My RA Methotrexate / Enbrel Test: How Well Do Methotrexate & Enbrel Work on Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis? | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

My RA Methotrexate / Enbrel Test: How Well Do Methotrexate & Enbrel Work on Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Space Shuttle riding piggyback on 747

My “dangerous” RA research?

These last few weeks have provided me with an opportunity to measure the success of methotrexate and Enbrel at treating Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although I was an accidental guinea pig, I have been interested in to learn all I can from this test. How much worse would my Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms be without the injected Biologic medication to added to the methotrexate dose? How long would it take before the symptoms of pain and fatigue were killing me?

My first RA symptoms experiment

Last Easter, I had to discontinue both my Biologic and my methotrexate doses due to a kidney infection. I only skipped one weekly dose of both injections. Thanks to 21st century antibiotics and a quick primary care physician, the infection was quickly cured.

However, for over a month, effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis showed me how well the medications had been working. Perhaps you’ve read on this blog that I have not had a remission from RA flares in the almost four years. That month last spring taught me just how bad the Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms would be if I did not have the alternative of taking these powerful treatments.

The RA fatigue was intense. Maybe you read on the blog about how desperate I felt. I could hardly do any work. Instantly, I was taken back to the time of my diagnosis, except that the Rheumatoid Arthritis had not yet taken every joint way back then. The intense pain, fatigue, and stiffness of RA took longer than one month to subside to the level it had been before the kidney infection. The medications kill about half of my RA effects – not what I’d call remission.

It was not much worse this time – so far

This time, only the Biologic was discontinued for six weeks as part of my rheumatologist’s plan to transition to a new medication. The methotrexate injections were uninterrupted except for one missed dose when the flu worked its way through my family. Since my Rheumatoid Arthritis has been steadily aggressive, I braced myself for the RA to get much worse than it had missing only one weekly dose during my last experiment.

Some RA symptoms are much worse, and some are not so much.  Of course this is not a scientific experiment because there is no objective measure of RA and I am only one patient. However, it is still a real test of which medicines work on my own Rheumatoid Arthritis and how they work. It has given me a clearer picture of my alternatives.

What the methotrexate does

The methotrexate works on my joint pain and weakness. The two days after the methotrexate shot are pretty good days, as long as I do not push myself. However, on the third day, the fever and stiffness return with a vengeance. The pain is more than with the addition of weekly Humira (last year), but still far less than without methotrexate. The fatigue is kept in check by the methotrexate until couple of days before my next shot.

What the Enbrel did

It seems to me that the Enbrel must have worked on whatever causes this fever in a longer-acting way – I have a fever 5 days a week now. And I’m much stiffer without Enbrel. While I took Enbrel, I also had few Cricoarytenoid Arthritis (vocal cord) symptoms, which are returning now as the Enbrel is wearing off. My eyes are a lot drier, too.

Please do not miss the point about Enbrel, methotrexate, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

I hope I have not gotten us lost in the woods. This post is not about my kidney infection – or my own RA symptoms. This is not even about choosing between different disease modifying treatments / DMARD’s. My point is that my little impromptu tests have shown me how much methotrexate, the so-called dangerous drug – and Enbrel, which I had erroneously seen as pretty ineffective for me, have actually worked together to take down certain symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Note to anyone who may be asking, “Can I take just methotrexate?”or “Can I just take Enbrel?”: As explained last week on the blog about Biologics, methotrexate and Biologic medicines work best together. That is the advice of doctors and the drug manufacturers. 

Recommended reading:

Kelly O'Neill Young

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked over 10 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over thirteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

49 thoughts on “My RA Methotrexate / Enbrel Test: How Well Do Methotrexate & Enbrel Work on Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

  • November 10, 2009 at 8:12 am
    Permalink

    you are in the very same boat as me ..i take exactly same stuff and had same experience being off for the flu.

    Reply
    • November 10, 2009 at 9:49 am
      Permalink

      Row, row, row your boat… :musicnote: :musicnote: :musicnote:

      Reply
  • November 10, 2009 at 8:14 am
    Permalink

    I have the exact same experiences. Was getting a little cocky about “maybe its not as bad as I thought, and maybe i dont need these drugs anymore” ..then was off them both for a month with horrid flu/cough.

    Boy it came back with a vengeance, like someone opened a lions cage and it pounced on me like I was fresh meat.

