Dry tickle cough and muscle problems with Methotrexate - NRAS

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Dry tickle cough and muscle problems with Methotrexate

I started Methotrexate before Christmas at a dose of 7.5. Went up to 10mg a fortnight ago but have had a dry tickle cough for the past week and problems with my muscles. I think there is a cough going around so not sure if it’s a side effect or not. A fortnight ago I had a sudden pain in my calf muscle while I was out shopping on my own, it felt like I had been shot but I thought it was cramp. I could only walk on tiptoes and it was still agony 2 days later so I rang the GP. She thought it sounded like a slight tear in the muscle. The problem is I’m ok walking around at home but as soon as I try to go to town, it starts hurting again so I have to abort. I’ve noticed I can’t sit on any hardish chairs as the muscles / cheeks of my bottom start to hurt. Could this all be related to the Methotrexate and should I ring my Rheumatologist. Thank you.

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Hi. I would ring your Rheumatologist for advice as both the cough and leg pain could be related to MXT especially if they're not going away after a few days... I have a dry cough on and off (I'm on 15ml MXT). I let Rheumatology know but they didn't seem concerned but always best to check as we're all different and react to medications in different way.

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I’ve messaged my Rheumatologists Nurse to ask her to pass on a message. Will see what happens , thank you.

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I initially had a dry cough whilst on MTX, rheumatology were not concerned, then I began coughing up creamy (non infected) sputum. I sometimes used to get a tight feeling over my chest which I was told was unrelated to MTX.

However after coming off MTX, I have neither the cough nor the tight chest feeling. Best to get it checked out.

I still cannot sit on a hard seat for longer than around 30 mins, otherwise everything becomes sore, buttocks, hips, neck, shoulders, I think it is all just part of RD. But probably best mention it too.

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Hi Mmrr. I’m glad I’m not the only one finding it so difficult to sit on hard chairs. I went out a few weeks ago with visiting relatives & I was in agony, exactly as you describe & then got cramp in both legs & feet. Next time I venture out it will be with a cushion! Saying that, we went to Frankie & Benny’s for a quick lunch yesterday & they have lovely padded bench seats & I didn’t have a problem at all.

That dry cough has been going round our family. I have it now but a couple of years ago I coughed so much it strained my vocal chords as well as being in agony around my back & rib cage. All I got from my GP was, ‘it’s just a virus going around’! That seems to be the stock answer to everything! I tend not to go to him now for anything. x🙂

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I always arrive a bit early whenever I am going eg cinema and get a good seat, usually at the end of a row where I can stretch my legs out.

Our local independent cinema has soft leather, electronic recliner seats in 2 of it's small theatres, expensive, but really comfy and I can support my neck. But, hey, I'm not out often and don't take alcohol anymore, so save money that way (!) .

It's a bummer (excuse the pun !) but you do develop ways around problems.

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I didn’t go to my GP because I was sure I would be told the same. They don’t understand anything related to RA or Fibromyalgia so I tend not to go to the surgery.

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Absolutely agree with you re: GPs.

I either ask the rheumatology helpline or the rheumatology physio, even then I research out my problem first, so I kinda know what the answer is. I use them for confirmation.

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Gosh, I don’t have a Rheumatologist Physio. I didn’t know they existed. The only workable phone number I have is the secretary who has been wonderful. I research first like you , then look on here and then post a question.

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Rheumatology physios are usually accessed via rheumatology, I asked and was referred. I was seen fairly quickly and now have access if and when I need it.

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I’ve heard back from my Consultants secretary and have an emergency appointment booked for a fortnights time with the Rheumatoid nurse, just to make sure about the cough. I’ve got blood tests tomorrow too. Advices me to go to GP about my muscle pains though. Don’t hold out much hope.

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Good you are being seen by rheumatology nurse. I would research up on the muscle pains and ask the GP directly, could they be related to RD ?

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I have started to and they do talk about muscle problems. Will research it further though. Thanks. Mind you no idea when I’m going to get an appointment, will be weeks I think.

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Yes! I do that too! I’m pretty sure I know what’s going on, definitely before my GP does. x

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I steer clear of my GP if I think something is related to RA, and I get the vibe that he's quite happy for me to do so. The same goes for a skin condition I have...my GP practically shoo-shooed me out of his surgery once and told me to make an appointment with my dermatologist when I asked a question about it, which is fine by me - at least he knows his limitations. :-)

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And that's fine, they are general practitioners, the problem comes when they pretend to know things and then get it wrong!

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Agree. :-)

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I also have Fibromyalgia so that doesn’t help. I have messaged my Rheumatologist nurse to ask her to pass on a message so will wait and see. I’m so glad it’s not just me that can’t sit on many chairs. Will have to start carrying a cushion around with me.

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I do believe it’s all related but im no expert. I get leg cramps at night so I eat/drink things with potassium and it really helps. I usually get leg cramps at night out of a sound sleep. I’ve not gotten a lot of help with the MTX pills so I was prescribed the SC MTX injections but after reading the literature I got very nervous about using it and went back on the pills. I’m also on a very low dose of prednisone because as soon as I’m off if it my whole body spasms and becomes stiff with pain and I can hardly walk. Won’t see my rheumy for three months now so if I have problems I’ll go to my primary care doc. I have also had several skin problems and a sore tongue over the last month or so which I forgot to mention to my rheumy. But I’ll call her if things progress. Good luck with your meds. Potatoes, oranges, orange juice, Gatorade all have potassium. I usually reach for the Gatorade!

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What’s Gatorade?

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It’s a sports drink popular here in the US.

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Calcium / vit D helps me

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I self inject - love

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Methotrexate nearly killed me. Leg cramps and muscle then the cough and pretty soon ruined my lungs. I’d stop the drug. I have ra but soon was discovered with alpha one emphysema inherited.

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Sorry that happened to you but I am having fortnightly blood tests and have an emergency appointment with the Rheumatologist nurse. If my breathing becomes difficult then obviously I’ll be doing something immediately. We all react differently to RA medication so I’m not going to say anything bad about Methotrexate. Thank you for your input.

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When I was on MTX, I developed a tickle and cough. Soon I was coughing so much that I injured the cartilage around the ribs. It was so painful, I thought I had broken some ribs. My entire body dried up. And my hair fell out. My breathing would become labored at times and I was then diagnosed with asthma. I have no doubt that MTX adversely affected my health and I have some lasting affects, but not too severe since I was switched to something else fairly quickly. A blood test revealed that I carry the MTHFR gene, which has been found to lead to severe side affects from MTX. Might be worth a check for you?

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What does MTHFR stand for?

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