Pain Concern

Is anyone on any of these: azathioprine, Arcoxia (etorocoxib), lidocaine plasters?

I have atypical PMR (i.e. with normal blood results) and also degenerative changes in my spine. I saw my rheumatologist yesterday. Because I have diabetes and hypertension, and because steroids worsen my depression, she feels it is best to give a steroid-sparing medication and slowly reduce my prednisolone to 5mg daily. (I'm currently on 11mg.) She has put me on azathioprine 50mg daily for a week, then increasing to twice daily.

Has anyone else had this and, if so, how did you find it? I will have to have regular blood tests.

She also prescribed etorocoxib. My GP wouldn't give COX-2 inhibitors because of the cardiac risks, but the rheumatologist says that they are increasingly finding that the older NSAIDs also increase the risk and many people only need the COX-2 medication every three days once established, which reduces the risk. She said that if I wanted to change from that I could have meloxicam (also COX-2, but longer-established). I've been asking for that for ages as it works so well on animals! I just have to remember not to ask for Metacam (the veterinary name!)

Well - I must do some cage-cleaning now, and put my latest little pets in a more open hammock so they can't hide! Two of them are really too young to have been homed (only the size of mice) but I'll give them a good diet, as a breeder would. Both of those are wavy-coated - one grey and white and one caramel and white, then I have a semi-hairless girl, white/ivory with black eyes. She's 8-9 weeks and much braver.

5 Replies


When we take medications we all have to take into consideration what the medications are doing to our bodies and systems. When we take NSID many have contra indications some of them serious that can effect heart and organs.

Some of the effects are to the structure of the blood supply, so we again have to look at what is best for us and if the quality of life that we get from medications are worth the risk, only you are able to make that decision with the assistance of doctors and associated staff

When we take Cox2 the same applies are the contrindications worth taking the risks for, I understand that new cox type drugs are coming on the market now, when offered it is up to you once more

When you take steriods generally they are given by mouth for short periods, as the contraindications are quite marked,

So they can inject, again this is possibly a more efficient way although only you and health partner can discuss this and need to work out what is the best way to continue on with this pathway of suppression and other problems associated with these very strong medications.

Remember it is not the amount or the number of tablets that you take it is the tablets that give you the relief that you require, we all need to make trade offs, for your own safety

The doctors etc have a duty to assist you in relieving pain, although they need too say, stop we would prefer to back off if dangers arise because of the soup that you are taking. THE DOCTOR WHO CAN DO THIS IS A GOOD DOCTOR.

We all cannot expect a new drug or medication every time we go for treatment.

I hope this rant can explaian where I am coming from, today I have had to register with a new doctor because of moving home and am very wary on what may happen on my first visit Personally I would prefer a doctor who would treat with caution than a one who would rush into a new drug that would possibly cause problems later as many have done over earlier years

All the very best, keep a hold



I had arcoxia for awhile. My rhuematologist explained the risks and I checked my blood pressure regularly. Mine is generally very low anyway so wasn't a problem. The arcoxia didn't help though so I stopped taking it!


Just saying hello. Hope you navigate your way through medication.

Love hearing about your pets.


So far, the Arcoxia hasn't done anything, but it's not been a week yet, so I'll give it longer. My rheumatologist says that most patients only need one every 2-3 days. My one attempt at the Versatis patch ended with it falling off as I was sweating too much - will use some micropore next time. However, this makes it impossible to put my TENS on!

Big rant - azathioprine - requires weekly blood tests for a month. This is not my choice to make extra work for the surgery. I've been told that I can have four tests beginning on the 12th - i.e. over two weeks after I start them. Right, I hope I will be one of the lucky ones, but I could not be. The surgery has a responsibility to do blood tests demanded by the medication suppliers. At present only the phlebotomist is taking blood. She is fully booked and the practice nurses are too busy! Doctors haven't done it for ages. If I had three arms I'd do it myself! They are ringing me back after surgery. I have said that if they give me forms for the first two weeks I'll go over to the hospital - annoying, but I'll do it - as I had to a fortnight ago when the consultant sent me a form for an urgent blood test in order to get the results before I saw her.


I was on Arcoxia for small fibre neuropathy. It said on the info inside the packet that I was to be monitored regularly - I wasn't. It gave me terrible constipation and made me feel very nauseous. With the agreement of my GP, I stopped taking it. The drug is for arthritis so he couldn't understand why I had been given it!


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