    I’m still hobbling around like an old woman …had to break out the ole neck brace (which had been retired to the closet) and quit the gentle gym exercises. Just getting around is the only demand I’m making on myself this week.

    It’s been a week back on enbrel and metho, and its slow and comes in tiny increments of relief. My sleep was a little sounder last night. My back isnt ruined by standing for more than two minutes. My neck still feels like I’m wearing a two ton tonka toy for a hat.

    So yeah, I still need the drugs. I wont wonder about that again, ever!

    Thanks for your blog post ..it was really close to him this time!

    Reply
    • November 10, 2009 at 9:53 am
      Permalink

      Sadly,
      I hear this a lot: I’m better now. I’m going off my these crazy meds…
      Unfortunately, the RA will not stop doing damage even if the symptoms DO wane (mine don’t).
      So, that’s a hard lesson we had to learn, but thanks for sharing to help others learn from your own “research trials” too.
      (BTW, Kay… :-* )

      Reply
  • November 10, 2009 at 8:26 am
    Permalink

    Wow! I am having a flare and can you imagine I am tired of this after 5 years. I don’t like medications, the fewer I have to use the better. However, I realize with RA you don’t have a choice. For the last year I have tried only to use Enbrel. When I have flares and take prednisone I never do feel like I get close to a remission after I taper off prednisone. I was wondering if I should do something different and have a call into my Dr. I wouldn’t be surprised if he used methotrexate again in combination.

    Reply
    • November 10, 2009 at 9:58 am
      Permalink

      Teresa,
      Thanks for commenting. 😀
      Most doctors will try to get you to take the mtx with your TNF (the Enbrel) since if you don’t, your body will become “immune” to the Enbrel and it will stop working for your RA sooner than it would otherwise. What eventually happens is that people run out of options…faster than new medicines become available.
      Please let us know how it goes for you.

      Reply
  • November 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm
    Permalink

    I totally understand!! I accidently missed four doses of Arava. I couldn’t pick it up and I thought, “oh well, it’s only a few days, I’ll be fine.” Famous last words. I was hit with the reality that I do indeed have RA and I definately NEED these drugs. After five years of RA, you would think that I would have passed the denial stage!!

    Reply
  • November 10, 2009 at 6:39 pm
    Permalink

    Since I had the flu 5 weeks ago ( had the worse bout of RA flares during the 10 days I was sick- fever, so swollen) long story short, I have not had a flare, I can’t tell you why… I am not stiff when I wake up in the morning, how long this will last, no clue. I know I did quit all dairy 4 weeks ago and all meat over the summer– do eat fish– some fish, anyway, I saw my Dr today, he gave me the go ahead for the * minocin * I am going with the antibotic theraphy for my RA for a few months, wish me luck folks, I think most of us have to try different routes and just need to keep each other informed, take care and thanks for reading

    Reply
  • November 10, 2009 at 11:24 pm
    Permalink

    Kelly:

    I hope that you are able to start meds and get relief soon. I pray for you all the time and hope that you soon will get the remission that you so very much deserve! Hang in there! I do think though that no matter how long we have arthritis, we have some form of denial. Though I have been suffering since I was in nursery school so about what 23 years now, I still have moments of denial, mostly of my limitations. Hang in there!

    Reply
  • November 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm
    Permalink

    I had exactly the same experience being off Enbrel for 3 weeks – it was a nightmare. I was in so much pain I could hardly moved. The bright side is that it showed me how well Enbrel really does work and showed me I’d made the right decision to take it.

    Reply
  • November 22, 2009 at 1:31 pm
    Permalink

    One thing I’ve discovered is that you never realize how truly badly you feel until you go off any of the drugs.

    If you think you’re hurting while you’re ON the drugs [and you are], it’s nothing compared to being OFF the drugs.

