All posts filed under: Treatment

All the medical services that help treat rheumatoid arthritis

Plaquenil and the eye

I have a question about the drug, Plaquenil, AKA hydroxychloroquine. My interest stems from the book I am writing, Nurse Mary’s Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis. After reading several additional medical reports about Plaquenil, I realized I needed to look further and to expand its section in the medication chapter of my book. Another reason for my interest was that I had been taking Plaquenil for six years for my RA.  I was taking it in addition to methotrexate injections and Medrol. I had  also been taking it while I was taking tamoxifen for breast cancer. I no longer take tamoxifen as I developed a rare serous uterine cancer associated with using the drug. None of my doctors questioned the risk involved in taking both drugs. I also made the mistake in thinking Plaquenil was a mild drug. In fact, it does treat mild RA and more aggressive RA when given in combination with other drugs. The drug itself is not mild. Hydroxychloroquine  was developed as an antimalarial in 1955. It was a refined version with …

I thought I was going bald, it was just the MTX

About six weeks ago, I started noticing my hair thinning. I thought it was odd because my dad had thick hair in his older years. I expected my hair would do the same. My hairdresser also noticed the thinning. It was real. Next, I started noticing bunches of hair on my comb. “My hair is falling out,” I thought. Right again. I quickly realized that it was the methotrexate (MTX). Hair loss only occurs in 1-3% of those on MTX. I have been on it for five years and the last three years I have been giving myself 25mg injections. It works for me. I am also on hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). Plaquenil can also cause hair loss. I started taking MTX every eight days instead of every seven. Every nine days starts an RA flare. I stick with the eight days. I also cut the Plaquenil to 200 mg daily from 400 mg daily. My hair is no longer falling out. However, my hair hasn’t grown since my last haircut. Unfortunately, it was the second worst …

Back from my hip replacement

My hip replacement didn’t turn out to be as smooth as I would have expected but my hip joint is fine and all the severe pain I had before the surgery is gone. It is a relief and makes the experience I had well worth the effort. The surgeon said my hip was warn out so I’m very glad he decided to do the surgery. During Thanksgiving week I overdid walking with the cane and sitting too long. So yesterday during my physical  therapy appointment, my therapist and I decided I needed to stay with the walker when I went out and use the cane for practice only at home. My pain had increased and I wasn’t doing as well. Back to the drawing board. Time to let the inflammation in the hip heal and to follow the rules.  And to rest more. I enjoy doing my assigned exercises. Resting more is hard. I have had two RA flares since surgery. One was in the Rehab center as they had skipped my methotrexate dose. Why? …