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Prednisone, Sulfasalazine, Plaquenil, & now Simponi

I began this super awesome RA journey in November 2017, 2 months after giving birth. In December I was put on daily prednisone, but nothing else. In January when I had showed no improvement, my (first) doctor added naprosyn. In February, still no improvement, he added sulfasalazine - March, still in pain, went to a new rheumatologist & he added Plaquenil. All of my numbers were very, very high. I'm still in lots of pain, and some days can hardly move my hands. He wants me to start getting Simponi infusion treatments. Methotrexate is not an option for me. So I'm CURRENTLY on:

Pred - 10 mg a day, sometimes up to 15 when pain is unbearable, Have tried to wean down 1 mg at a time but can't.
Naprosyn - 500 mg a day, don't think it's helped at all
Sulfasalazine - two of them 2x a day (I think they're 500 mg?? really can't remember)
Plaquenil - 200 mg 2x a day

I feel like that's a LOT & I'm STILL in so much pain! The initial foot and knee pain is gone, but my shoulders, hands & wrists are still greatly inflamed & hurt badly. There is almost no dip between my knuckles when I make a fist, there is so much inflammation around them. So my questions to anyone who can help is - how long on sulfasalazine before you noticed improvement? It's been almost 7 weeks for me now. Has anyone else done Simponi infusions without methotrexate? How quickly do you get relief from the infusions?

ANY insight is appreciated, I'm trying to be patient but 5 months of almost constant pain & very little help with all of these meds is wearing me out.

  1. Hi JessJune,
    I so hate to hear that you have this horrid disease when you're supposed to be raising your precious baby.
    But I was on Simponi infusions my first year. I was initially on plaquenil. But I had recently had vision problems. I went to eye doctor and told her what I was on. Get this.....they have protocols that they follow if a pt takes plaquenil! After checking my vision, it had decreased significantly from ap. 8 months before. My RA doc immediately took me off of it. As for the Simponi, my vector score was identical from the year before at my initial diagnosis and test. Now I'm going on my 3rd Orencia infusion. Ho Humm
    So check those eyes!!!

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