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    teejay59810 posted:
    I been on two DMARDs for a month. This was after two months of just one. One is plaquenil (generic form) and the other is leflunomide. I can't take methotrexate because of an undetermined cause of some lung scarring.

    As I mentioned earlier my doc is moving out of state. At todays appointment, she suggested that I think about discussing with my new doc (whom I haven't yet found) about moving up to a biologic since the current combination hasn't been as effective as we hoped. I did have a couple of days of being almost completely pain free. But then the pain came back at a higher level.

    After some further discussion, we agreed to continue the current meds to give it some more time, and I would think about it. We also agreed to drop the meloxicam in favor of a RX ibuprofen.

    So my obvious question is, of those using them, has there been a great improvement? When you started were you at point of nothing else working? And is it cost prohibitive? I have pretty decent insurance, but I don't make Phil Mickelson's type money.
    3collies responded:
    I can't comment on the financial end of RA treatment because I am a veteran and receive treatment through the VA (which has been wonderful) but I can share my own journey with meds. Plaquenil made my ears ring, I still take a half dose of Leflunomide but the full dose gave me neuropothy in my feet. I was allergic to Methotrate, Enbrel and Humira. I have been getting Orencia infusions for about 2 years and I rarely have a flare and when I do, they are mild (like a reminder of what it was like before treatment). Juggling meds can sometimes take years to get the right combination for you. Everyone is different. This past year, I have been concentrating on eating right and elliminating trigger foods. Two months ago I started an exercise program with a recumbent exercycle. At first I was only able to go 10 min. but now I can ride for 35 minutes before my feet tingle and my ankles begin to ache. Even with the discomfort from the exercise, the results have been fantastic. I feel stronger, I sleep better and I can also work on leash with my new puppy. Exercise isn't a miracle drug and it's tough to work through the pain but I think it's the best drug that I've been given. I hope this helps.
    teejay59810 replied to 3collies's response:

    Thanks for the reply. Since I posted I've found out my insurance doesn't cover. Total cost to me is in the $1500 plus range. Somewhere on this site I read that there are ways of getting it reduced, but I haven't checked into it yet.

    Also since I posted, I have made an appointment with a new doc.. I don't see him until late June. That will give one more month on the current regiment. Hopefully, I will have seen some improvement by then.
    FightingRA replied to teejay59810's response:
    I don't know how long you have had RA or what you have tired. Before trying the biologics at that really high cost, please read my blog at about the use of antibiotics, which have kept my RA in submission (except for a couple of relapses due to generic drugs changing) for six years. Yes, brand minocin is expensive, but once under control, you only take a maintenance level. For me that is just one tablet M, W & F. So even at $12 each, that brings the cost WAY DOWN. Please look into of luck with whatever you do. I understand that occasionally the drug co. will allow you to purchase a drug for a discounted price. That still leaves a big hole in your budget, tho.

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