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Just been diagnosed
An_249904 posted:
Hi, my husband has just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. He had not had symptoms before the big "flare up" on dec 7th. He is on placquanile (sp) and a low dosage of prednisone. Now the dr has prescribed methotrexate. We have been told this is a cancer drug and will cause side affects. Basically this scares the. Crap out of us. Please, if anyone has any comments of reassurance about taking this drug, please let me know. Thanks
Pretzelady responded:
I can only speak for myself. I have been on methotrexate for about 13 years now. The only problem I had was some hair loss. I heard from some others who had RA, that folic acid helped with the hair loss. I asked my rheumy for a prescription for it and my hair started growing back. They say it is also good for your stomach and prevents gastro problems. I would try the drug to see what happens. Everyone is different. I only take 3 a week and it has been a blessing as it helps keeps the joints from becoming deformed. Every drug is dangerous, but you have to consider your quality of life also. I have been very fortunate, as my joints are only slightly disfigured and only in my hands. Best of luck to you.
rbreceda responded:
I have been taking this drug for a year now and it helps out tremendously. I am 26 years old and I had significant amount of pain in December of 2011. I was diagnosed and prescribed methotrexate. I take four tablets each week and my RA doctor let me know that the dosage is a droplet compared to a bucket full for cancer patients. It honestly helps with the inflammation and pain. Just FYI, when your husband has a cold or the flu, avoid taking dosage as it is an immune suppressor. (He will take a longer time to get better if he continues to take when he is ill)

Hope this helps!
xperky responded:
Sorry for the new diagnosis! It is nice to hear from a concerned spouse. Your support will be tremendously helpful to your husband as he copes with RA. My husband puts up with a lot...LOL.

I started methotrexate about 3 months ago. I have minor side effects for the first three days after taking it, but that's all. I also take prescription folic acid daily.

The low dose prednisone can make us feel like athletes. It, however, is pretty dangerous to take long term at higher doses. I have a prescription for it that I won't fill unless I simply can't function at all, it scares me that much.

My doctor feels very comfortable with prescribing methotrexate for me as it has been used for RA since the 80's. Some of the other, newer drugs are even scarier! By the way, the doses we use are on the order of 100 times less than for cancer patients. I hope to never have to deal with that!

We have to balance the disease and the treatments. There is not one answer for every patient. We can always change our minds later on.

Helpful Tips

Dry eyes and dry mouthExpert
Patients with RA may develop dryness of the eyes and mouth due to a condition called secondary Sjogrens Syndrome. The dryness is due to ... More
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