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From methotrexate to arava

My doctor and I finally threw in the towel on methotrexate. I've been on it for 12 weeks and at most it gives me relief for three days out of the week (don't get me wrong I'm thankful for that much.) however, it also leaves me in the methotrexate fog a couple of days after taking the injection. Plus the headaches are awful.

I'll start taking arava this Friday. What are some panel members' experiences with this drug? Any side effects not mentioned by my doc or the Rx info? I remember that I didn't learn about the methotrexate fog until experiencing it myself, then confirming my experience with others. I was diagnosed with RA in January this year. I know it's a long way to go probably until getting settled with a treatment that works. Thanks.

  1. Hi Amanda, you're among many who don't receive effective treatment from methotrexate and/or can't tolerate it. Arava is another common disease modifying (DMARD) medicine used to treat RA. Common side effects include gastrointestinal issues which can be minimized by reducing the dose. I hope it works for you?

    1. Hi Amanda. Because I have Asthma, my doctor moved me from methotrexate to Arava as well. A couple things...Arava may take up to 6 weeks before it starts showing its effectiveness. FOR ME...I put that in all caps because everyone is different...for me, Arava alone was not enough and now I am getting an infusion of Actemra once a month and still continue my Arava daily. The biologicals are so expensive and most insurances won't approve until the doctor has tried the DMARDs first (at least that is what I have been told by my Rheumatologist.

      1. Hi Amanda ~ One of the unfortunate things about everyone's RA being different is that sometimes it can take a frustratingly long time of trial and error to find the best treatment! So hang in there while you work with your rheumatologist to find the best combination for you! Arava is not a drug I have personal experience with, unfortunately. My best advice would be to pay attention to your body and report any weird symptoms that you experience right away - you know your body better than anyone else!!

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