07-10-2008, 07:06 PM
At today's visit with the Rheumatologist, she said she wants me to take one of these two drugs in the near future due to severe swelling of my joints. The swelling I'm having honestly doesn't bother me much. I'm not in pain. The only thing is my fatigue, which I'm sure the swelling contributes to. I told her my joint pain isn't bad. I'd give it a 2 on a scale of 10 for pain. She said the swelling she's seeing should register a 6 or 7 on the pain scale. But in any case, to prevent joint damage, she wants me to take one of these 2 medications.
The pamphlet on Rheumatrex says its for RA. My RA tests are always negative.
Does anyone have experience with either of these drugs? Are the side effects bad? I'm already sick at my stomach a lot with plaquinil.
Thanks for the info.
07-11-2008, 07:21 AM
I have never taken either, but I know sulfa based drugs should not be given to those of us with Lupus.
From my understanding sulfa based drugs is classified as drug induced Lupus...become symptomatic.
Drug-induced lupus erythematosus resembles systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It results from a hypersensitivity reaction to a medication. The drug may react with cell materials, causing the body to form antibodies that attack the body's own healthy cells.
Several medications are known to cause drug-induced lupus. They include:
Symptoms tend to occur after taking the drug for at least 3 to 6 months.
Persons with drug-induced lupus erythematosus may have symptoms that affect the joints (arthritis), heart, and lungs. Other symptoms associated with SLE, such as lupus nephritis and neurological disease, are rare.
07-11-2008, 11:30 AM
First, let me reiterate what Oluwa has said, we SHOULD NOT take any sulfa-based drugs.
Rheumatrex is basically Methotrexate and is used, quite often, in Lupus patients. Methotrexate belongs to the class of drugs known as antimetabolites. Antimetabolites impede the body’s natural chemical processes, such as DNA production and cell division. They are helpful in cancer treatments, as they will prevent cancer cells from thriving.
For Lupus, the immunosuppressive drugs, Methotrexate (Rheumatrex) or azathioprine (Imuran) are used as steroid-sparing drugs. If someone is using prednisone, Medrol, or solu-medrol to help control their lupus, and begin to have complications, their doctor may start them on Methotrexate.
Low dosages of Methotrexate (Rheumatrex), such as 7.5 mg given orally once per week, are extremely effective in the treatment of lupus. Methotrexate is used to control skin rash and joint pain caused by lupus. It was originally used for treatment of RA, but has been found to be very effective in treating Lupus. There also are reported benefits of Methotrexate for controlling more severe lupus symptoms, such as inflammatory conditions of the kidneys and tissues around the heart and lungs.
Methotrexate can be well tolerated by most people, but it also can cause severe toxicity, which is usually related to the dose taken. The most frequent reactions include mouth sores, stomach upset, and low white blood counts. Methotrexate can cause severe toxicity of the liver, kidneys and bone marrow, which require regular monitoring with blood tests. It can cause headache and drowsiness which may resolve if the dose is lowered. Methotrexate can cause itching, skin rash, dizziness, and hair loss. A dry, non-productive cough can be a result of rare lung toxicity.
I hope that I've answered your question. There are many, many Lupus patients who use Methotrexate with success. As I said earlier, it is usually used when you are taking steroids in order to lower your steroid dosage. But, it is also used alone for lupus symptoms with success.
Peace and Blessings