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RA help- side effects coping

  • By chifan90

    hey everyone. Chris here, 25 yr old male in the Chicago area, US. i have had (known) about RA for about 3 years now and methotrexate and folic acid are not helpful. my joints are down on inflamation but the mental side effects are extreme and flare up durations range from 2-7 weeks with maybe 2-3 days of being ok within that time frame. For example, hot flashes, negativity, depression, and most of all anxiety. currently even tho I have a new / non temp job and told I am doing great and was given my preffered shift, I still start dreading going in around dinner time or so each night. especially sundays. ( yes, no one likely enjoys going to work, and we all complain, however for me this is a whole new level that 1 is not healthy (loss of sleep, worry) and 2 I am not myself). the RA dr i have is not the best, i am looking to leave them for various reasons including the continued push that I am fine in terms of no joint pain when the md examines me and pushes aside my other concerns as RA flare up is only joint pain to them and im using the wrong wording nor can the md desire to help. also, my immue system goes down heavily when on metho trexate. and i have chronic sinus infections, and that combined with ra makes my quality of life miserable and long lasting. Noted I have seen this md for 3 years and just a few weeks ago did the md say ” oh when your sick like this, you can stop methotrexate to boost immune system” and i (as in the md) have been sick for 3 weeks before, it happens) vs comprehending 7 weeks of issues as if it is nothing. i am curious to see what specialty meds such as enbrel humira and xeljans work and what is most effective in terms of joint pain and limiting the mental side effects i. mentioned. from my regular md, he provides me lorazepam and escitalpram forcsleep and anxiety which sometimes helps. sometimes no. please help

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    Hi Chris~

    For many people, methotrexate alone isn’t enough – but it works well in conjunction with a biologic (that’s the case for me!) This is certainly something you may want to discuss with your rheumatologist if you feel your current treatment isn’t working. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine which biologic will work best for which individual. Basically you need to work with your doctor to make an educated guess. Factors you can consider are method of delivery (would you prefer an infusion or injection?) and also cost and coverage. Sometimes it can take a while to find the right biologic, but when you do it can make a huge difference in your quality of life.

    And I think you are right to consider finding a new rheumatologist if you feel your current doctor isn’t providing the care and attention you need!

    Best of luck and remember that we are here to support you!

    ~Mariah~ (Site Moderator)

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