My Treatment

I was diagnosed with RA 15 years ago when I was 38 years old.

I was 1st tried on Plaquenil without any results & because the rheumatologist was worried about some of my mildly elevated liver function tests, she decided to skip trying methotrexate and went straight to Enbrel. 2 days after my 1st injection of Enbrel, I woke up with no morning stiffness. I was so happy!

The Enbrel worked well for 10 years and finally pooped out. For some unknown reason, my liver function tests had returned to normal and so my rheumatologist felt comfortable to add Methotrexate to the Enbrel. To bypass the nausea I got with the pills, I changed to Methtrexate injections. It was awesome! I could wear high heels again and could wear all of my rings again.

4 months after the addition of Methotrexate, I had a anaphylactic allergic reaction to the Methtrexate. Because my rheumatologist & I just wanted to refuse to believe the methotrexate caused the anaphylaxis, she had me come to her office, had me give myself a methotrexate injection from an unopened brand new bottle of methotrexate. D@3$ it, but within 15mins, the anaphylactic reaction started. The rheumatologist & her nurse & assistants were able to medically manage me through that reaction in the office.

It wasn’t until then that I learned that a LOT of the second medication the rheumatologists add to boost the activity of another DMARD was to add methotrexate. So, I am going on my 6th year of not really being sure if I will ever find another agent that worked as well as the Enbrel.

So in five years, I’ve been on:
Humira, Cimzia, Arava, Orencia, Actemra, Zeljanz, Rituxan and Simponi.

Current meds for my RA are:
•Rituxan infusion 7 months ago; no future infusions scheduled at this time
•Simponi injection every 4wks
•Prednisone 5-10mg a day
•Celebrex 200mg twice a day.

For the fatigue from the RA, I take
Provigil 200mg a day.

Not surprisingly, I also have long term biochemical major depression from dealing with RA. So, for my depression, I take
•Cymbalta 60mg a day
•Lexapro 10mg a day.

One of the antidepressants, helps me with pain control: Cymbalta. I have problems exactly describing how it is with the Cymbalta & pain. The RA pain is still there. But somehow, the pain is not as distressing. Cymbalta is pretty neat.

Also, since my depression definitely get worse in the fall & winter and because my RA pain worsens in the fall & winter as well, I think that the dawn simulation alarm clock I use to treat the depression seems to help decrease the RA pain that I used to have before using the dawn simulator.

I hate the fact that I have to deal with RA, but I definitely believe that if it wasn’t for the RA, I wouldn’t have developed the patience & calm that I currently have.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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