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Thread: Indications For Meds Other Than Prednisone

  1. #1
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    Default Indications For Meds Other Than Prednisone

    I've had an increase in joint pain, but attributed it to, ahem, getting older. Oh, and picking up the golf clubs after a year. I saw Handsome Rheumy today who wanted me to continue a low dose of daily Prednisone for joint swelling/pain. I told him I'd rather not do that due to long term side effects. We compromised with him prescribing Naprosyn 500 mg daily, maximum of three per day.

    Then, Handsome Rheumy invited me to return on October 31 to see how I'm doing. If no improvement, we'll discuss MTX and Cellcept. Sure, I'll slap down my co-pay to see Handsome Rheumy again! LOL

    What are your experiences with MTX and Cellcept? Why were they prescribed for you? How long before you noticed an improvement?

    I tried to read the "It's M Day" thread, but it's way too long (on an iPhone).

    Thanks for your input!

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    When I was first diagnosed, my rheumy put me on plaquenil and pred.

    The pred was to work fast, whilst waiting for the plaquenil to take its effect.

    After a few months we started to reduce the pred. As the pain and symptoms started to come back ..... then we started mtx.
    We started on 2mg on 1 day per week. The dosage was increased as required, as the pred was reduced also. I ended up on 20mg of mtx.
    After about 1 1/2 years we cut mtx back, now at 10mg.

    My understanding is that pred works quickly and comes out of the system quickly to. There is no " build up" of the medication required.
    Mtx does require a build up in our system. It is only a couple of weeks. but it is a build up.

    Also mtx is a disease modifying drug.
    This means it actually creates a chemical reaction within our system.
    My un-doctor description is it is like making a cake.
    mix flour, butter and an egg together, and you make a new mixture that can never be separated again. (mtx does this in our system.)

    hopefully I have made sense to you.
    Last edited by steve.b; 09-17-2013 at 03:05 AM.
    When you're stressed, You eat Ice cream, Cake, Chocolate & Sweets. Why? Because stressed spelled backwards is DESSERTS.

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    Thanks Steve! I can always count on my WHL family to give me the info I'm looking for in an easy to understand manner (and making/baking a cake is an excellent analogy BTW, especially for someone who LOVES to bake!).

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    I have had great luck with Mtx so far (been on it maybe a year and a half or so...). I take 10mg on Monday nights and 10mg on Thursday nights...that works best for me. It does take a while to get used to, but for me side effects faded to almost nothing by about 8-10 weeks. I take daily folic acid to battle side effects, and it works. Some people can't handle taking it orally (too much nausea) and they use injections, which I hear are easy...but as I said, I have almost no side effects at all. I always take it on a full stomach, at night, so I sleep through any queasiness or fatigue - and I wake up the next morning feeling good!

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    I have been on all 3-Imuran,MTX and currently Cellcept in addition to Plaquenol and Prednisone.
    I have tolerated all meds well-no side effects to speak of but I can't really say anything other than the Plaquenol and Prednisone have made any appreciable difference.
    My daily pain is pretty constant-always there but more or less tolerable.
    I get my labs done every 2 months and I have consistently high anti-ds-dna levels which none of the 3 meds seem to help.

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    Thanks for sharing your experience, SiS.

    Many people complain of similar complaints with Plaquenil, but it's never bothered me either. I take my dose at night just for the reason you describe. I would probably try what you do, or maybe try Friday and Tuesday since I still work and would want to see how my body reacts and, hopefully, not miss much work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by n.mac View Post
    I have been on all 3-Imuran,MTX and currently Cellcept in addition to Plaquenol and Prednisone.
    I have tolerated all meds well-no side effects to speak of but I can't really say anything other than the Plaquenol and Prednisone have made any appreciable difference.
    My daily pain is pretty constant-always there but more or less tolerable.
    I get my labs done every 2 months and I have consistently high anti-ds-dna levels which none of the 3 meds seem to help.
    Bummer n.mac! I just abhor taking Prednisone. I understand they aren't intended for long term use and Handsome Rheumy understands (and appreciates) my not wanting to take them on a long term basis. But, that means taking something on a regular basis, which stinks, too.

    I wish you had better luck with Imuran, MTX and/or Cellcept.

    I haven't had elevated CRP in a while and I don't recall if my Anti-DS-DNA was ever positive.

    It'll be interesting to see what my recent labs show since Handsome Rheumy found my joints swollen and I didn't think much of it.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

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    First let me say, I hope they get you fixed up quickly and pretty easily on meds to make you better. Also I'm jealous your Rheumy is handsome...
    I'm currently on prednisone and pill form of MTX.

    The prednisone - It worked great initially. My hands became functional again, where previously they could not be used or touched. However, I had an allergic reaction to a different medicine and they pumped me full of steroids. I felt normal again! It was wonderful! I think I could quite possibly choose the steroid high dose side effects if I could have X amount of pain free normal days first. After the week of feeling normal I went back to my 12 mg of prednisone a day, and it feels like it's not doing anything for me anymore. I have pain daily, and constantly now. Only rarely do my hands become curled into fists and unusable, and only rarely do I hurt worse when touched. So, I don't know why it's not providing me relief like it did before the allergy attack, but I know the pain I live with on it is certainly not worth the long term side effects. (the only side effect I currently have experienced from steriods is I want to eat all the time.)
    The MTX hasn't kicked in for me yet, I've been on it 2 months. My side effects from this one have been nasty - but if it works I can live through this part. As I understand it you get less side effects the longer you take it. I take all 5 of my MTX on Wednesday nights with my evening meal. Thursday I wake up okay, but by noon I feel like my muscles have the flew. I stay in my pj's on the couch all day on the day after MTX days. Fridays I'm still feeling yucky all morning, but usually by 1 pm I'm feeling better, but I still don't plan anything for Friday's and take it easy. The doc says it could take up to 6 months to kick in... I'm sure hoping for sooner and that it works well.

    Steve b. question... Why does it make a difference that it bakes a cake in my stomach? Does that cake make the medicine work better/differently than non cake baking medicines?

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    I sure hope you notice some improvement soon, Abbyrition!

    So, because MTX is a DMARD like Plaquenil, is that why it takes a while to start working?

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    That is my understanding BonusMom. I read that Plaquinil is usually faster acting than MTX.

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