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RyanZ71 06-09-2013 07:04 AM

This is my first post so if this is a repeat I am sorry. I am a 34 male that was diagnosed with RA in Jan2013. I am currently on SULFASALAZINE EC 500mg and I take 4 a day (when I remember I am not the best at taking my meds.) My RA is not very severe, but I dont believe it is getting any better on the current meds. My knuckles are hurting the most.
I have a DR appointment on June13, and I was going to talk to him about switching to Methotrexate. I have read that a lot of people are concerned about the side effects. It seems that they aren't as bad as once thought. I might be traveling outside of the US in OCT. should I be concerned about that? I like to have a few adult drinks once in awhile is that really that big of a deal? I know my mom is on Metho and she still has a few drinks and it doesn't effect her.
So I guess what I am asking, does anyone else have side effects from this drugs,do you still drink on it, or is there a better option then Metho.
Thanks for any help.

ladybud 06-09-2013 07:49 AM

Re: Methotrexate
MTX for mild RA is a good choice, and most Drs don't have a problem with occasional drinks. MTX can be hard on liver, hence heavy drinking would just compound that potential problem. There is a wide dose range, it is taken once a week orally or subcu injection, and works well for lots of people. Usually start low and build up dose until adequate response, up to 25mg per week. I would try oral first. It takes a few weeks/months to work so be patient if you decide to try it. No reason to worry about travel in Oct. Welcome to the boards!

Moldova 06-09-2013 10:40 AM

Re: Methotrexate
Meth wasn't a success drug for me. Didn't relieve my RA problems, but this is a drug which they usually Rx and see if a patient doing well on it, instead of going right the way to a harsher biologics.
First of all, i have severe case of RA so if you don't, it may work on you well.
I had pretty unpleasant symptoms and asked my Dr to take me off it about 4 month later. Mostly nausea, not being able to eat, lost 17 pounds in 4 month without trying. Hair loss and extreme exhausting. But drugs I am on now make me very tired as well, much worse than MTX.

I never took a drink being on my drugs since drug itself affects the liver, and when we add alcohol to it, it affects even harsher. So for me it not worth the risk. BTW, any medication while drinking alcohol affects your liver and in time it can be dangerously damaged.

Another thing, auto-immune treatments, RA treatments included, bring our immune system down. A little bug in a air for someone is OK, for people with compromised immune system can be a real problem. MY RA DR always tells me to have immunization and even with it to avoid public places in a winter and flu seasons.
I personally know a lady, in her late 70 who is taking MTX and Enbrel for 10 years now and is doing well; never even had a problem with it. So its all very individual; if you don't try, you don't know...
So for you to travel outside of US has to be discussed with your Dr for sure. I would definitely avoid places where Americans go and have to have tons of different immunizations not to get sick. My co-worker went to Africa and had around 9 different shots for every disease is out there. Have to be careful with their waters, fruits and veggies, and in general be very careful.

I am glad you searching for answers not just go and do.

Best of luck to you

RyanZ71 06-10-2013 06:00 AM

Re: Methotrexate
Well thanks for all the info!!! I might be going to Dubi so I am sure I would need some kind of shots. So you are saying the biologics are a harsher drug. I kind of thought they would be less harsh. So how much I know!!! I do understand that you are not suppose to drink on any meds. What does Rx mean? Thanks again for all help. I'm still trying to figure this whole thing out. I though maybe I would have better knowledge since my mom has had RA for pretty much all my life but I guess I never thought I would get it. Especially since everyone Ive know that does have it are females.

ladybud 06-10-2013 09:22 AM

Re: Methotrexate
Rx=prescription drug OTC=over the counter

Moldova 06-10-2013 10:06 AM

Re: Methotrexate
Men don't learn from their own experience, you want to learn from your mom? LOL I give you a credit that you searching and asking, this is great. I am sure you will learn more as it goes. Just always keep in mind to be careful and check with your DR.
Yes, biologics are very harsh and bring immune system very low. I don't know what makes me sicker RA or biologics. ;-)
They prescribe (Rx) them to those who didn't benefit from more mild treatments (like MTX which is mild form of chemo therapy).

Have a nice vacation!

lc58 07-31-2013 05:43 PM

Re: Methotrexate
How is it determined whether one's RA is a mild case, moderate or severe?
Does the Dr. let them know after test results? Is it based on degree of inflammation in bloodwork numbers?
This is all new to me...likely RA diagnosis for my husband. He is seeing a Rheumatologist for his first appt. Thank you.

ladybud 07-31-2013 07:31 PM

Re: Methotrexate
I think it is an assessment based on how badly inflamed and damaged the joints are, degree of deformity of joints, resistance to treatment, progression in spite of treatment. It isn't one thing, or a ahrd and fast set of criteria, it is more your Drs assessment based on his experience and how bad RA can get. Early on, people tend to have milder disease, and if treated early, the joint damage can be prevented to some degree. Everyone's disease is a little different-some more aggressive than others. The presence of complications, such as pulmonary involvement, occurs in more severe disease.

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