    Reply
  • March 8, 2010 at 10:54 pm
    Permalink

    I have spent the better part of the evening researching the need for Enbrel alongside methotrexate. I started experiencing shortness of breath, anemia, and some dizzy and fainting spells, my general practioner sent me to a pulmonologist to have my lungs checked,and he also ran some blood work. i knew that I was slightly anemic, but I had never had any of these problems before. I know from researching on my own that methotrexate can cause pulmonary issues and anemia. However I learned that enbrel can excacerbate anemia as well. Since I stopped taking the methotrexate that my shortness of breath has gotten alot better. But, I’m also taking Advair too. Soooooo…..I don’t know what to think! I’m so confused. Does anybody have any ideas? Thank You- Elizabeth 🙂

    Reply
    • March 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm
      Permalink

      Yes, it’s confusing when you change more than one thing at a time. Impossible to prove what is causing what. Just a thought: if it were the mtx, it’s doubtful that the improvement would be so quick. That would lean toward the Advair. I hope you can get an answer – get another opinion if you need to… It could be something else entirely.

      Reply
  • September 5, 2010 at 5:01 am
    Permalink

    This is all really useful and informative and its a worry to think that maybe one day the Embrel (even if combined with mtx -) can stop working as your body becomes ‘immune’ – (i didn’t know that MTX can make Embrel ‘last longer’) So where do we go after that – do the docs then try you on another Biologic? As you say Kelly, some people’s RA can run faster than they are making new drugs…scary stuff…

    Reply
    • September 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Sara. Yes, usually at that point, the doc would prescribe a different Biologic. People change Biologics either because one didn’t work at all or quit working as well. Yes to what you said, but also it’s interesting that they keep coming up w/ new approaches too. So new drugs are also hope for the folks like me who haven’t responded to any current ones yet. :rainbow:

      Reply
  • July 17, 2011 at 3:15 am
    Permalink

    Hi, I know this is an old post, but I really wanted to let you know my experience with enbrel (and methotrexate). I was on predisolone (10mg) for about 5 years when enbrel first arrived. I started enbrel thinking I could get off the dreaded prednisolone. Although I felt better, I still could not reduce the pred below 8mg no matter what I did.

    After my bilateral hip replacement I was looking forward to trying to reduce it once again, however I found I just never regained my strength. I was so tired all the time. Even though my hips felt great, I was having to go back to bed after breakfast because I was so exhausted then back again once I showered, then again after I dressed etc. The exhaustion was almost worse than the hip pain. I was still house bound. After becoming convinced I had either contracted something from the blood transfusion, or developed chronic fatigue syndrome, I was pretty depressed. My GP couldn’t help me or find anything. I was like this for about a year before my rhuematologist suggested I try methotrexate with the enbrel and the pred. Within 4 weeks my energy was back. it was unbelievable! Now I am able to live my life including exercise and enjoy it!

    I still cant get the predisolone down past 7mg without a flair, but am considering trialing actemra – I really want to get off those roids!
    So there you go – one amazing reason to use both methotrexate & enbrel together.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2012 at 7:32 am
      Permalink

      I am happy to hear something helped your exhaustion.This is the worse symptom for me, i feel dizzy and off balance and can hardly function due to it. I am on sulfasalazine as i can’t do methotrexate anymore. I just started enbrel, so i am desperately hoping for some fatigue relief.

      thanks for that info

      nancy

      Reply
  • Pingback: Rosacea

  • November 14, 2011 at 12:44 am
    Permalink

    I had a similar impromptu “experiment”.
    I was due to see my Rheumatologist for my 12 weekly check up, but my MTX script only lasts 10 weeks. By the time I’d worked out that I was out, and with the time lag involved in getting hold of him and having the prescription posted to me, I thought, oh well, it’s only 2 doses, how much difference can it make?
    Hah! famous last words!
    Even though I was on Humira and prednisone, without the MTX I had quite a downhill slide, starting with increased swelling and pain in my right knee, and progressing to other joints. Fortunately it didn’t go to the extreme I get when “between meds” before I got back onto the MTX, but it still took a month or more to get back on track…

    Reply
  • December 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve been on methotrexate about 13 years without much issue (20mg/week now). About 7 weeks ago I started on 50mg/week of Enbrel (SureClick). Last few weeks, my stomach has started to burn off and on and lately, especially at night. It tends to hurt right in my central abdomen area and seems to come on after eating a meal, although breakfast and lunch don’t seem to bother me too much. Last night when I went to bed, it hurt like the dickens for awhile and then eased off.

    Anybody else have any of these issues after being on Enbrel for awhile? I’m not nauseous, haven’t lost my appetite, mostly just pain in gut off and on.

