Why is prednisone not helping anymore?

I’m getting worried, my rheumatologist took me off my Orencia about 8 weeks ago to start on Xeljanz, we’ll I just got it last week, and I feel my dr. Not getting insurance requests on time, it shouldn’t have taken this long. So about 2 weeks ago everything started getting bad fast, my wrists have a permanent knot over the last year of flares, but my thumb joints flared so bad I couldn’t even close my hand to brush my teeth.
What’s really got me scared and yes I have told my dr. Over last year I keep getting flares in my neck going into the base of my skull all the way to my shoulder. Prednisone has always helped in emergency flares and it’s not helping me like it did. I took 70mg this morning as I woke up and the pain in back of my neck was the worst it’s ever been, I couldn’t lift my head from my pillow. I’m scared something major is being overlooked and called my rheumatologist twice still waiting on a return call. I will say it seems like even though it’s not new pain, it has really intensified within 24 hours of starting Xeljanz. I had 2 good days Sunday and Monday and then came right back yesterday evening


Community Answers
  • Erin Rush moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Crystalg46! I hope you have gotten a return call from your rheumatologist by now! If your pain becomes unbearable or you describe it as “the worst pain you have ever felt”, you may consider going to the ER, which I know when you have RA, can be an ordeal. It is pretty unusual for someone to develop a tolerance to Prednisone and as you mentioned, it sounds like something else may be going on. Prednisone can definitely help with pain and inflammation, but it can only do so much. Anytime a person switches treatments, you can experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms. Also, you may want to look at the potential side effects of Xeljanz and discuss with your rheumatologist if you are experiencing any of the more serious side effects — https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/treatment/xeljanz-side-effects-and-safety-review/. I do hope you have gotten some answers from your rheumatologist by now. Don’t hesitate to keep advocating for your health! In this case, the “squeaky wheel” gets the treatment they need. Hang in there and I hope you are getting some relief from the pain. Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.

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