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    Old 04-24-2004, 11:30 PM   #1
    MargieRuth
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    Question Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis



    I am an older woman, recent tests indicate that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I'm to see a Rheumatologist in May (nothing available sooner) My question is what medications are being used to treat this ailment? Are they successful? and do they have bad side effects? Would appreciate anyone out there with RA to enlighten me. What are the general symptoms? Thanks, Maggie
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    Old 04-25-2004, 09:57 AM   #2
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Most rheumies seem to start you out on anti-inflammatories and possibly plaquenil which is a disease modifier. It depends on the severity of symptoms. Plaquenil causes some side effects in a few people but most people I've talked to don't seem to have a problem with it. Unfortunately its one of those things that some things work great for some and others don't. It's mostly trial and error. Be prepared for some of the meds to take awhile to work. Plaquenil takes anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months to achieve its full affect. Although it is no cakewalk, RA is not as devastating as it used to be and many can live a fairly normal life.

     
    Old 04-26-2004, 01:46 PM   #3
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    CTuit - thanks for the info. Right now it is not a walk in the park. But as a friend of mine always says about life "it's not an easy road". I'm not a novice to pain but it sure can be tiring. Maggie
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    Old 04-27-2004, 07:28 AM   #4
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Most common treatments do depend on severity.
    Enbrel, Humira, Kineret and Remicade. The first three are subq injections (injected just under the skin) that can be self administered in the comfort of your home. Remicade has to be infused and requires frequent visits to Md office or infusion center or hospital.
    The most common used is enbrel and seems to be working well, specifically with the new option of once weekly injections.
    Best of luck to you!

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 08:15 AM   #5
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    MedWizard - thanks for your input and your good luck wishes. All is appreciated. Right now I'm near tears because the medication I'm taking for pain hasn't started working. Maggie
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    Old 04-29-2004, 10:19 PM   #6
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    DEAR MAGGIE: look under the cortosione injection questions and get my history as i have 2 broken bones due to the arthritis disease and i hurt tonight. i will be happy to help you with any questions or just how to cope with this disease. i have had it since i was three years old. i am 44. i have had 36 joint replacements and without them i would be bed ridden. it is possible to survive this, but it is hard. take care and write i will check in soon. thanks and good night to you.

    x5cat

     
    Old 05-01-2004, 02:49 AM   #7
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    x5cat - God bless you for your courage and fortitude. I read your history. You are an inspiration to have survived all these years with such pain. I was told I had OA in my knees about 7 years ago. After trial and error I got it under control. This, however, seems to be another story. Everything I do seems to result either in muscle pain or joint pain somewhere. I take 400 mg. of Ibuprofen 2 times a day (I used to take a lot more but bothered my stomach and raised my B/P) and 300 mg. of Ultram a day, l00 mg. at a time. This is not doing the job, and I am waiting for my appt. with Rheumatologist on May 20. I've been on all kinds of anti inflammatories for the OA and they didn't work. Celebrex was great, but I am allergic to Sulfa, Vioxx worked for a while and then B/P problems. I can't even remember all the others that were tried at various times. At this point my attending Doc took many tests which has indicated the RA. I also have a nodule at the base of my middle finger which oddly enough doesn't hurt. One of the few places. And at 3:46 AM I am here because I have sleep problems. I will do my best to face this with as much fortitude as I can as you have done for so much of your life. Thank you for responding and sharing your story. Maggie
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    Old 05-01-2004, 01:00 PM   #8
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    Cool Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    ]

    Hi;

    My husband has skipped all the small stuff when it comes to RA and went to Enbrel. This drug is truly one of the medical miracles of the century and can not only treat RA but reverse it in some cases. It goes to the source of the problem, certain receptors in your own body that are causing inflammation to itself. Enbrell turns off this attack on your tissues from your auto immune system and so, reduces the main portion of the condition.

    Insist on trying Enbrel. It is expensive, but most insurance companies cover it. Good luck!

    Madeline

     
    Old 05-03-2004, 12:41 AM   #9
    MargieRuth
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Hi Madeline - Glad to hear your husband has had successful treatment. My problem is not only the RA, but as I posted earlier I'm an older woman and am on Medicare with a supplement insurance. No medications are covered, the only thing I have is a small discount from my supplemental insurance. I'm anxious about this because I can't afford expensive medications. Medicare covers most of the physician visits and treatments, blood work, etc. and my supplement picks up any amt. not covered. Thanks for your wish of good luck, I appreciate it. Maggie
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    Old 05-03-2004, 08:48 PM   #10
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    HI MAGGIE: I AM ON AN ANTIIMMFLATORY CALLED ZORPHIN. IT IS AN OLDER DRUG, BUT I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY STOMACH PROBLEMS EVER ON IT. YOU MIGHT CHECK YOUR RHEMY ON THAT ONE. ALSO FOR SLEEPING I HAVE BEEN ON 2 THINGS THAT HAS BEEN THE ONLY THING THAT HAS HELPED MY SLEEPING ISSUES DUE TO SEVERE PAIN. ONE IS A MUSCLE RELAXER NAMED ZANAFLEX. THE LOWEST IS 2MG I TAKE THE TWO OF THE 4MG, SO I TAKE 8 AT NIGHT. THE OTHER IS ACTUALLY A ANTIDEPRESANT USED MAINLY FOR SLEEPING. IT IS CALLED ELAVIL. IT IS A GREAT SLEEP AID. I STARTED OUT ON A LOW DOSE OF 25MG, WENT TO 50 AND THEN 75. I NOW AM ON 125 BECAUSE WITHOUT THAT I WOULD NEVER SLEEP DUE TO THE PAIN. CHECK YOUR DOCTOR, MOST WOULDN'T THINK OF THESE AND I HAD TO ASK, BUT MY DR. WAS FINE WITH IT. I HAVE NO SIDE AFFECTS OTHER THAN A LITTLE GROGGY EARLY IN THE AM IF I TAKE THE FULL 125. IF I HAVE TO BE UP EARLY BEFORE 7AM I TAKE ONLY 100 SO I CAN FUNCTION. HOPE THIS HELPS SOME. HAPPY TO CHAT WITH YOU!q

