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i have just this week started on sulphalazine one tablet to increase to 4 over the next few weeks so far havent noticed any improvement even with the steroids as well can any one advise how long before i feel better as feel so poorly at moment

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  • Posted

    Most DMARDs (Disease Modifying AntiRheumatic Drugs) take a few months to start to take effect and that is why steroids are often given at the same time to give faster relief of the inflammation. Some of your feeling so poorly is the disease process that is making your immune system attack your body and cause the inflammation and damage - and that often makes you feel as if you have flu during a flare of the disease activity.

    If the steroids aren't helping after a week you should speak to your doctor - you may need a higher dose at first. Is the feeling poorly the arthritis - or is it the sulphasalazine? That must the considered too.

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  • Posted

    RA meds normally take weeks to kick in and show any effect with pain and swelling. I would suggest asking your doctor for a course of steroids to kick-start and reduce your pain immediately

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  • Posted

    Hi Diane,

    I'm sorry you are going through this. As the others here have said, it can take weeks or even months for DMARDs to be effective. Meanwhile there is a balance we have to find between having patience in a process, but putting ourselves forward to get the care and advice we need, and making our progress more bearable, perhaps through use of appropriate pain relief, or possibly therapeutic activities.

    Could you explain for us a little of what lead up to your diagnosis, what your diagnosis is, and what do you mean when you say you feel poorly? (What do you experience? Pain? Reduced ability? Nausea? Tiredness? Upset stomach? Changed mental function? Mental/emotional distress such as depression, anxiety, fear, confusion ...?)

    We feel for you in trying to understand whatever you are going through relate it to our own knowledge or experience, and advice that could be of interest to you.

    New symptoms might be side effects of a medication. These are not consistently experienced. Each of us may respond in a range of ways that make certain drugs or combinations either better or worse for us individually.

    If you have some access to your rheumatology team, you should keep them informed when you feel unwell or try to tell them what has been going on when you do get to see them. Maybe keep a journal if this will help you to recall how you have been. If you are not well, at least see your general doctor. Unless they hear from you, your medical carers will remain unaware of your situation. They may need to review your treatment, or schedule future checks to ensure your symptoms do not indicate you are developing an adverse response, or other issues.

    Take care.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I've been on sulfasalazine for 15 years, I started like you they take time to work upto 3 months, I also was given naproxen by my GP which help, 15 years later still on the sulfasalazine but also a biological drug, Benepali, which works well.

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