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Answers tagged DMARDs: Page 1 of 1
Q:

Marieanne from Sarnia asks: I was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  I was started on a tapering dose of Prednisone, methotrexate, and hydroxychloroquine.  It has been nearly 3 months and I am still noticing increasing pain and worsening symptoms if I lower my prednisone dose.  Is this normal?

The goal in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is to eliminate joint pain, stiffness and swelling while improving function and preventing joint damage.  DMARDs, including methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine, are the class of medications which are used to achieve this goal.  However, they do not always work as well as we want.  It is important to work with your rheumatologist to find the right combination of DMARDs that work for you.  Fortunately, there are many options available, and many patients are able to find success with the right combination.  Until that combination is found, treatment also needs to focus on ensuring best control of your symptoms.  That may include pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, or glucocorticoids such as Prednisone.

The process to find the right treatment combination can be slow in some patients.  That can be frustrating as it sometimes can feel like your health care team will never find the right treatments.  A positive attitude, education around your disease, and working with your rheumatologist and health care team members will help you achieve your goals.

Q:

Tania from Edson asks: My family and I are planning our next big trip.  I know that the areas I can travel are limited because I take a biologic.  Can you recommend a good website or other resource for me to research this in more detail? My daughter hopes to visit all the continents!

For most rheumatology patients whose disease is under control, travel should not be a major issue.  Many patients are concerned because they may have medications that require syringes and needles, but your rheumatologist can provide you a travel letter which can be presented if requested by authorities.  For patients on intravenous medications, arrangements often can be made to ensure minimal interruption to your treatment.  The bottom line is to speak with your rheumatologist; if your disease is under good control, you should be able to lead a full and complete life.  If that includes travel, so be it!



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