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Thread: Plaquenil and stomach pain

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    Unhappy Plaquenil and stomach pain

    Hi all. I'm sure this has been posted before but most of the patients who post about their issues with Plaquenil have only been on it for a few months so I thought I could make my own thread since I have been on it for a year and a half.

    I have always had issues with acid reflux and gas prior to Plaquenil but it was a once in a while kind of thing. However, since I've been on Plaquenil it has gotten severe. I am constantly asking my GP and my Rhuemie. Their responses have been "eat more fiber" "try Gas-X" "oh, yeah that happens with Plaquenil". I'm absolutely fed up at this point! They won't help me or refer me to anyone. It's to the point where I can't have a meal without either wanting to vomit or having severe stomach pain. I spend most of my time in my apartment and barely go out to eat with friends because I get sick and embarrassed. Has anyone dealt with this? What do you do to feel better?

    Also, just an FYI I can't go lower than 2x a day because last time my Rhuemie did that my Lupus became active again and I'm still active 6 months later, as a result. Also, I avoid dairy products because I'm lactose intolerant.

    Any suggestions or advice would be so appreciated. I'm at the point where I want to throw my Plaquenil out the window!

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    hi gee17, and welcome.

    i would like to start by telling you that there is no diet that will cure lupus.
    there is only 1 item that is confirmed to be bad for lupus ...... alfalfa

    having said that .....
    many of us do have a problem with gas.
    the lupus association recommends a healthy well balanced diet.

    one of the items that causes a lot of gas is onion.
    and any member of the onion family.

    this item takes a long time to break down, and it often cannot be fully consumed by our gut.

    i personally use a diet known as the "fodmap" diet
    it was designed by a university in australia.
    http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/

    this site does not endorse this diet,
    and recommends you seek your own doctors approval before starting any diet.


    please do your own research or ask a nutritionist.
    i have found this diet good for me, but it does not suit everyone.
    When you're stressed, You eat Ice cream, Cake, Chocolate & Sweets. Why? Because stressed spelled backwards is DESSERTS.

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    When you say "get sick" do you get diarrhea? I ask because I know many suffer with this and often it is caused by the removal of the gallbladder. It causes food to go straight through you and gets worse over time. I suffered for over a decade before a GI doc asked me the simple question "has your gallbladder been removed?"

    one me pill fixed it all! Sadly I had to stop taking it because it messes with my seizure meds but for most people it takes everything back to normal. No pain, no runs to the restroom, no basically being housebound. If you have had that surgery I would suggest going to a GI Doc and talking to him. It will change your life
    Mari

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    ~Winston Churchill~







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    I had that problem with plaquenal too,along with some others. My doc ended up putting me on Cellcept at that time. Good luck with that, hopefully you can figure it out and stay on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgal View Post
    When you say "get sick" do you get diarrhea? I ask because I know many suffer with this and often it is caused by the removal of the gallbladder. It causes food to go straight through you and gets worse over time. I suffered for over a decade before a GI doc asked me the simple question "has your gallbladder been removed?"

    one me pill fixed it all! Sadly I had to stop taking it because it messes with my seizure meds but for most people it takes everything back to normal. No pain, no runs to the restroom, no basically being housebound. If you have had that surgery I would suggest going to a GI Doc and talking to him. It will change your life
    Tagil, no, I don't get diarrhea. I do, however, get really sharp stomach pains as well as sharp pain in my anus. Also, not as frequent, I do get nauseas and vomit after eating. So now I've stopped eating out with friends and sometimes skipping class because I get severe pain in my abdomen and anus to the point where I'm bending over cause I can't handle it. I've mentioned all of this to my doctor for a year now and he has never referred me to a specialist. But I'm moving to a different state in May once I graduate college so I might hold off and go to a doctor in my new state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanna View Post
    I had that problem with plaquenal too,along with some others. My doc ended up putting me on Cellcept at that time. Good luck with that, hopefully you can figure it out and stay on it.
    Shanna, I'm curious to know what Cellcept is. Is it a replacement for Plaquenil or do you take it with your Plaquenil. Also. Did you have any issues with Cellcept?

