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Pain relief?

I was diagnosed with RA years ago when a sudden flare up left me unable to walk within the space of just a few hours. For a long time I only took hydroxychloroquine, and apart from fatigue I did fairly well without pain relief. In July I had a big flare up, I had been having increasing pain over several months I had a steroid jab and started on 15mg of methotrexate (plus folic acid). I Had three fabulous weeks with hardly any pain , until steroid wore off and now I'm in so much pain in wrists, thumbs, hips, feet and ankles. My question is, do most of you take regular pain relief, and if so, what? I'm functioning, just about, I do my full time job (very active as an early years teaching assistant,) but feel that I'm spending my evenings and weekends just trying to recover physically. Feeling really down about it all at the moment. I'm 48, and think recent increase of symptoms is related to early menopause brought about by surgery to deal with ovarian growths (no ovaries now).

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Hi, I just wanted to message and let you know I feel for you. It's rubbish that one minute you can feel ok and the next your body is flaring up. Are you taking Hydroxy and MTX together? They say any medication can take up to 6 months to start working so maybe that's the case. I take a mix of anti-inflammatories and pain meds if I have a flare - usually Diclofenac and codeine. But I'd definitely speak to your rheumy team. I hope you feel better soon.x


Thank you, yes I'm taking both. Next appointment is late November. Tried to call the support line at my hospital but only get ansaphone, then when they call back I'm working, and they don't leave messages - so frustrating trying to get on with working life and also fine the advice I need. Are your anti inflammatories and pain meds prescribed? Was told by pharmacist I shouldn't take ibuprofen with methotrexate, so unsure what I can safely take


Hi girli1969

I have had a recent flare lasted almost a month and I only had about 4 days where I could function about 80%. It's been my first flare since being diagnosed earlier this year and there were days wen I could not move my arms or hands at all. My Rheumy told me to increase steroids for 5 days and this was echoed by my GP they have given me extra steroids calling it a "rescue pack" in case I experience another painful debilitating flare. It had allowed me to function again with bearable pain.i was also given cocodomol 30/500 which sent me to sleep as I was in so much pain I couldn't even turn in bed.i would ask for cocodomol hope you feel better soon. Also

Try and get lots of extra rest .


Thanks for your response, sounds like you've had a really rough time Nd I hope you're feeling better soon x


Hey Girli, how are you doing? Yes both of those are prescribed along with a stomach liner. I say hound the hospital or rock up to A&E which is what they suggest if the pain is too much.x


Hi, I'm absolutely shattered to be honest. Finally managed to speak to someone today on the advice line, but now waiting for them to call back once consultant has advised them. Likely to increase dose of methotrexate apparently. Think what's really getting to me is the realisation that this illness isn't going away and that I'm not going to be able to do the job I love in the longer term. I'm planning to have a thoroughly relaxing weekend in the hope that it puts me back on track.


Hi girli,

sorry to hear that you are feeling so bad right now. The idea is to get your DMARDs right so that you are not in constant pain. As I am sure people on here will tell you, that is the theory but in practice that does not always happen and after a time, the DMARDs that you are on can stop being as effective which may be why you need the MTX as well now. May take a while to feel the full benefit of the MTX. In the meantime you may find these links to articles on pain relief helpful:







Hope you fell better soon

Beverley (NRAS helpline)

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