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Methotrexate for lupus/RA etc...Just been prescribed it and I'm scared witless

(54 Posts)
LackaDAISYcal Thu 08-May-14 17:56:42

Not least of all because they have told me to stop drinking my beloved wine

It sounds like it can have some nasty side effects, but are they worth it for a pain free existence. I've been on plaquenil till now, but at my clinic today they have said my fingers and toes are horribly inflamed and I have bursitis in several joints. I've been having regular depo-medrol injections, but they think that if I am relying on them to give me relief then the plaquenil isn't working as it should and it's time for something stronger.

Anyone with any experience?

denialandpanic Thu 08-May-14 18:20:52

I've been taking it for over a year now.I was also terrified and I think started as thread at the time. it has helped. I'm still not pain free because it doesn't treat the spinal element of my condition but if not for that would be perfect. I had some nausea but no serious side effects. I take it Tuesday at bedtime and by Friday/Saturday feel comfortable drinking a glass of wine every few weeks or so. i would not drink anymore than that.

MrsMaturin Thu 08-May-14 18:23:59

This is a pretty heavy duty drug. You would not be prescribed it lightly. So yes I think you need to take it. It will be carefully monitored.

Stopping drinking wine is a shame if you enjoy it but it won't harm your health. Not using an effective medication to combat your serious conditions WILL harm you however. Give it a try and keep a diary of any side effects you feel you have. You may not get any of course.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 08-May-14 18:39:46

Oh, I'm not disputing my need to take it MrsMaturin, just looking for reassurance that the side effects are manageable and get some other perspectives on how it has helped or otherwise.

I'm being a bit flippant about the wine as well; I do love a glass, but I value my health much more and if this can stop my joints from undergoing serious un-reversible damage then of course I will take it. At the moment there is no damage to my joints, but they are very inflamed and sore. And, my rheumy pointed out that the side effects of the metho are actually much less bothersome than the possible effects of long term regular steroid use.

Thanks denialandpanic; I'm glad it has helped you. Do the side effects like nausea wear off the longer you take it?

MrsMaturin Thu 08-May-14 18:43:09

Ah I see. Sorry I thought you were thinking of NOT taking it.

MadMumToThree Thu 08-May-14 18:47:40

I take this for sarcoidosis Have done for over a year and unfortunately I still suffer nausea/sickness for a couple of days after taking it.

I'm on 17.5 a week not sure if that's high or not but will affect everyone differently of course.

Hopefully you will get some relief with it.

trace2 Thu 08-May-14 19:33:27

Am on it been on 3 years am fine with it no side effects and I still drinkblush but on the night I take it am very tired heavy body next morning but wears off by tea time! But I can only take 6 which is 15 mg tabs as it's knocks my white blood count off so I have sulfazaloline as well ! It works for me but still gets flare ups

LackaDAISYcal Thu 08-May-14 19:34:41

The dose they have prescribed is 15mg, rising to 20 in 8 weeks time when I have my check-up. Time will tell I suppose. I'm enjoying my final few glasses of wine tonight. Probalby not a bad thing to stop; that combined with the nausea and loss of appetite will help with my long overdue weight loss winkgrin

trace2 Thu 08-May-14 19:37:17

8 weeks you should have blood tests every two week to start with make sure it's ok

Hulababy Thu 08-May-14 19:37:18

I take 30mg of methotrexate a week, alongside other meds (prenisolone, sulfasalazine, etc) I take 3 on a Friday and 3 on a Saturday Other than making me feel very tired for the first 24-48 hours I notice no other side affects.

My consultant and my GP both said I can have 10 units of alcohol a week approximately, and just not to "go mad."

Hulababy Thu 08-May-14 19:37:43

I had blood tests every month for the first 3 months.

trace2 Thu 08-May-14 19:38:39

Have they gave you colic acid for everyday but not on methotrexate day ?

Hulababy Thu 08-May-14 19:38:56

Oops - 15mg, not 30!!! (6 tablets)

Hulababy Thu 08-May-14 19:39:45

I only have one folic acid tablet a week - 2 days after the first dose of meth.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 08-May-14 19:42:01

Hi trace smile. Sorry you're still getting flares. I was doing OK, but it's all gone pear shaped recently.

trace2 Thu 08-May-14 19:42:15

Lol I was going to 20 is usually the most they give you hula , my folic acid is 5 mg daily

trace2 Thu 08-May-14 19:44:46

Daisy it could have flared with your recent problems , it really is a good drug Am ok only have um now again not like before so don't need steroids as too either x

LackaDAISYcal Thu 08-May-14 19:45:42

yes, got the folic acid. What does that do? He didn't explain it very well confused Also got the envelopes for two weekly blood tests and booked in with the rheumy nurse in 8 weeks.

30mg sounds quite high hulababy! Maybe after the initial period they will "let2 me have a glass of wine or two? <hopeful>

IkeaFurnitureAssemblyChampions Thu 08-May-14 19:47:09

DP takes it for RA and yes, it's a pretty heavy drug. It has helped him a lot though. It was harder when he started, both times, (he's started, stopped and then started again as he had to take a break from it so we could conceive DC2) then things settled down after a while. He does often feel tired for a day after his dose though.

YMMV but he is allowed to drink in moderation. He has switched to alcohol-free beer which he enjoys but tonight for example he had a glass of wine.

I can imagine it's pretty scary. DP has definitely had much less pain since starting on it though.

trace2 Thu 08-May-14 19:47:20

It's supposed to stop side effects daisy it is a chemo drug

Honestly? I've been taking it for 7 weeks and it is not agreeing with me at all - sick, dizzy, fainting and hot flushes. And so much for my weight loss plan, its very like morning sickness. I need to be eating to not feel sick. Constipation has gotten ridiculous too.

Rheum says to perservere, it could go away once i am used to it. And my joints are no better either (not that i expected them to be this early, but it'd be nice to have a positive) i'm on 6 tablets and then 6 folic acid a week too, in an attempt to make me feel better. Ha.

Im unlucky though, most people are fine. I hope you have more luck than me x

Hulababy Thu 08-May-14 19:49:35

Lol! Yes, 30 would be high!

I know it is 6 tabs - have so many other meds they all get mixed up if I am not careful.

TBH I am not yet convinced the methotrexate is necessary for me and going to ask consultant about not taking it and seeing how I go on just the sulfasalazine again. Had a big flare up this winter hence starting it this year - but I just haven't noticed any real changes tbh,

LackaDAISYcal Thu 08-May-14 19:51:04

I thought that too trace, but they seemed quite dismissive of that (and I'm shamed to say I cried when he asked if there was any chance I might be pregnant sad). The plaquenil has only ever just taken the edge off things and it's the steroid injections that have always made me feel better.

I'm going for a DEXA scan and a head CT as well, as I have a furrow that has appeared on my scalp from the top of my forehead back about four inches that they think may be down to loss of bone density, possibly as a result of the steroids.

So fed up of it all, it seems like one health thing is sorted and another rears it's ugly head...and DH is pissed off because I forgot to get milk hmm

trace2 Thu 08-May-14 19:55:41

Hula what do you take them for if you don't mind me asking? Daisy yes the injections do this but mine bones are bad without so I just go with flo xxxx

elfandsafeT Thu 08-May-14 19:56:30

I've recently been diagnosed with RA or possible PA and been told I need to start the drugs on Monday.

They said I could have Hydrochloroquinine and either Methotrexate or Sulfasalazine - I chose Sulfasalazine because I didn't want to stop drinking and because I'm scared of the long term effects (even though Methotrexate is probably a better drug according to Consultant) so totally understand the fear!!

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