All posts filed under: RA Drugs

Articles on the drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Methylprednisolone and RA

              Methylprednisolone (WOW, an impressive word!) is served up in a package of 21 four milligram (mg) pills (Medrol Dose Pak) with specific instructions as to when to take each pill. One time a nurse told me to start the pack the next day as the instructions start before breakfast and that would be the only way I could follow the instructions. I would have to wait through the night before I could start resolving my problem. This time around I saw written on the package that all six tablets in the first row for the first day should be taken on the day you receive your prescription even though you may not receive it until late in the day. All 6 pills may be taken at once on the first day or divided into doses for the remainder of the day. I have had this prescription twice for inflamed salivary glands after thyroid cancer treatment and twice for RA flares. I call it a miracle drug as it …

Ten things to know about methotrexate and RA

Methotrexate has been used for RA since the late 80’s.  It is the cornerstone for RA treatment and considered to have an impressive safety record. Methotrexate is classed as  a DMARD, Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drug. It decreases pain and swelling. It can lessen joint damage and consequently long-term disability. Methotrexate is taken once a week usually in pill form. The injectable form is reserved for those who don’t tolerate the pill or to extend the effectiveness of the drug. Self injection is not hard to learn for those who need it. It can be easy to do with a prefilled  auto-injector that comes in a variety of doses. The auto-injector is useful for children with JIA, too. Methotrexate is frequently paired with other DMARD’s. Plaquenil, an anti-malarial drug is often used. Sometimes sulfasalazine is added, too. Drugs used in combination with methotrexate are usually more effective. Methotrexate is also paired with the biologics including Orencia and Rituxan. The biologics become more effective when teamed with methotrexate. RA can continue on its destructive path when there are no obvious symptoms. It’s reassuring …

RA and tramadol

Tramadol is an accepted treatment for the pain of RA. It is a synthetic opioid analgesic.  Some consider it safer than anti-inflammatory drugs for older people.  There is less a risk for cardiac problems and for stomach bleeding. Dr. R prescribed Tramadol for me three months ago when I was having pain problems. I am on 50mg every 8 hours. It definitely helps me. It is odd but I feel better on it. I have more energy. My pain levels are better. When I started it I was careful about driving. Now I take it when I get up, in the afternoon and in the evening. There are no issues with being drowsy. It is the opposite. I think more clearly. There is less of the methotrexate fog.