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Newly diagnosed and about to start methotrexate

Hello Everyone,

I last posted on here about a month back when I was awaiting a referral to the Rheumatologist. I had the appointment to see the Rheumy Dr a few days after the posting with an appointment date for November 29th!!! I sort of panicked (was in quite a lot of pain) as I thought that the app date was so far away, so I rang NRAS for advice. I spoke to a lovely lady (same name as mine) who advised me to get onto my GP to push for an earlier appt'. I followed this advice ( initially spoke to a miserable receptionist at the medical centre as my Dr was on holiday, whereby she questioned why I thought I needed an earlier appt!), however, my Gp's secretary picked up the message and, along with my Gp, got me an app on October 18th.

So, I went to my app last Tuesday, spent three hours at the hospital, (almost one hour of this with the Rheumy Doc), had bloods taken, xrays done and a meeting with the Rheumy nurse.

The Doc's out come was that I need to be treated for RA and to start on methotrexate, starting at 7.5mg and increasing by 2.5mg a week until I get to 20mg a week. The nurse gave me an injection of IM Depo-Medrone 120mg, which worked lovely for the first 4-5 days but now the pain in my joints has come back :(.

Anyway, sorry, I know I am probably just rambling now, I received a copy of my letter today which states the following:

"On examination on a 28 joint count she had 18 tender and 7 swollen. her wrists are synovitic, her PIP joints synovitic, her right shoulder is painful, with an effusion and there is a small effusion in her right knee. She has bilateral positive metatarsal squeeze. There is no doubt that she has symmetrical polyarthritis. She does not describe any significant extra articular manifestations, has no significant seronegative features and no connective tissue features. We are awaiting her antibody test but I think this typically represents rheumatoid and I think we should get on and treat as such".

So, I am off to see my GP tomorrow to get my prescription for methotrexate and folic acid and more pain killers and I have just spent about an hour searching for the idiots guide to what my Rheumy Doc has written so I know what my Gp will be talking about!!!

Really not sure how I feel about all of this, somedays I am ok and think 'Oh well, best get on with it" and some days I think 'Oh my goodness!!"

Well, that's it for now, so sorry to bore you all, but I really needed to tell someone whats happening. (I have such a loving and suportive husband but I'm worried about moaning to him all the time about my aches and pains)

Kind regards


4 Replies

Hi Rainie. I'm on 20mg week methotrexate for my RA after starting on 7.5. I also take hydroxychloroquine and daily folic acid to stop any MTX side effects. It took a few months to work but it's stopped my RA in its tracks and no side effects at all. I've been clear for two years now with no more steroid injections or frequent pain killers and lead a normal life. Three years ago I couldn't turn on a tap, get out of a chair, walk ten yards and had to have aids to do anything. It's a miracle drug for me but I'm aware it doesn't work for everyone. It's so important to start early treatment before damage to the joints is too bad. Good luck with yours. Keep us posted but remember - give it time, it's a slow old business and don't be afraid of possible side effects. Nothing bad happens quickly and your monthly blood checks will tell the doctors if there are any bad trends in time for them to stop the medication. Remember it will not compromise your ability to fight infection unless your blood test results say so. I haven't had a decent cold in three years. Ben


When you get to 20 mg and a settled prescription regime If you go to you can get your repeat prescriptions delivered free by the NHS to your home adress with no more having to go to the GP or queueing for ages in the chemist. This is what I do and it a fantastic service. Your prescription just comes up online and you tick what is needed which then goes to your GP for okaying. The postman delivers the meds and in my case its been the next day or within two days. FREE. This has really been great for me because Boots just couldn't seem to understand why I complained bitterly about waiting ages for a prescription handed in 48hours previously while they sorted out the ones with new prescriptions. To have two queues seemed beyond their understanding. They have lost loads of business because of this as now we buy online.


Hi there,

To add to what Ben's said, don't be surprised if you are emotionally a bit up & down over next few weeks. Getting a diagnosis of a life time chronic condition is a bit scary, and does take time to absorb. At times I found myself feeling really worried about what might happen, and at others it was fine. It will be fine, but give yourself time to adjust and don't feel bad about wanting to moan about it. Polly


So glad you got an early diagnosis, it took me 15 year to get onto the right medication and by that time the damage to my spine/pelvic girdle was to bad to do anything about it. So well done to you and your doctors.

MTX you can have side effects but don't worry we're all different and this is why they start you on a low dose and gradually increase it, it gives your body time to get used to it.

Also, it can take up to 3-6 mths for you to feel any benefit, so if you don't feel any different after a couple of weeks don't worry you need to give the medication time to work.

Good luck. xx


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