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new symptoms while being treated

  • By Cheryl Buhr

    I was diagnosed in April 2013 with RA and have been taking methotraxte since then. I experienced some relief but my doctor is hoping for more and has increased my dosage to 20mg/week. I will be seeing him in about a month to discuss. In the meantime I think I may be experiencing new symptoms. I sometimes feel soreness and stiffness in my ankles and wrists that I never noticed before. Could this be possible? Somedays I am in so much pain that I think it may be difficult for me to distinguish between old and new!

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  • By Andrew Lumpe, PhD Moderator

    Hi Cheryl, Sorry for your diagnosis almost a year ago. Unfortunately, for most of us, it’s a continually changing journey through various treatments and symptoms as the disease progresses. The goal of treatment is to get as close to remission as possible and it sounds as though you may be moving the opposite direction. That’s a sure sign that adjustments in treatment may be necessary. 20mg of methotrexate is a good amount with 25mg daily usually being the upper limit. It could be that your doctor may wish to add a biologic medicine (https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/treatment/biologics-treatment-options-for-ra/) to methotrexate to help get your symptoms under control. You may wish to discuss this along with your new symptoms with your rheumy when you next see him. Hang in there!

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    Hi Cheryl – Unfortunately you’ve discovered one of the more frustrating aspects of RA – it’s ever-changing nature. That’s why people talk about RA “flares,” because unfortunately it’s not unusual for symptoms to come and go even when you are being treated. So it is important to pay attention to your symptoms and report any major changes to your rheumatologist. Changes in your symptoms may be an indication that it is time to change your treatment. Best of luck!

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