All posts tagged: Plaquenil

marysarthritis.com

Vitamin D deficiency and RA

The first doctor to test my vitamin D level was my oncologist. My level was 60 ng/ml. He suggested I lower my supplement amount. I lowered it to 2000U. My next test level was 16 ng/ml. He said,” Just keep doing what you were doing before you changed it.”  I raised my supplement to 4000U and my blood levels have been normal since then. Without a supplement, I was deficient in vitamin D. I have rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D deficiency is common in those with RA, type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Additional factors that influence vitamin D levels in those with RA include corticosteroid use. Drugs such as prednisone and Medrol can reduce calcium absorption and impair vitamin D metabolism. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is also linked to malabsorption of vitamin D.  I am on both drugs and I do take the above supplement. Those with RA who have a deficiency of vitamin D will have difficulty concentrating, pain may worsen, fatigue and depression increase. Vitamin D is a hormone involved in bone and calcium metabolism. …

Four years of RA

  I was diagnosed with RA four years ago, this month. The first few years were whirlwinds as I was also diagnosed with two cancers that each involved surgery and radiation treatments.  My RA moved to the back seat then to the front and again back and forth. Now it is center stage.   In 2015, I was started on infusions of Orencia. Once I realized that the biologics only help your RA by about 50%, I settled in and appreciated that they helped that much. In July the next year, I developed a horrific flu. I haven’t had a flu for years. It was exhausting. Plus, the Orencia was not working any more. I started having bad flares. My rheumatologist stopped the Orencia. After a few weeks, I was started on infusions of Remicade, a TNF inhibitor. By the third loading dose, I was having a severe flare plus I was having a bad reaction to the Remicade. I was ill. It took two months for the Remicade to clear my system and for …

RA update

Methotrexate, Plaquenil and Sulfasalazine are my RA arsenal and are sometimes called triple treatment. I call it Triple Play. These drugs are supported with prednisone and Meloxicam. I have the leeway of increasing the prednisone to 15 mg for a flare. For the time being my RA Doc prefers to keep me at 7.5 mg on a daily basis. My hands and wrists are good. My left shoulder has been a problem, but not a big one. My feet and ankles still rebel. My middle toes on each foot are swollen. I have a minimum (all joints) pain level of three but lately the level has been closer to five. Still, I am functional. I do remember clearly the days of severe pain(I would have to say off the charts. Pain that felt as if all my joints were filled with broken glass). That pain level is my benchmark for how I am doing. My meds are working. I am much happier. I do understand that my RA is progressive. I understand that meds frequently …