Sulphasalizine

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Hi, I am new to this forum so thought I would give you some background before I ask questions.

I am a 39 year old female in the UK. I first had a flare up 10 years ago which was suspected gout in my big toe which developed to pain in my whole leg and I was off work for around 6 weeks. Tried all painkillers going but to no avail.

Then about 4 years later I started getting pain in my left hand and small joints, this then developed through my whole arm and again i was off work for around 6 weeks. In the meantime i was referred to rheumatology. They decided it was inflammatory arthritis but did not know the route cause and started me on hydroxycloriquine, 2 a day.

Last year about 4 weeks after a bout of tonislitis (which I suffer from) I developed same symptoms in my right arm and again this progressed up my arm, I asked about other medication as I didnt feel the hydroxycloriquine was not working for me and was told not to stop taking it. I was given a steroid injection which did not work and eventually had a steroid infusion (1g of prednisilone), which releaved symptons almost immediately. My diagnosis was then changed to Reactive Arthritis.

The decision was taken to remove my tonsils to prevent further flare ups and in February this year I had them removed.

Unfortunately in July I developed a water infection and sure enough 4 weeks later my right arm started to get sore, as I was due to go abroad I asked for a steroid infusion to prevent further flare which was agreed but a much smaller dose than last time (250mg) which has had no effect. I was however given Sulphasalizine to start as well as hydroxycloriquine and I am on my 3rd week on it taking 2 tablets per day, slowly building to 4 a day. I have had no side effects so far apart from feeling a bit nauseus at times. I am now on my 4th week off work and can still see no light at the end of the tunnel with the pain.I have been in contact with the hospital and they are refusing to go with another steroid infusion (which I feel is the only thing that relieves pain) and I have been told i need to wait for the Sulphasalizne to take effect!!

So my questions:

If you have been on or are on Sulphasalizine, how long was it before you started to see results?

also, should I keep calling Rheumatology and insist they give me an infusion as a) I feel like i am constantly pestering them, even though last year they told me not to suffer in silence. and b) I cant sit by and just wait for the meds to kick in when Ive read it can be up to 12 weeks to see any effect?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I just want to return to a normal life with my husand and 14 year old son as when I am not on a flare I feel fine but whilst having a flare everything just goes on hold.

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Sarah I've just came off it after 20years I'm just starting hydrchroride ..it worked great for me less toxic than some other meds but your looking at 2 to 3 months for it to kick in at full dose

    I would ask for oral steroid tablets ..they don't like giving them out but they work great until your demards kick in ,I also found 75mg diclopenic twice a day a life saver and paracetamol 4 times away may help ..I found morphine tramadol ect done nothing for joint pain though

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  • Posted

    Hi .I was put on sulphasalizine 500mg 3 times a day but had really bad side affects sickness nd it affected my eyes bad, caused iching nd swelling. I was having regular blood tests r u ??as they can damage ur liver .I've had 1 steroid injection and due another in November I found it OK for a while but no change really .my reactive arthritis has left me with a wrist that doesn't bend and is now twisted its a nightmare as I'm a hairdresser.i have good and bad days obviously flare ups .I've only had it a year this month after flu virus last October

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    • Posted

      Hi, yes I'm having regular bloods, every 2 weeks at moment. I just don't find the injection enough to relieve the symptoms properly. After my flare last year my right hand especially my little finger has not been the same and is always painful.

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    • Posted

      R u taking naproxen for the pain ? I got to take lansoprazole b4 any tablets as it's now affecting my stomach bad .I found the injection helped a little for a while and I can bend my hand backwards but not forwards very strange. My specialist said they learning all the time with this condition from people. Do u get dry mouth at all and eyes ??

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    • Posted

      I have just been prescribed naproxen 2 500mg a day to take instead of ibuprofen so fingers crossed they might help. Yes always thirsty since taking sulfasalizine too.
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    • Posted

      It seems too be we trying to cure 1 thing then another problem arises .how long have u had reactive arthritis for ?
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    • Posted

      I know. I have had it about 10 years now and in that time I've had 4 flare ups, each one worse than the other. How long have you had it?

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    • Posted

      Only since last October I had really bad flu then my right hand swoll up bad since then it hasn't been right .I was diagnosed with reactive arthritis in January. I get really tired and feel like I have flu without flu symptoms aching nd run down feeling .hope have u coped over the last 10yrs with it ?

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    • Posted

      It's hard when your in a flare up as everything at home goes on hold until things subside and the pain starts easing. I'm very lucky though as I have my husband and 14yr old son who are really helpful and my mum. When I'm not in a flare though things are near enough normal bar the odd sore joint from time to time. I try really hard to not let myself be off work but I use a computer and telephone all day so it makes it difficult, I have just been signed off for another 2 weeks so that will be 6 weeks off work! I never used to have time off work before this which is frustrating.

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    • Posted

      Yes losing work is hard going .have they ever offered u a operation to flush out ur joint where the inflammation is ?
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