Should we put off starting Methotrexate?

My husband is 39 and was diagnosed with RA about 5 months ago. He was told that he should start methotrexate immediately and get a shot once a week. We decided to wait a little bit before starting it because we are scared at how he will react and we have two little kids. I’m so afraid that he will go to work 5 days a week and be sick in bed every weekend from the shot. He says he would rather deal with the pain of the RA right now and when it gets really bad he will go for the treatment. I would love to hear about your experiences with starting the drug and how long you feel sick for after. I guess I’m just looking for hope and I know we should just be accepting things and moving forward. Thanks


Community Answers
  • Sydney
    1 year ago

    When I was diagnosed, I would have almost taken anything. I started out with methotrexate pills, switched to injections, and then added a biologic. The injections have fewer side effects and are more effective than the pills. With the pills I had some stomach issues and fatigue. The injections have been much better for me with few side effects. Rheumatologists know about the side effects and will work with you to minimize them and also keep a close eye on your bloodwork. Keep in mind that finding the right drug combination for you can be a long process. Plus it can take months for these drugs to reach full effectiveness. It took a year and a half to reach my current drug combination.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is more than just pain. Even with the pain controlled, the disease is marching on and continuing to affect your joints. It also affects more than just your joints. It can affect your eyes, your lungs, your heart and more. These drugs can slow or stop the progression. If anything, I’m sorry that I didn’t get diagnosed and treated earlier. The benefits greatly outweigh any side effects. The medicines have given me my life back. I wouldn’t be able to work without them.

  • Patricia Darstein
    1 year ago

    Well, if it were my husband, I would start treating his RA as quickly as possible. I would be safe to assume your doctor’s goal is to want to prevent further damage and that is very important at this point. RA is deforming to the joints. As stated by another, everyone does react differently to different medications. Honestly, I took Methotrexate as my very first treatment option, in pill form and I think that usually is the first step for most. It caused an upset stomach so we switched to injections (which I was told an injection would bypass intestinal distress). I had NO side effects at all but in retrospect, it didn’t work for me either. It took quite awhile too for that to be established., probably 3-6 months. Finding the right treatment is very important and can be a long road. Once you find it, your husband is sure to feel much better and the fear of further damage to his joints will be lessened. Good luck

  • Kelly Dabel moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Bobcat2008, Thank you for reaching out. Sorry to hear about your husband’s recent diagnosis. I hope that others in our community chime in with their personal experiences to share with you. RA can affect each person differently. In addition to speaking with your husband’s doctor, these articles may be helpful to you both as you weigh your options; https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/nothing-is-worse-than-nothing/ and here is some information specifically on Methotrexate: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/treatment/methotrexate/
    I hope those are helpful to you. Please feel free to reach out with any specific questions you two have, we’re here to support you in this! Best, Kelly, Rheumatoidarthritis.net Team Member

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