I'm new to the Arthritis Board. I have been wasting my time on the Lyme Board for over 1 year. I can tell you one thing I have learned, get a second, third, forth and fifth oppinion and then YOU decide how to care for yourself! Some (most?) doctors don't have a clue. Ask the same question to 5 doctors and you will get 5 different answers.
How is this Drug Plaquenil? Has it worked for you? My doctor said no generic brands allowed.
I started on the generic brand of Plaquenil last August. It took a couple of months to kick in, but it works really well for me. The only side effect for me was nausea for the first two weeks. So far, I'm really happy with my results. Why did your doctor say no generic?
Would be interested in why no generic also. I've been on the generic for a little over a year now. Haven't had any problem with side effects. It took about 6 weeks to kick in and did help some but didn't quite do the trick by itself. Tried Methotrexate and Arava and couldn't take either. I'm now on Enbrel and its helped quite a bit.
I have been on Plaquenil for about 2.5 years now. I do take the generic. For me, it took about 3 months for it to really kick in. I have been doing well since (knock on wood). I was on 200mg 2 times/day.. now I am down to 1 per day. The good thing about Plaquenil is that it is probably the least "toxic" (for lack of a better word) than many of the drugs out there for arthritis. Just remember to get routine eye exams every 6 months.
There is a specific protocol to put rheumatic conditions into remission using clindamycin and minocycline . It is called antibiotic protocol hence the ap. If you do a search for arthritis and minocin You will find the national institutes of health list it as a treatment for arthritis . It is not fast it takes awhile to work but it works on the premise that you have a mycoplasma infection.6 months is not long enough to see if it will work or not.
I've been taking Plaquenil since May 2004. It took about 4 months for me to be able to tell a difference. I gradually noticed that my joint pain was less. I also started MTX in July. Plaquenil and Methotrexate (MTX) are DMARDs and Lodine is an anti-inflammatory. It's important that you visit your opthamologist a couple times a year while you are taking Plaquenil because it can cause retina damage, although this is a rare side effect.
I understand your frustration. I never had any luck with Plaquenil or any of the anti-inflammatories. When I was on Plaquenil I was receiving monthly shots of cortisone. That doctor was a quack. Everyone's body responds differently. If your doctor talks with you about your options - remicade, embrol, etc., and takes x-rays, blood and urine regularily, then they are probably on the ball. If not, ask why they're not.
Also, make sure you get the 6-mos eye exam w/plaquenil.
For those with the question on generic form of plaquinil, my rheumy said the generic form can cause a bad hive rash as a side effect--often times on the arms--and that "it" is stored in the fat of your body and can be hard to get rid of. So she insisted on the brand-name form too.
I have only been on plaquinil for three weeks now, almost four. I'm not sure what to expect either--I know plaquinil is a DMARD and supposed to slow the progression of the disease, but not sure what it's supposed to do for symptoms. I am still taking prednisone and my symptoms are always greatly helped with that. My rheumy said 3-6 months for the plaquinil to work. She is phasing out the prednisone over time and may add a third medication when I go back in 3 weeks. I think she may try to add in a NSAID but not sure which given all the bad press lately. Naproxen made my reflux terrible and Bextra did nothing for me. We'll see.
The eye testing is important. Good news is if you have eye problems, they reverse once you stop the plaquinil.
I took Plaquenil for 5 years and finally told the doctor no more. It was one medicine that never helped me feel better and it never helped my blood work. I didn't have any physical side effects and on too many drugs to know what was effecting my blood counts, although it was probably the MTX and Arava. My arthritis has yet to respond to anything but prednisone and NSAIDS. I have even been on the superdrugs like Remicade, Enbrel, Humira, Kineret etc....nothing has cracked my RA yet.
DMARD is a class of drugs and it stands for disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug. You got it, it's supposed to slow the progression of the disease. When you say high antibodies, do you mean rheumatoid factor or ANA? If you don't have any symptoms, is your doctor just presuming you will get them soon since you test positive for antibodies? I think some people can be positive with no symptoms...and then do you treat that anyway? Hm.
I am just hopeful this Plaquinil will work. I am nervous to try the other drugs. But so far, the only thing that has worked for me is Prednisone and I know that's not really an option.