    Thanks,
    Mark

    Reply
    • December 10, 2012 at 11:40 pm
      Permalink

      Mark, I haven’t heard of stomach pain from enbrel, but do you do the mtx at the same time? I’m just thinking it’s more likely to be the mtx – it can cause digestive pain (even when injected) sometimes. I’ll throw out other ideas just in case – maybe you’re worried about it and it’s from that? Or could it be another med you’re taking with these for the RA – any advil or aspirin type med? Or steroids?

      Reply
      • December 11, 2012 at 12:07 am
        Permalink

        Hi Mark, Kelly–

        I had a similar problem with enbrel after about 5 weeks. First 3 weeks were okay, started with that gut pain like you mentioned. It intensified and gave me agonizing intestinal/abdominal pain at night and into the morning that kept me house/bed/bathroom bound for weeks. Had the same issue with eating. Doctors suggested I go off of it for a week to see if by chance symptoms resolved. It was the Enbrel. Went off of it, problem solved within a week!

        Might it be possible to try a week without and see what happens? Obviously not the greatest option :/

        I called the nurse line through Enbrel directly and they told me though it’s uncommon, Enbrel can cause serious GI distress. Might be worth a call? I believe they have a 24 hour line.

        Definitely talk to your rheumatologist, maybe a GI consult to rule out other things like gastritis/ulcers from medications like Kelly mentioned? maybe up your folic acid since your on MTX? Hope you find relief soon. 🙂

        Reply
        • December 11, 2012 at 12:25 am
          Permalink

          thanks so much! not a common side effect – such a help to hear from another person who knows from experience.

          Reply
          • December 11, 2012 at 9:56 am
            Permalink

            I have been on mtx for 4 years with no serious side effects, just the general don’t feel good day after taking it. I started on Enbrel about 7 months ago and I also had a lot of abdomen pain, especially at night. I always take my mtx on
            Sunday nights and was taking the Enbrel on Monday afternoons. The Enbrel didn’t help my pain or fatigue so I took my last dose of it last Monday. I start on Cimzia this Friday. Is anyone on Cimzia? Does it help and how are the side effects?

    • December 11, 2012 at 12:03 am
      Permalink

      I’ve been taking methotrexate for last 6 years. 25mg a week. I just started taking Enbral 5 weeks ago. Felt really good first few weeks. No stomach aches or anything like that I just noticed I was tire more in afternoons. I am pretty. Happy with it I guess because I have been able to do more than before with less pain. I think the dosage may need to be upped on enbral because I’m on 50mg a week & I noticed by 4th week I couldn’t do as much with less pain like I could in 1st few weeks.

      Reply
  • December 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm
    Permalink

    OK friends, I too had the abdomen pain and take MTX and Enbrel, called the rheumy and he put me on more folic acid and that seemed to work for me. With all these drugs, there has to be some side-effects and we just live with them, the fatigue is the worst for me. I medicate on Mondays and on Tuesdays I am the worst, sometimes having to stay in bed all day. But I’m here and that’s good…

    Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 12:02 am
    Permalink

    Hi Mark,
    I have only been on Enbrel for 4 months and I take it with MTX. So far, I haven’t had any unusual problems nor heard of any abdominal/stomach pain side effects with it. I know that when I started MTX a few years ago, my rheumatologist was very insistent about the fact that I eat a “real meal” at all times when taking it (i.e not milk,toast, etc). She was so serious that day, when we added the Enbrel I decided to take precaution and space them out (e.g. take MTX 12 hrs before or after Enbrel) with good meals. Gratefully, I’ve never had any problems with stomach pains or ulcers as long as I’ve been treated.
    Also, where you’re giving yourself the injection may (or may not) have something to do with it. I’ve only used my leg or back of my arm but perhaps if you’re using the naval area, that might have something to do with it? I don’t know, but perhaps you can try a different injection site? I’m not a doctor but these are just my thoughts. Best of luck!

    Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 12:35 am
    Permalink

    Hi bonni, I’ve had RA n fibro for 7yrs,been on MTX for the last 4 n I’m trying to get on to the Enbrel n off MTX asap but my bloods have different ideas!
    I’m always ill after taking MTX normally mirage then don’t sleep n fibro fog kick in within the last3days following my bloodsMTX dose .
    Fatigue at the moment is the totally opposite of my condition,but the docs think it’s my thyroid n adrenaline glad that’s causing the problems
    But ive just started homopathic medicine which seems to be helping the
    inflammation side of things,figure crossed i get ..my bridge when come to it.
    Iv found diet helps too

    Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 1:04 am
    Permalink

    Hi I’ve only been on meth and embril for what should be my 3rd week. I have to miss this weeks as I have a cogh. I would be due to take my embril tomorrow but I have woke up in so much pain this morning

    Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 1:22 am
    Permalink

    Hi Kelly, everyone. Thanks for posting this. I’ve been on MTX oral for three years and Enbrel 1x/wk for almost two. Within the past 6-9 months, I’ve started having major GI distress.It’s not constant, rather unpredictable, and doesn’t seem related to any particular type of food or activity. Not sure if it is related—certainly is interesting that you guys are talking about this though—makes me wonder. What I have been doing is taking both MTX and Enbrel shot on Sunday night—between dinner and bedtime. I’ve found that this way I sleep through things like headache/nausea. Of course the fatigue is bad the following day; I have purposely scheduled my life around the meds, and Mondays I don’t commit to anything important. Here’s the weird thing though—I did see my doctor about it and she has two theories: a) I have the start of an ulcer (gastritis) or b) I’m starting to develop either a gluten intolerance or Crohn’s disease. She gave me prescription strength Prevacid, which I take once daily. It has definitely helped—no more cramping, pain on left side under rib, or urgency. She said that left side of stomach can sometimes indicate ulcer or Crohn’s, right side is often Gallbladder related. Don’t know if that helps anyone, but I figured I’d throw it out for consideration.
    I wish you all a healthy, happy holiday—with manageable pain and fatigue.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2012 at 1:28 am
      Permalink

      I realize it would be a “pain,” so maybe after the holidays, but maybe you could separate the meds so you can determine whether one bothers you more. Also, we do see inflammatory problems with the digestive system with Rheumatoid disease itself – sometimes a diagnosis is initially IBD and turns out to be rheumatoid. Maybe you’ll also be testing for gluten after the holidays – so much fun things to keep us busy with this – 😛
      Have a blessed holiday Jackie.

      Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 1:24 am
    Permalink

    I was officially diagnosed with RA, Psioratic and Osteo Arthritis in May of 2011. I also have a myrid of other issues that prevent me from taking many medications. Currently the only two we have found that I can take are MTX and Plaquenil. They almost work but a new twist has developed.
    I have started getting straight line rashes on my upper body. I get a line of 4 – 10 small red dots that turn out to be blisters. They burst and a miniscule amout of pus comes out and crusts over the spot. in 24 hours they have healed and are gone, but they leave a scar.
    None of my physicians have been able to determine what is causing them. I have read, from various bits of literature and on the net, that this is one of the side effects of MTX. Has anyone else ever had this happen…
    Thanks.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 8:27 am
    Permalink

    Kept me off both Mtx and Enbrel. Then the dreaded bad lab came back and I was pulled off Mtx for at least a month. I had no idea how well they had been working together. The pain, fatigue and yes the fevers came back with vengeance. Kinda like “haha you thought you were better” so, remission no. Controlled and manageable? Absolutely.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 8:30 am
    Permalink

    The first part of my post never showed. ( never write a post on a phone )
    I recently had a upper respiratory infection that…

    Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 8:59 am
    Permalink

    Kelly, I start this same treatment soon.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 11:13 am
    Permalink

    I have tried all the biologics – Remicade, Enbrel, Humira, Orencia – and had severe abdominal pain, nausea, dry heaves, cramping, etc. from all of them to the point where they did a catscan of my abdomen to make sure there wasn’t anything else wrong. I also tried methotrexate and had the same reaction so had to stop taking it. So my only source of treatment for RA right now is prednisone along with pain meds. The side effects of prednisone aren’t desirable either but at least I’m not throwing up on it. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who experienced stomach issues on these meds. My doctor said it’s rare to have that reaction, especially to all of them.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm
    Permalink

