I took Etoricoxib once - it worked. Does this help with diagnosis?

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Background: My MRI scans, X-Ray were clear. I'm HLA-B27 negative. Have very mild scoliosis. I suspected AS due to chest and back pain each morning for about two years. Rheumy very sceptical due to scans.

At first appt with rheum consultant she prescribed Etorioxib for short time, to see how I responded. GP wasn't so sure as "this is a very strong drug." In the middle of a flare following a long bike ride (not good for the back!) last night I tried it for first time.

I woke up feeling great. It felt like the drug had really helped. Do people think this brings me closer to a diagnosis of any sort? Does it point definitively to my pain being inflammatory and in the spondylitis family?

Thanks in advance for your help

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    medicine reduce inflammation hence you are getting relief BUT inflammation is not because of AS but due to other reasons mentioned in mail.

    i strongly feel it is not AS

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  • Posted

    Personally, I would take the advice of the Rheumatologist and continue with the prescribed medication. They will make diagnoses soon, I would push them for a this.

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    • Posted

      Even though this is a strong drug? My concern is I'm not sure my level of pain warrants it. Compared to others i don't think i have severe pain. Interestingly my feeling better has continued into the second day after taking a single dose of Etoricoxib... whereas i imagined it would fade sooner.

      Is this usual? anyone else on this drug?

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  • Posted

    hi sunlight,

    I have Ankylosing spondylitis, I am 25 and was diagnosed 5 years ago. during this time, I have tried several anti inflammatory medications and in the last year I was put on 90mg of etoricoxib as my back pain is especially painful do to fusion of my sacroiliac joints from years of untreated inflammation.

    to answer a few of your questions- etoricoxib seemed to reduce my inflammation and pain from day 1 of taking it and my back and hip pain responded remarkably quick to this drug.

    I would suggest that taking this medication definitely points to an inflammatory condition, however not necessarily spondilitis. It could be any condition in the arthiritic family, rheumatoid etc.

    The effects from AS inflammation can take absolute years to show any changes in the joints on an MRI scan. I was in absolute agony when I was first diagnosed and it took 6 years for my joints to show visible damage and fusion.

    As you mention you get your pain in the morning this is a distinguishing symptom of AS compared to other arthritis pain. another distinguishing symptom is that AS pain is relieved on exercise and movement unlike other arthiritis which is often worsened with exercise.

    I would suggest that you continue with the etoricoxib (please please please make sure you are on a gastro resistant drug such as omeprazole to protect your stomach as these anti inflammatory drugs are so damaging to the stomach lining and long term use may cause stomach ulcers and acid reflux... trust me you do not want this damage!!). As ankylosing spondilitis takes a long time to show any damage I would suggest you request an MRI after a good period of time as it takes such a long time to show any changes in the joints. etoricoxib will reduce the inflammation and will slow down progression of damage to the joints.

    I pray that you do not have AS because it can be debilitating, however as you say your pain is mild this doesn't necessarily mean you don't have it as AS can present mildly in some patients too.

    wish you all the best and keep us posted!

    x

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    • Posted

      Hi Ker185, thanks for your reply - much appreciated. I did have an initial MRI but it showed nothing so perhaps i would have to wait a while for another.

      My 2nd rheumy appt is in May so I will be able to say that Etoricoxib works and see if she thinks that points further to AS. I have only taken two doses (30mg each time) in the year since I was prescribed it so my pain is obviously manageable at this stage.

      As you warn, I am concerned about possible damage to stomach and don't want to take much of it if I can avoid it, but at the same time if it slows progression (and I did watch a YouTube video of a Canadian AS conference in which reseach showed that NSAIDS can actually slow progression) then there is a benefit too.

      I have an open mind about what this could be, as you say rheumatoid is also a possibility, but the morning stiffness and exercise really helping don't point to that particularly.

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  • Posted

    Just an addendum to this. In the last few weeks I have taken another two 30mg pills and have noticed that they have had less effect than the first dose, just two months ago. This seems very odd to me...is it possible that the drug could have less effect after such a short time?

    I have noticed that my pain has increased slightly (hence i took the drug again) so maybe it is disease progression? But to have the drug lose effectiveness so soon is a little disheartening.

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