Side effects of Sulfasalazine..how long do they last?

My OH has RA and just started the triple therapy of drugs with Sulfasalazine in addition to the MTX and hydra?? (sorry can't spell it). He started on low dosage of the Sulfazsalazine and now has the current dosage of two tablets in the morning and two at night time. The last two days he has suffered severe nausea on a morning and presume this is linked to the Sulfasalazine as he has been ok on the other two drugs combo. Is this something he would expect to go in the long time eg until his body gets used to the sulfasalazine? If so, how long would we expect him to feel nausea on a morning until we should consider it a problem and look at possibly stopping the sulfasalazine?

Thanks

11 Replies

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  • Hi I'll follow this post with interest as II'm just getting ready to add both these drugs to my current methotrexate firstly, end of this month sulfasalazine and then a month later hydrocloroquine. M x

  • Hi, was on that combo and thought i was able to cope...visit to Specialist who said swelling still a prob and stopped hydroxychloroquine and sulphasalazine.

    Leflunamide commenced and what an improvement...keep trying and best of luck.

  • I'm on triple therapy, and Sulpha was the last one added too. The first few months were horrible. Sorry!

    It made me slightly nauseous, but also with a hugely excitable stomach. To extent that I couldn't eat or drink anything outside the house. Anyway it did finally settle down, and I've been fine on it now for about 5 years.

    But i think we each have to decide what's a bearable side effect and what isn't, and how long we can cope with trying. Like all the other meds, Sulpha just doesn't suit some people. Unless the nausea is crippling I'd try to keep going for a bit longer, and maybe drop back down a dose for a bit and see if you've just increased too fast. But only your OH can decide.

  • Just for the record sulphasalazine for me has been great, no side effects at all and seems to be doing the job for the last 3 years almost. Just goes to prove we are all different and what's good for one isn't necessarily good for us all. Hope you get some improvement and relief soon.

  • Thanks for the replies. My husband is only two weeks in with starting the sulphasalazine so it's very early on with the treatment.

  • Hi. I avoided stomach probs ( mostly) but crippling headaches. I increased the sulpha very slowly, sticking on a dose until head subsided. Took nearly 3 months.

    Sorry !

  • hi I have very bad flare ups of my ostio arthritus some days I can't walk I have it bad in knees feet hands wrists lowerror bk. iv been on so many drugs they have given me very bad tummy and head aches iv stopped taking them the side effects were so bad iv had injections . I'm so fed up with my pain .after reading the side effects can give you a heart attack and liver damage .I'm not risking any more things I'm under 5 diff Dr's now for the things these have caused including very bad head aches I wish your other half better but if side effects don't go try something else .I don't want to be a zombie and a lot of tabs make you feel dreadful xx

  • I started on SSZ in September. Depressingly, most weeks I suffered vomiting a couple of days a week, but have been Ok since the beginning of this year. I'm hoping my body has got used to it. Just need my appetite to return.

  • Hi I started Sulfa in August. First few weeks were pretty bad but then I asked for the coated enteric coated tablets.at the suggestion of the lovely people here...since then my stomach has been on its best behaviour...no obvious problems. My arthritis is so so not brilliant but but not as bad as it has been. Hope that helps

  • I find the coated ones are better, I get a bit of discomfort with the others. I've asked for those from my GP so hopefully they'll be on repeat now. The MTX day is worst as that and the Sulfasalazine together are horrible

  • I take Sulfasalazine, the coated version as I find tablets hard to follow. No side effects,hope this helps.

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