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    Here is information about Cellcept from the John Hopkins Lupus Center:

    Cellcept is an immunosuppressant used especially for lupus patients with signs of kidney disease. It works by targeting an enzyme in the body—a protein responsible for certain chemical reactions—that is important in the formation of DNA in your cells. In doing so, Cellcept impairs your immune system function as well. Usually Cellcept is given twice a day for a total dose of about 2000-3000 milligrams (mg) per day, but this dosage may be reduced. Like Imuran, Cellcept is steroid-sparing, so it may allow you and your doctor to reduce your dosage of steroid medications and thus also reduce their side effects.Cellcept may cause some side effects. The most common effects include stomachache, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Headache, dizziness, sleeplessness, and tremors (involuntary muscle movements) may also occur. Skin rashes can arise but are less common. Since lupus can also cause skin rashes, it may be difficult to determine whether a rash is from your medication or your lupus. You should speak with your doctor upon detecting any new rashes or symptoms.Cellcept may also cause a reduction in the number of certain cells in your blood. A reduction in your white blood cell count could increase your chance of infection. As with other immunosuppressive medications, it is important that you try to avoid infection and notify your doctor at the first sign of illness. In addition, a reduction in red blood cells caused by Cellcept may lead to anemia, which could make you tired or lead to easy bruising. Cellcept can also reduce the number of platelets in your blood, which may also cause easy bruising or gastrointestinal bleeding (bleeding anywhere along the pathway that food travels in the body). Obtaining periodic blood tests while taking Cellcept can help you and your doctor to detect and correct these problems. Blood tests should be performed frequently during the first several months of taking this medication and less often as more time passes.People over 65 and those that have experienced ulcers or other gastrointestinal disorders should speak to their doctors before taking Cellcept. People in these groups may experience an increased risk of side effects. In addition, there may be an increased risk of developing cancer such as lymphoma and skin cancer when taking immunosuppressives such as Cellcept. You should discuss this with your doctor before beginning this medication. It is important to realize, however, that Cellcept may be the best way to control the kidney disease associated with lupus, and that lupus too can cause cancer. Thus, prescribing Cellcept for your kidney involvement is not meant to introduce new risk factors, but rather to treat the seriousness of your condition at this moment in time.In addition, be sure to wear sunscreen when going outside and avoid prolonged sun exposure—even if you are not taking immunosuppressive medications—since sunlight can also aggravate your lupus symptoms.If you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast-feeding, your doctor will strongly recommend that you stop taking Cellcept due to the risk of birth defects. In addition, even though it is not known whether Cellcept decreases the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, it may be able to reduce their concentration in the blood, so other forms of birth control are advised. Antacids can also interfere with your body’s absorption of Cellcept. If you need to take an antacid, do so at least one hour before or at least two hours after taking Cellcept. As with other immunosuppressive medications, you should speak to your doctor before getting any vaccines or having any sort of surgery.Certain drugs may interact or interfere with the effectiveness of Cellcept. These medications include: cholestercholestyramine (Questran), acyclovir (Zovirax), gancyclovir (Cytovene), azathioprine (Imuran), antacids containing magnesium or aluminum hydroxide (such as Maalox, Rolaids, or Mylanta), oral contraceptives, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim),* theophylline (Theo-Dur), phenytoin (Dilantin), probenecid (Benemid), or aspirin and other salicylates.Be sure to notify your doctor immediately if you experience easy bruising or bleeding, persistent or bloody diarrhea, trouble breathing, fever, or any sign of infection.Recently, the FDA issued an alert regarding a possible relationship between Cellcept and a serious neurological disease called multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). A similar warning was issued regarding the drug rituximab (Rituxan) in late 2006. PML is an extremely rare but fatal disease, but it is important to understand that Cellcept and rituximab are not unique in their linkage to PML. PML is associated with conditions of severe immune deficiency, such as AIDS, cancer, lupus, and the immunosuppression that can be involved in the treatment of those conditions. Although immunosuppressive medications are effective in the treatment of lupus, your doctor can discuss with you the risk of this possible relationship and the use of the immunosuppressive medications involved in your advised treatment.

    I hope that this information has been helpful to you. Best of Luck

    Peace and Blessings
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    Saysusie
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    Default Celiac

    Just a suggestion and it may have been checked already, but auto-immune diseases hunt in packs and I was wondering if you have been checked for coeliac(celiac) disease. Might be worth the screening blood test just to rule it out.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22859356
    (My daughter has coeliac so I am probably more hypervigilant about this than most)
    Last edited by Chloe; 03-28-2014 at 03:04 AM. Reason: Adding info

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    Sorry for not replying sooner, I've been very sick. Anyways, when I first started Cellcept it made me throw up and I just felt queasy a lot but after a few months I felt better, I don't know that I had any other side effects I could blame the Cellcept for. At that time I was also receiving Benlysta infusions. Neither worked,as I am now off both and getting Cytoxan treatments for stage 4 kidney nephritis. Good luck ....Hope that helps some.

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