No better

Posted , 6 users are following.

I have been on mtx for a few months now as well as pred for about 6 months, now on my third week of sulphasazine and I seem to be going backward. Pain in my wrists, forearms and elbows is about what it was when first diagnosed. Is this normal for sulphasalazine or is it causing the pain?

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  • Posted

    Hi Tony, with me adding sulphasalazine to methotrexate (20 mg a week) and prednisone (currently 5 mg a day) seemed to improve my symptoms. I think it took until I reached 2000 mg a day. I had very painful fingers in the morning at that time. I still get sore wrists and fingers, as well as stiff legs and swollen ankles, but it's bearable now. Good luck; it may just take a bit more time for improvements to kick in.
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  • Posted

    Hi Tony.....I had to come of MTX and was put on Leflunomide, but still wasnt strong enough....they then added sulfazalazine, which did help quite quickly, and its been pretty much under control now for awhile....I really hope they sort it out for you soon...what does of MTX are you on ?
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  • Posted

    Hi Tony

    i think it might take up to 3 months to see effects.

    in the uk if you don't respond after being on two DMARDS ( eg mxt and sulfasalazine) for at least 6 months then they consider a biologic. That just gives you an idea of timescale to see if there is any benefit. I went from low dose mxt to full dose plus sulfasalazine plus another DMARD hydroxychloroquine over a period of 8 months- then a biologic added and am pretty good now, though rattle with all the meds.( fortunately for me only very minor side effects from any of them)

    so it s a waiting game, which is difficult when in a lot of pain- but still worth sticking with the process so they don't stop till they ve found something that works.

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  • Posted

    Hi Tony, I was on Sulfasalazine. Which is from the same family as methotrexate which makes me wonder why you were prescribed both. not an MD though... In any case, it did not help and I ended up crying from pain and still trying to take it as it took me few months to realize that it not only does not help (it was not an onset pain) but makes the pain worse. After consulting the dr, I stopped taking it - the improvement was almost immediate. Consult your dr regarding trying to stop the treatment and see if it makes you feel better. You should see the improvement within 3-4 days as far as I remember if you decide to stop. Good luck.
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  • Posted

    Just to clarify- whilst methotrexate and sulfasalazine are both DMARDS ( disease modifying drugs) they are totally different meds. There is research to show that combined use of 2 or even 3 DMARDS is more effective than mxt alone. In fact , recent guidelines in uk say to diagnose early, treat aggressively with combination of DMARDS, then reduce meds once under control as opposed to  trying something then increasing the dose, then adding something else if it doesn't work. The idea is there is a window of opportunity to hold back the disease in the early stages and therefore hold back joint destruction.

    i guess all if our treatments are a bit experimental as to whether they work- and in some cases , sadly, whether we have an adverse reaction. And you ve got a range of responses here which just shows we re all individual when it comes to treating this RA thing.

    But wanted you to know your current treatments are pretty standard and do help many. 

    all the best.

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