In 2012, I came off Methotrexate (MTX), a powerful DMARD (disease-modifying antirheumatic drug). It’s widely considered to be the gold standard for treating severe RA, often in conjunction with one of the biologics you see in those
unrealistic, misleading pharmaceutical ads. And this combination was occasionally somewhat helpful in controlling my symptoms. I know, “occasionally somewhat helpful” is not a ringing endorsement. But I’m six years in, and I’ve not found any combo of drugs that has given me more than 30% relief.
If this drug was a key part of my best cocktail, why did I stop taking it? Well, as users of MTX know, liver toxicity is a serious concern. So, along with the weekly injections, patients require regular liver checks, also known as monthly blood work. Yep, it’s pincushion central. And my liver function tests took a nosedive in July of that year. So, my rheumatologist took me off immediately.
Fast forward to today. It’s February 2016, and I’m desperate for something that will get me any relief from the crushing pain and extreme fatigue. Unfortunately, I’m mostly out of options. My last biologic stopped working, and because it’s Rituxan, I have to wait four months for it to exit my system to try another. (Aside: I’m running out of “others” to try, but that’s a ‘Choices’ post for another day…I smell a series here!)
While I wait, my best option is to restart a drug that has already proven itself to be detrimental to my liver. I’ll take every precaution, and my doc and I will be paying close attention to that particular organ. But my quality of life is paramount, so if there’s even a chance it’ll help, I’m taking it. So, tonight, I’ll be back to Thursday evening injections and Friday MTX hangovers. It’s a different kind of #tbt. That’s Throwback Thursday, for those not versed in the lingo. I’m not posting a picture on Facebook, but I thought I’d share it with you, dear readers. I don’t think it would make sense to anyone else.
4 thoughts on “More on Choices…”
I’m exactly the same!
Sending you abundant spoon wishes! xx
Ah yes, the joys of methotrexate. My father used to say “there’s no free lunch” meaning that we have a price to pay for everything. That couldn’t be more true when it comes to RD meds.
I had to go off the MTX due to horrible side effects and 2 day hangovers. I started on biologics… Humira (pneumonia), Enbrel (breast cancer scare that ended up being infectious lumps) and then Cimzia which, for me, had a 4 day hangover, 3 reasonably good days and then 7 days of pain until the next dose. I’m thinking that biologics are not the answer…
Staying on my natural protocol for now… clean eating, probiotics, high absorption vitamins, omegas and natural pain relief. Wish me luck 🙂
So very true. We all have to find our own balance, and re-evaluate regularly. I wish you all the best on your journey…thanks for reading!