Does anyone have Autoimmune Hepatitis in addition to RA?

I have had to come off Mxt due to rising liver enzymes, but it looks like that might be a red herring. My liver enzymes were only slightly raised until 7 weeks after stopping the Mxt when they went through the roof! The docs were insisting that the drug was responsible, but they are now querying AIH - even though my antibodies are neg. Have had a good response to steroids, and liver relapsed when steroids stopped, so looking more like AIH than drug toxicity. Still no firm diagnosis yet though. It's very frustrating that I was very well controlled on MXT for 12 years, and now I have very active RA! Thank goodness for Depo-Medrone - keeping me going until docs decide what other drug to give me!

5 Replies

Jane, sorry you are now having problems after taking mtx. for so long. Just shows how susceptible (? spelling) we are.

Totally agree 'thank goodness for depo-medrone'.

Myself I've never heard of autoimmune hepatitis so I will watch replies to your question with interest.

Best wishes



Thanks Judi. I have looked at an AIH support site as well as this and no-one there has RA. It looks like no-one on the RA site has AIH! I have an appt at Kings College soon, so hopefully they will have seen people with both conditions. I also have hypothyroidism so just something else to get on with.


Hi Jane - poor you. I've never actually heard of AIH so will look it up. I do know that many people on this site have Hypothyroidism - including me - which can't be entirely coincidencal surely? Someone recently said that people who are prone to one autoimmune often get others too so I suppose you are just unlucky.

Perhaps people tend to choose one condition to communicate about so those with AIH on the forum would not be the ones with RA and AIH? I went on the HU for thyroid conditions and it overwhelmed me so I came quickly away and just stick to this site - there isn't time in the day for most people to be active on others too.

I'm at least glad to hear that the MTX was probably not responsible and that you did well on it for 12 years because I'm doing well on it now having started it 6 months ago - sometimes we take these drugs but deep down wonder if they are actually going to slow the disease down at all. I do hope you find out what is going on soon from King's college and that you can then get on appropriate medication for both conditions asap. Tilda x


Thanks Tilda. I am hoping that one med will do for both conditions. Azothiaprine is indicated for the AIH but my Rheumy says it's not the best for RA. I still think that it would be ok to go back on the MXT - I'm sure it was keeping the AIH at bay for a while - but they won't let me! I had absolutely no side effects for 12 years, so hope you do as well. The hypothyroidism is pretty trivial in comparison isn't it?! Good luck anyway. Jane x


Yes the thyroid feels like small fry although I sometimes wonder if all these things join up and by tackling one properly the others would recede too?

Re the liver - my enzymes have been raised twice - and have taken a while to go down to normal. I suspect alchohol was the cause on both occasions I'd had a few glasses - now avoid it like the plague! My GP says he's not keen for me to push up to a higher dose than 15mg now because of my liver which he says always is on the very top of normal levels. The rheumy wants me to push up to 20mg so we will see (I see him again for first time since diagnosis 7 months ago in a few weeks time by video link).

I take Hydroxychoraquine now too so hopefully the current levels will be enough to keep the RA at bay. The Hydroxy doesn't compromise the liver in the way that MTX does but it would be too weak on it's own. I think Sulphasalazine is better for the liver too - so they will probably choose a drug that is kinder to your liver than Methotrexate I imagine. Good luck! Tilda x


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