I’m newly diagnosed and approaching my 3 month mark of Enbrel. My symptoms have improved to some extent, but not completely. My doctor suggested adding methotrexate, but I wanted to hold off until I gave Enbrel a full 3 months (as was suggested.) With proper medication, is it possible to live with RA and be pain-free, or do I need to just accept the fact that I will always experience some degree of pain (and/or fatigue.)
Hi KingKateKong. Can you be pain free? All of the time? Probably no. The better you treat yourself, more rest you get, the better you will likely feel. If you are doing that and still are miserable, then you probably need to seriously consider adding Methotrexate (MTX). I am to the point that I can manage with OTC Aleve. My SED rate is in the low 30s. What is your SED rate? For me, that is a good indicator of what is working. The lower the number, the better I feel. I have been on MTX and Xeljanz together. My doctor just took me off the MTX after 5 years to run some tests. I’m starting to have break through pain, but nothing that I want to get back on narcotics to treat. I would rather just deal with it.
The fatigue is another story. I haven’t found anything to make that better no matter how much rest I get. I get in bed totally exhausted, falling asleep on the couch, but as soon as I hit the sheets, I’m wide awake.
I think the answer to your question is that both of our lives have been changed forever.
If you want to wait another few weeks before trying MTX, that would probably be ok. Are you afraid of the MTX (it can sound scary) or do you just not want any more meds? I know both are valid.