Hello All. I'm new to the Board. I've had lupus for about 5 years. I've managed it first with just NSAIDS and pain meds, and I started Plaquenil about 10 months ago (2xday). About 2 months ago, I developed a severe "flare up" that included a horrid-looking, puffy, swollen red malar rash, and my kidneys/bladder seem to be kicking out a lot of blood. I have a wonderful rheumatologist who is very involved in my care. He started me on Prednisone at that time and I've been trying to taper off ever since. He also increased my Plaquenil to 3/day. When I attempt to go down to 15 mg/day of Prednisone, the rash comes back with a vengeance, and I have strong chest pains (pleursy?). So then I have to increase the Prednisone.

Here's my question: I am to start methotrexate (6 pills one day per week) tomorrow. I have read all about it and the potential side effects. I can't have any more children, so I'm all for this if it can reduce my reliance upon the steroids. Has anyone found real success with methotrexate, and do you have any advice on when or how to take this medication? I thought about taking it on a Friday night to have the weekend to feel bad if necessary. I am afraid of being sick on a weekday.

Also, does anyone ever get totally off the Prednisone with taking methotrexate? What about the Plaquenil?

Any help is appreciated.

Much thanks,

LDG