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methotrexate vs sulphosalozine

hello fellow RA sufferers im sick yet again!sore throat, sinus problems and fever, does this mean i have to contact my doctor? getting sooo fed up now as i never was sick before i started methotrexate, im repulsed every monday when i have to take it, I HATE IT! also if anyone could tell me about sulphosalazine? aparently this has no side effects and you can still have babies while still taking it? would love to have some feed back on everything. thank you and well wishes xxxxxxx

10 Replies

Hi Sarahj

Yep sorry it does mean it would be good to contact your doctor. Especially the 'fever' part of what you feel is bad for taking mxt etc... It is a pain i agree. Unfortunately these anti arthritis drugs do tend to make us get more bugs and pick up things more easily. The reason is that they reduce our immunity (hence trying to calm down our arthritis that is basically caused by a over active immune system) sorry if you already know this.

With regards to Sulphasalazine, as with all of these meds it too can give some people side effects, less so than mxt for example when i took it, it gave me terrible upper gastric problems. but every response is individual.

As for the baby thing, i am currently looking into that (i am 32 and am thinking i want a baby;-), the recommendation is that you are not on any anti arthritis meds while you concieve, are pregnant, and are breast feeding, infact all of them you are meant to stop 3-6 months before trying to concieve!!! ( not too sure how you are meant to actually make a baby if in loads of pain ;-), you can take steroids though throughout it all. The only drug that completely makes you in fertile and is not reversable is Cyclosporin (a old arthritis drug). And i have always been careful in what drugs can stop you being fertile as i have had Juvinile RA since i was 13.

It seems pregnancy and arthritis is a mine field, but don't worry it is still possible ;-)

Hope this helps

Ella xx


thank you ella for your help! please let me know how you get on if you do decide to have a baby,id really appreciate your experiences! im scared thinking how things are going to be when i come off MTX in jan.

goodluck xxx


thank you very much scouser for leaving me a reply. the hateful thing with me is the MTX is actually working but im sick at least once a month with something! im normally a very healthy person and im self employed so i cant ring myself to call in sick!haha! my rheumy nor my gp has ever suggested sulpha so im guessing its a more expensive drug than MXT,but will be quizzing them in jan at my nxt appt.

keep well xx


Hi Sarah

I tried sulpha before MTX and i've never felt so ill in my life.It's like a lot of drugs-what works well for one person makes someone else ill-it really is trial and error.Do you take MTX tablets? I inject and find that this solves a lot of gastric problems.As for pregnancy my baby is now 13 and i no intention of having another lol but if you are thing about conceiving have a chat with your consultant - they can advise on drugs- i think you have to stop MTX for quite a while before getting pregnant.As for your current symptoms i agree with Ella - you should get these checked out ASAP

Hope you feel better very soon

Take care

Julie xxx


thank you julie,im on the case,keep well xx and thanks again xx


Hi Sarah,

I had my babies before i had RA so can't advise there. I was prescribed Sulphasalazine before mtx, it didn't make me feel ill but it did bring me out in a rash from head to toe so i had to stop taking it, my Consultant said that most people cannot take it. My dad was prescribed it also but it made him feel terrible so he had to come off it too.

Mtx seems to make a lot of people feel sick on here. I don't like taking any tablets at all and take mine at breakfast with my food, i find them easier to get down that way and don't get sick.

Hope you feel better soon.



Afraid I too cannot help with the pregnancy part but to offer the other side of the coin...I have been taking sulphasalaziine for over 20 years and never had any kind problem. Methotrexate on the other hand "Killed Me!".

I was so sick I stopped after 3 weeks but continued to suffer for another 10 months. I hate it!!

Previous advice is good - speak to an expert and find the best soloution for you.

Wishing you speedy relief and very best wishes.



thank you everyone for your kind help.well wishes xxx


Hi: Sarah:

I take methotrexate and in fact took it last night so feel tired and a bit nauseous today - I think really that is my only side effect, so I'm lucky. I do get a few more colds and sore throats than I used to but not as many as you seem to get so you may need to go back to dr. and try something else.

Sulphasalazine didnt suit me at all, it was the first med. they gave me after diagnosis - was vomiting, had a rash, fever and itching "you know where". So they took me off that and been on metho. now for 11 years. It seems to work for me. I steer clear of anyone with a bad cold etc. as you are more susceptible to infections when on this med. - as has been said, all the drugs can have side effects but you need something that suits you.

Good luck and stay positive.




I was first diagnosed with RA in 1983 and put on Sulphasalazine straight away. I was told I would be on this for only two years because of the possible side effects.I'm still taking 1000mg each day, and have found if I reduce the dosage I have a "flare up"


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