    X5CAT

     
    Old 05-03-2004, 08:50 PM   #11
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    HI MARGIE AND MADELINE: I AM ON AN ANTIIMMFLATORY CALLED ZORPHIN. IT IS AN OLDER DRUG, BUT I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY STOMACH PROBLEMS EVER ON IT. YOU MIGHT CHECK YOUR RHEMY ON THAT ONE. ALSO FOR SLEEPING I HAVE BEEN ON 2 THINGS THAT HAS BEEN THE ONLY THING THAT HAS HELPED MY SLEEPING ISSUES DUE TO SEVERE PAIN. ONE IS A MUSCLE RELAXER NAMED ZANAFLEX. THE LOWEST IS 2MG I TAKE THE TWO OF THE 4MG, SO I TAKE 8 AT NIGHT. THE OTHER IS ACTUALLY A ANTIDEPRESANT USED MAINLY FOR SLEEPING. IT IS CALLED ELAVIL. IT IS A GREAT SLEEP AID. I STARTED OUT ON A LOW DOSE OF 25MG, WENT TO 50 AND THEN 75. I NOW AM ON 125 BECAUSE WITHOUT THAT I WOULD NEVER SLEEP DUE TO THE PAIN. CHECK YOUR DOCTOR, MOST WOULDN'T THINK OF THESE AND I HAD TO ASK, BUT MY DR. WAS FINE WITH IT. I HAVE NO SIDE AFFECTS OTHER THAN A LITTLE GROGGY EARLY IN THE AM IF I TAKE THE FULL 125. IF I HAVE TO BE UP EARLY BEFORE 7AM I TAKE ONLY 100 SO I CAN FUNCTION. HOPE THIS HELPS SOME. HAPPY TO CHAT WITH YOU!q

    X5CAT

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 02:05 PM   #12
    MargieRuth
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    X5CAT - glad to hear from you and your suggestions. I've written them down, along with others so I'm s/w prepared when I see the Doc. It really is a battle, isn't it? How well you know. Thanks again and happy to chat with you also and everyone else. It's a comfort to me to share since you all know how it is. Not everyone realizes the extent and density of the pain. Maggie
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    Old 05-15-2004, 10:51 PM   #13
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Well here I am still waiting to see Rheumatologist and have been in pain in varying places. I'm not sure I understand how I'm supposed to know what pain is RA. My knees were terrible, but I went through that a few years ago when diagnosed with OA. Now my shoulders are hurting, particularly my right one radiating down my right muscle, but I've experienced that before too with bursitis in the shoulder after an injury. The main difference being is that none of my pain medications work very well, which is unusual. I've lost l5 lbs. because I don't feel like eating. When I eat, it's very little. I know that is a symptom. I feel confused. My tests indicate positive for RA but the pain is what I've had before, but without much relief. I haven't been doing a lot of yard work or much housework because everything I seemed to result in muscle pain. Is that part of it? Any input will be greatly appreciated. Maggie
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    Old 05-19-2004, 12:42 AM   #14
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Ask your doctor about Celebrex. I know moving is probably difficult for you right now but dont stop moving! Also, check with your local ymca, most have a exercise pool progam. Water is amazing when joints are painful. I dont know what your living situation is but a warm bath works well too. Getting into and out of a bath can be bad in itself sometimes so dont do that if you are afraid you cant get into and out safely.
    Ask your doctor about PACE (people with arthritis can exercise) programs.
    Stay strong, I know its hard at times but dont let it get you down. Arthritis can take much from you but dont let it have the one thing it cant take, your spirit.

    With love,
    Christa

     
    Old 05-20-2004, 05:28 PM   #15
    MargieRuth
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    Re: Help - recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Thanks everyone for your input. I just got back from the Rheumatologist, and the news being that the values on the blood work while indicating RA are not high enough to actually diagnose RA. One test indicates borderline Lupus, but that is not the problem according to the Doc. I have OA as diagnosed before but he thinks it has progressed being degenerative and I have to have X-rays of my knees and shoulder. He has prescribed Mobic as an anti-inflammatory and Ambien for sleep. He was more than willing to prescribe another pain medication. But in the past I've had Tylenol #4 for Sciata, Vicodin, Percocet, none of them worked. He asked about Oxy-contin but when I had Morphine ordered I vomitted. So at this point we're sticking with Tramadol (Ultram) He gave me a cortisone shot in the shoulder. So - o - o I now have degenerative OA everywhere - spine, knees possibly shoulders. Thanks to everyone for your help. I still hurt like heck but it isn't RA. I wish the best to all of you with RA. Your friend, Maggie
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