This article is second in the series on rheumatoid arthritis drugs. The four common DMARDs: methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine, leflunomide.
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 …
After a week on Sulfasalazine, I lived with constant nausea. Lost my appetite. Lived in a fog. Enough was enough! I stopped taking it and I do feel much better. Nausea is receding. The fog has lifted. I feel human again. This morning I did my yoga routine. Tonight I walked Jimmy, my 100# dog. I got a good days work in. Orders to lab, photographing a HS senior, setting up a new assignment, scheduling new appointments and on it goes. I am plowing through all the Eve Dallas series by Robb. I am up to #14. About 20 plus more to go. It’s really like one book that keeps on going. Nice escapism. Dependable. I am still on the methotrexate and plaquenil and prednisone and meloxicam. Those I can tolerate. They do help me. There is a fine balance between RA symptoms and medication side effects. Thank goodness my balance is better.
Tapering prednisone is not easy. The .5mg at a time is helpful. I am at 10.5mg from 12.5mg. I was at a point where I only had feet that were not entirely happy. Now I have pings in my hands and wrists. I also have a little stiffness in my hands in the morning. I started the sulfsalazine recently so hopefully that will be helpful. I do feel better doing a little yoga routine in the morning. My back feels much better. I love the feeling of flexibility. It feels really good. My body seeks foods with liquid in them. Grapes and cherries taste good. Chips and artificial foods have lost their appeal.