not a celiac, but find wheat, especially bread makes me very uncomfortable and bloated, might be my thyroid condition. I know I couldn't have a plant based diet popular with people with RA. I also have osteoporosis so like to eat dairy. But not milk. Lots of dark green veg and a small amount of nuts. I think to a degree it's a bit like meds it what suit you. X

  • I am ordering the Harcombe book and thanks again for the suggestion. From what I gather it has many of the same elements of the other plan. No processed food alternative grains etc. stay well and best wishes.

  • Great Lorin, hope it works for you too. Life's an experiment, we feel more in control that way. Take good care of yourself x

  • If you feel like talking to someone the NRAS have a good helpline: 0800 298 7650.

    Your GP will also be able to help, and maybe it's worth ringing the hospital rheumatology helpline for advice?

    Hope you feel better soon!

  • Thanks. I called them and am waiting on a response. Hoping for just a little steroid injection to get me over the hump.

  • Would it be possible to have a steroid injection until the azothiaprine starts working? Ask.

  • I am hoping for something like that.

  • PS. Funny you call yourself oldtimer. You appear very young !

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