Pulmonary Issues with RA: Hi everyone, I was diagnosed... - NRAS

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Pulmonary Issues with RA


Hi everyone,

I was diagnosed with RA in 2004 as a result of a pleural effusion. Over the years I 've been on Humira, Enbrel, and Orencia along with 10mg Prednisone and Mtx.

My current Rheumatologist took me off everything except prednisone and substituted Mtx with Leflunomide. I would have bad flare ups in wrists or shoulder once or twice a month but learned to live with it. This past June I had come down with a cold and 2 days later was hospitalized with pneumonia and empyema (pleural infection) It required emergency thoracotomy and was hospitalized 19 days.

I was sent home with chest tubes to drain fluid and air and have had them in for 6 weeks. Surgeon states that RA and prolonged use of steroids has made my healing process extremely slow. Has anyone had experienced pulmonary complications with RA?

4 Replies


I am Jhansi Rani from Hyderabad, Telangana,India. I am RA patient from 35 years. Now I am 59. I underwent total knee replacement 12 years back, in my 47 th year. From 12 years I am on methotrexate. My joints are not troubling me much. But from 5 years my lungs are troubling me a lot. It was diagnosed as bronchiatiasis. Later I got also attacks of numonia, sinus and Asma too. Every year I am getting hospitalised 2 to 3 times. I am daily taking two times nubulizing. I have continues cough with flum.

Thank you jhansiranisurineni. I also take nebulizer and albuterol.

Hi Pupadup , I have taken the same biologic meds, methotrexate & others . All caused chest infections, now I am on 10mg Prednisolone & pain killers, trying to avoid chest infections but not successful at present.

Trying to cut dairy products avoiding excess mucus .

Going to Dr to probably be on antibiotics!

in reply to 4seasons

Thank you 4 seasons. I'm getting a 2nd opinion on my chest tubes this week.

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