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Misdiagnosed RA
Letshopeforthebest posted:
About a year and a half ago I was diagnosed with RA. My tests were negative but I had symmetrical joint pain and swelling,etc.

I was on prednisone for a year, methotrexate for 6 months and did not have good results from either. Gained a lot of weight. Liver counts weren't good.

Now I'm back to square one. My doctor prescribed me gabapentin(??).
I was wondering if anyone else has been in this situation or can offer ideas/tips.
Lyme disease and fibromyalgia were thrown at me from different people (not drs.) but I don't have the classic symptoms.
I don't even know where to go from here.
Please Help!
BJ1989 responded:
My doc put me on gabapentin about 4 months ago and for me, it worked great! I've had RA a long time and along the way, have aquired Sjogrens, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, vascullitis, rheumatoid nodules on and around my elbows and fingers, etc. My fibro was pretty intense and I thought I just kept getting pleurisy flare ups. I was wrong! When fibro hurts in your chest area and hurts to inhale; let alone sneeze--ouch!! So when fibro is in this area, my doctor called it costocondroitis; which is a flare up of the connective tissue where our ribs connect with our chest bone. I hope I have that right!
I was told gabapentin is a non-narcotic pain med sometimes used for nerve pain, if I have that right. Anyway, since being on it and finally at the right dose for me, I haven't had one chest flare up!! Huge relief for me!!
You didn't mention if you had fibromyalgia or not but I hope this info has helped you. This site is wonderful for looking things up; from meds to conditions. I wish you luck in finding the right rheumatologist and getting on the right meds for you!!
Scott Zashin, MD responded:
Not sure if you have seen a Rheumatologist, but always recommend in these situations and or second opinion with one. Gabapentin helps the pain of fibromyalgia but does not address the signs and symptoms of RA. In my practice, when I see patients who don't respond to prednisone, I will question the diagnosis of RA. Does not mean they don't have it, but I look very closely for other possible causes including FM. While FM patients may feel as if they have swollen joints, no swelling is evident on examination.
August63 responded:
Have you asked about Shingles? Reason I ask is all my issues started with a rash then the pain and they said it was RA. Been seeing another doctor and he thinks it is Shingles and I have nerve damage from it as I was not diagnosed correctly.
Just thought I would throw that out there. Good Luck!
Letshopeforthebest replied to August63's response:
No rashes. Certainly have responded to prednisone and currently humira. Still not positive if it is ra. Have tried gabapentin. I haven't had the nerve pain and numbness. I was also diagnosed with carpal tunnel in both wrists.

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