Not sure

I Visited my rheumy in early September, he increased my mtx to 20mg, introduced plequenil two tablets a day and pred two tabs for one wk then taper it down to one the next week, am still on folic acid 5mg everyday. The pain relief temporarily lasted the time I was using prednisolon which I stoped after four weeks of use. The pain is back, although unlike before, in the morning my fingers are still stiffs , shoulder blades sometimes hurt so deeply to my chest I thought I could die any time. My neck pain visits me making my neck so stiff, sometimes causing me some brain fog.

Now, I got an appointment with the rheumy on 19 Jan 2017, he has said if my pain will not have gone away by then, I will hv satisfied the government's criteria for a forthnightly injection. I was too scared to ask him what the injection was but he said it was easy to use. Then I read online about humira injection causing serious side effects that some people have died from it. This information has put me into a position of confusion and indecision. Could this b the injection my rheumy was refering to or there are other injections for RA out there. Am not able to talk to my rheumy on phone to ask him until my appointment in Jan. Could someone help me to understand this a bit, although you may not b a mind reader for my rheumy 😊

Thanks a lot

8 Replies

  • There are one or two anti-TNF's/Biologics which are administered fortnightly (it's usually an anti-TNF you're started on first) so until you see your Rheumy again it's not easy to be sure just which one. He must think it's likely your next treatment if he's mentioned it, they're expensive drugs & only recommended if you're not responding well enough to your present treatment or he feels the remaining DMARDs available won't control you well enough. It does sound if you're not doing well without steroids you'll be a good candidate as it's preferable not to be on them long term. The intent is to try to stop damage & if anti-TNF's/Biologics are your next new med then do listen to his reasoning & ask plenty of questions. These are serious drugs which have gone through rigourous testing & trials from which the side effects are listed, some, as in any drug but more so in such as these, are quite alarming though the incidence is rare as monitoring is taken very seriously. Generally though they don't come with as may side-effects as DMARDs so that's a positive.

    Maybe a read through the NRAS's info on the different ones available will help in the meantime I'm sure those on these meds will be along to give their personal experience of them.

    I hope whichever is recommended is the the one for you.

  • Wow! Thanks a lot nomoreheels. Atleast I got an idea.

  • Hello there! Don't be scared of biologics (assuming that was what your rheumy was referring to). They say knowledge is power but the 'knowledge' you may get from Dr Google is a very unreliable type of knowledge, the information out there does not have to be even remotely accurate or well-explained.

    The biologics are strong drugs and some people will experience serious problems with them. However the same is true of almost any drug, for example I would imagine that long-term prednisone use is quite a lot more dangerous than most biologics. I don't have the facts and figures at my fingertips but I am in touch with quite a few people who are on Humira, Enbrel and other biologics and the consensus seems to be that they are usually very trouble-free drugs compared to traditional DMARDs such as Mtx. And from what I hear the real risks are very small.

    I've been on Humira for over 2 years and it's easily the best thing that's happened since I've had PsA. It's helped so much that my general health is now pretty good, let alone the PsA. It seems to me that when we have out-of-control inflammatory arthritis the whole body suffers and that concerns me more than any of the drugs I take.

    Perhaps the more you can find out the better .... but you do have to weigh all the information up carefully and try to work out whether it's reliable. I think you have a good rheumy there and biologics could be a game changer for you. Don't let fear paralyse you though.

  • Can't thank you enough postle2. Thats why am happy to have joined this group. You guys are a family to me. Thanks a truck load

  • Before your rheumatologist puts you on Biologics he will have studied your previous medical history & will have decided the most suitable choice for you.

    ( I would have preferred an injectable drug, but my previous history contra indicated that & I now have infusions which seem to be working fine.)

    You will then see a rheumatology nurse who specialises in Biologics & she will both explain how the drug is administered & give you some literature about your particular drug.

    I think everyone progressing from Dmards to Biologics is apprehensive......but once you start to feel the benefit you will relax.

    Good Luck whatever bio you get!

  • Thanks so much AgedCrone, I appreciate it.

  • Hi you sound so worried and anxious my heart goes out to you"...have you got the phone number of the RA nurse at the hospital? Once diagonosed you should have been given her number, you phone up and leave your hospital number and your phone number and they phone you back....the nurses are so helpful and will answer all your queries....maybe it's a Prednisalone injection, I was given a jab in the bum when I had a flare not so long ago! Ouch.

  • In the bum? Auch! Kate 23, you have made my! That is why I hv you guys. You make the suffering light. Thanks a lot.

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