Does RA get worse quickly?

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I was recently diagnosed with RA. I was first put on methotrxate and folic acid. I was on it for about a month and developed a dry hacking cough as well as horrible acne on my face, neck and chest. I freaked out and stopped taking the meds. I waited a month and went to another Dr because with my luck the first Dr I saw no longer accepted my insurance. When I went to the new Dr. I told her what happened and she said I may be allergic to the Methotrexate. She said the only way to know for sure is to try it again. And I did. About a week and a half later the acne came back but with a vengeance. I once again stopped it. She said I would have to go on Humira. I'm nervous about that. So many side effects. Anyway I chose to wait a bit before I go on it which is where I am now. But I have noticed in the past three weeks that my hands, shoulders and feet are hurting a ton. Heck they never even hurt before it was my elbows that hurt and they still do. My hands are killing me the most. It hurts to even wash dishes or type on the keyboard . Is this normal? Can my joints start going bad that fast? I mean from just my elbows to now my hands, shoulders and feet? I have a Drs appointment set up for Saturday because I can't deal with it anymore and I need to know can I really be getting worse this fast. Any thoughts you guys and gals may have would be awesome. Thank you in advance. 

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  • Posted

    Yes, it certainly can move that fast. I went to the doctors with painful shoulder joints, he ordered tests and I was referred to a rheumatologist. In all this took twelve weeks and by this time I had pain in my shoulders, elbows, hands feet knees and ankles.

    hope you get sorted soon. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      I have methotrexate by injection. Works fairly well for me and I've been having it for nine years now.  More recently this has been supplemented with Retuximab which is a biologic drug.  It is by infusion (drip) I have had it once and it has lasted for two years but I am due to have it again this week or next week. its a really good medication. Takes about six hours the first time but six hours sitting with a drip in your arm is good considering the two years of relief I've had.

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Jennifer2628,

    As linda1947 mentioned, yes, it most certainly can be that quick. I was diagnosed recently with RA as well and was not at all thrilled about the medication my Rheumatoloist wanted to start me on. It's called Leflunomide (generic for Arava) along with a folic acid supplement. I've been on it for 2 weeks now without any real noticable side effects other than extreme pain for about 4 days after my initial dose.

    I was starting a new job and had to get relief so I relented and went on the med. It can take 2-3 months for these drugs to take effect from what I've been told, but I can tell you that in 2 weeks, I do actually feel a difference in my feet. They're not 'pain free', but they are better. My hands, wrists and knees are still very painful but I'm hoping the longer I'm on this, the better. I hope you can find something that works for you without the side effects. There are alternatives out there as well that are not immune suppressants. But most doctors (at least here in the U.S.) won't prescribe them because they're not FDA approved (which means nothing to me. I have my own description of what FDA means--LOL)

    Good luck to you and keep us updated!

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  • Posted

    My pain got worse and worse.  My hands and fingers were the worst, then elbows and now ankles toes knees and very very dry eyes.  I was on methotrexate got upper respiratory tract infection.  So then onto Arava which did nothing for me then on to humira which I think worked but got raging upper respiratory tract infection again with horrible nose sores inside each nostril.   I see my doc next week and assume we will be switching meds.  Good luck
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  • Posted

    Hi Jennifer. I have had RA for 25 years and yes it escalates fast without any treatment. My brother had it to and he is on humira. Humira is an anti TNF drug and I am on a different one. The anti TNF for me and my brother have worked wonders and have given us a new life. They are expensive so often don't get prescribed until you have tried all the other pills. I would grab this chance as you could be feeling better in a couple of weeks. Take care.
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  • Posted

    It seems that once a patient is diagnosed RA takes over quite rapidly in some cases. I'm the same. Firstly a painful shoulder, now it's my feet/ankles, wrists and elbows. My GP wouldn't refer me. She said she didn't think a rheumatologist would do anything different to what she prescribed (Naproxen and Codeine). The Naproxen worked initially but now I get no benefit at all from it. I made an appointment yesterday to see her again to request a referral to a rheumatologist. Typical NHS. I have to wait 2 weeks!!
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