    Hello Kelly~ I’m so glad I found this site in a magazine in my RA doctor’s office. I have been diagnosed for about 3 years. I have been on mtx most of the time, with similar side affects day after, I have tried Humira only once and 10 days later got a pulmonary embolism, but doctors can’t explain to me what caused it. I was on small dose of prednisone as well as Mtx at the time. after 3 months off all RA meds, I am back on Mtx and trying plaquinel, so far with not much relief. I am also trying the anti-inflamatory diet, that has helped give me more energy, and juicing at least twice a week, and eating more whole grains, veggies & fruits, no red meat at all. I have been on Long term disability for about 8 months and no longer able to productively do my job anymore. As I read everyones comments I realize I’m not alone and will be on a long journey with this disease. Thank you for sharing your experiences of how you are fighting back as a WARRIOR!!! We are all WARRIORS:)

    Reply
  • December 12, 2012 at 4:53 am
    Permalink

    My stomach symptoms were HORRIBLE when on Enbrel and MTX. I would have to take at least 12 mg of Zofran over the course of 24 hours (my designated drug day is Sunday after experimenting with different dosing days and finding the same results, so Mondays are horrid) to curb the nausea and pain since I physically can’t throw up. I was put on a daily regimen of folic acid to help stave off the MTX nausea (which I had from day one of MTX treatment and still have), but after starting Enbrel injections, I found couldn’t inject myself with an empty stomach without becoming ridiculously ill just hours later.

    After getting upped to two Enbrel injections a week and still not finding major relief, my doc has switched me to Humira, and I’ve found there is little to no nausea when coupled with MTX. As for relief, I’m still testing that out… Week one is great (like back before the pain ever started!), but week two is filled with fatigue, pain, and major stiffness, like I haven’t taken anything at all.

    Reply
  • August 22, 2013 at 10:19 am
    Permalink

    Did you doctor do the blood test to check your RA count? How long have you been diagnosed with Severe RA? I ask because after 14 years on Embrel & Methotrexate my RA count last week was 78 (<25 is where it should be). BTW I have had 5 joint replacement and gone off the Embrel & metho before & after the surgeries and I would concur with having similar responses to your "experiment". I would be interested in your thoughts.

    Reply
    • August 22, 2013 at 10:49 am
      Permalink

      Richard, there’s not a lab test that can reliably track with the treatment or disease activity. What matters most is what is going on with you. I’m on my phone at the lab now, but I’ll get a link later for u to read about that. Please check back.

      Reply
  • September 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve been on Enbrel with mtx since 2005. I also take plaquenil 200 2x a day. I take the frolic acid to counteract mtx. I also sneak in 100mg of Celebrex every morning. I’m 10 years into my RA and my cocktail is working well. I have no big side effects. My hair is more brittle and my eyes are drier, but that also starts happening in your 40’s. I can play tennis 5 times a week and care for my teenage daughters and chronically I’ll husband. Part of it is will power, but amazing doctors and a willingness to try any treatment combo has served me well. I was worried that the drugs might stop working. My biggest suggestion to anyone with RA is keep looking until you find a doctor who listens. I had to try 3 before I found someone who had the same goals.

    Reply
  • November 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm
    Permalink

    I found out last April I had RA by Aug I could barely get out of bed, fell one morning kissed the floor not my hubby, anyway my my Dr started me on metho right away, now i will be starting Enbrel. But i hurt alll the time in my hands mostley… guess that because i drive a 18 wheeler all day. Hubby thinks it will all go away and I’m back to me…. NOT. I was reading just to find out when I start Enberl will the pain will stop?? I don’t have flares just non stopping pain and I don’t run fever either.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2013 at 7:05 pm
      Permalink

      LOVE YOUR COMMENT! YOU ARE A WARRIOR! I TOO HAVE A WONDERFUL DOC WHO MAKES ME FEEL LIKE HE AND I ARE A TEAM. HE EXPLAINS EVERYTHING IN GREAT DETAIL AND WAS KIND ENOUGH TO ASK HIS NURSE TO GIVE ME THE SHOTS AS LONG AS IM CHICKEN….MY DOC IS IN HIS 70’s BUT HAS STUDIED AND TAUGHT RA TO MANY DOCS OVER THE YEARS..EVEN DOES CLASSES AT STANFORD. IM GRATEFUL. STAY STRONG AND YOU SOUND AMAZING WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE TO CARE FOR! HUGS FROM CALIFORNIA…CAMMY

      Reply
  • December 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm
    Permalink

