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Anyone find success with a DMARD that they discontinued then later resumed?

  • By hope2bikemore

    I’ve been receiving treatment for 6 months for RA. My rheumatologist wants to treat it aggressively which is fine by me. I started with Sulfasalazine and after 6 weeks started Methotrexate. After another 10 weeks he said to discontinue the Sulfasalazine in order to start Cimzia. I’ve had 4 doses of Cimzia since then. Meanwhile night sweats which have plagued me which had greatly diminished in frequency and strength when I discontinued the Sulfasalazine have returned. Also, although I feel my wrist, hand, and ankle are fairly well stabilized and under control, my knee continues on its diabolical way. It was better before starting the Cimzia. The rheumatologist has given me permission to go back to Sulfasalazine and I started yesterday.

    Whew! That’s a long-winded way to my question – has anyone had a similar experience and, if so, what was it? If you had relief from the resumption of the medication, how long did it take?

    I feel lucky in that I seem pretty tolerant to all these meds so far so I’m hoping the trio work! Thanks in advance for anything you can share.

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  • By Lawrence 'rick' Phillips Moderator

    i have not had good success going back to a medication. Generally, it has been forward and on goign back i have found that it never is better than when I stopped and usually it is worse.

    There are many biologics and I hope if you and your docotr to look at others that you find one that agrees with you.

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    • By hope2bikemore

      I just wanted to let you know that my experience in returning to my medications has been very positive. I have resumed and exceeded my previous levels of comfort.

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    • By Lawrence 'rick' Phillips Moderator

      I am glad to hear that Hope2bikemore. Do you have any advice for those who have reason to return to a medication we have already tired?

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    • By hope2bikemore

      I’m really hesitant to make any suggestions because we are all so unique, especially when considering the antibodies each of us carries. I can only speak from my experience. The only reason I wanted to return to a discontinued medicine was because I started experiencing symptoms that had subsided while I was using the medication and then returned when I discontinued it. The pain and progress of my disease were positively affected by the combination of the meds I was prescribed, including specifically the suppression of the uncontrolled night sweats, as well as a dry cough that I experienced only when fatigued (which was often). My symptoms can well be unique to me and the particular form of inflammatory autoimmune disease I experience, but the medication I resumed does seem to eliminate those specific symptoms 95% of the time. Those symptoms had reappeared when I discontinued one medication. I’m not sure how (if) others experience multiple symptoms some of which one of their meds address, but if, through the process of elimination or in some other way, you can pinpoint a med having this effect, then I would think it to be a candidate for resumption/continuation. It may be that I was lucky in being able to isolate the med in the way it happened to me and that I happened to have had a symptom that was obviously affected.

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