    HI I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH RA ABOUT 9 MONTHS AGO AFTER MONTHS AND MONTHS OF FOOT PAIN….I THOUGHT IT WAS MY SHOES AND HEELS CAUSING THE PAIN! IT FELT LIKE I WAS WALKING ON JUMBO ROCKS! AFTER MANY DOC APPTS AND FOOT DOCTORS AND PAIN MEDS…….FINALY A SIMPLE BLOOD TEST WAS DONE AND BOOM…..NO DOUBT ABOUT IT RA…..MY RHUMOTOLOGIST STARTED ME ON METHOTREXATE ASAP….8 PILLS ONCE A WEEK AMD FOLIC ACID 3 PILLS A DAY EXCEPT FOR MTX DAY…..MEDS WORKED PRETTY QUICKLY TO RELIEVE FOOT PAIN AFTER MRI OF FEET IT SHOWED JOINT DAMAGE AT THE BASE OF EACH OF MY BIG TOES SO BEGAN 50mg SURE CLICK INJECTIONS OF ENBREL…..MEDICINE GOING IN IS VERY PAINFUL AFTER WEEKLY SHOTS FOR 3 MONTHS I AM TOO CHICKEN TO INJECT MYSELF. HAVE SEVERAL PEOPLE BRAVE ENOUGH TO DO IT FOR ME…ONE BEING MY DOCS NURSE….VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE HELP…..I WOULD SAY I AM A WARRIOR BUT I DO HAVE DAYS WHERE I AM PRETTY SAD THAT IM DEALING WITH THIS. I HATE NEEDLES…I GAVE BIRTH NATURALLY BECAUSE I WAS AFRAID OF THE SHOT SO HERE I AM NOW GETTING SHOTS ONCE A WEEK….CRAZY HOW LIFE WORKS . I DO PILLS MTX 4 iIN THE MORNING AND 4 IN THE EVENING ON MONDAYS…..TUESDAY IS ENBREL DAY! I GET THE SHOTS IN MY ARMS I TRIED THE LEG BUT SEEM TO STING EVEN WORSE… WEDNESDAY IM TIRED BUT SO HAPPY THE PILLS AND SHOTS ARE OVER THAT I SEEM TO DO WELL…..I GO TO A PRETTY INTENSE CORE AND CARDIO CLASS 2 NIGHTS….I THINK THAT HELPS KEEP MY SPIRITS UP TO….HUGS TO ALL OF US RA GIRLS AND GUYS WE GOTTA STICK TOGETHER !

    Reply
  • December 5, 2015 at 6:40 pm
    Permalink

    I take 5-20 mg of prednisone for a year, varies depending on how I’m doing, Orencia 125 injection weekly for 5 mnths, and Mtx 15mg weekly for 9 months. Last week of started feeling extreme nausea, just figured it was some change in my body. I did seem to be a little worse as far as flaring. Friday I woke up withthe most worst headache I’ve ever experienced, within an hour I projectile vomiting, for about 5 hours. I finally went to er, which said I had a migraine. By that evening I was urinating red, blood and painful in my stomach. Went back they gave me antibiotics. Has anyone else had this? MTX mentions blood in urine, pain in stomach but doesn’t say what it is. I am not running fever, but still extremely nauseated. Ideas???

    Reply
    • December 6, 2015 at 1:20 am
      Permalink

      Carissa, that does sound like a virus. I’ve had something like that before & it’s awful. Just in case, I’d be sure to tell your doctors about what happened.

      Reply
  • May 10, 2016 at 12:19 am
    Permalink

    Totally concur. Joints pain and grip strength improved dramatically with this combo of drugs. Then the hair thinning started and a rheumatoid nodule appeared on my elbow, so I quit the mtx. Enbrel alone doesn’t work for me. Needless to say, I inject Enbrel and mtx weekly now. ?

    Reply
  • April 15, 2017 at 3:22 am
    Permalink

    Hello Viesta,
    I am new to the RA world. When I saw your post about your RA doc approving minocin. Hmmm…I’ve read very little this but us this antibiotic Theraphy? Can you explain the did age & how duration of treatment? Pills or IV Theraphy? Do most RA Doc recognize or approve this theory? May I ask your experience? Thank You Greatly!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


“imaware™
    Advertisement
Would You Like Free Email Updates?
Stay in touch with RA Warrior.
We respect your privacy. Your email address will never be shared.