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Answers tagged connective tissue disease: Page 1 of 1

Tini from Edmonton asks: I am a lupus patient and the pharmacist and my insurance company said that my prescription drug Mycophenolate, which is quite expensive, may not be covered.  What should I do?

Mycophenolate is a commonly used medication in the treatment of lupus and other connective tissue diseases.  In rheumatology, many medications are used “off label”, meaning they do not have formal Health Canada (or FDA, etc.) approval for a particular use.  However, through many studies and years of experience, we know these medications bring significant benefit to the management of rheumatic conditions and are appropriate to use.  Despite this, companies have not asked health authorities for more formal approval and without it, insurance companies may not always reimburse the cost.  If this is the case, we strongly encourage you to discuss this with your rheumatologist.  This is not an unusual situation for your rheumatologist and they often have access to other means of ensuring you can take the best medication for your condition.


Glenda from Fort Saskatchewan asks: Where can I make a donation for Sjogren’s syndrome and its complications?

There are many great organizations that are doing excellent research, including locally in Alberta.  Currently there is a growing research program examining connective tissue diseases, including Sjogren’s syndrome, at the University of Alberta.  In fact, both the University of Calgary and University of Alberta are well known for the overall quality of research that is produced when it comes to rheumatic conditions.

To consider a donation, you can visit our donation page here or contact the University of Alberta’s Division of Rheumatology division director and administrator, using this link, to make arrangements.  Supporting arthritis and rheumatology research will make a significant difference for tens of thousands who are fighting these conditions every day!


Steve from Charleston asks: Is an elevated CK a sign of inflammation?

CK, or Creatine Kinase, is an enzyme released by muscle in the body.  When the muscle is being damaged, the amount of CK released increases.  Some people always have a higher than normal CK, which may be fine for them.  Some people have their CK rise after vigorous exercise, which for most individuals, is not a significant concern.  CK can increase in diseases which cause inflammation in the muscle, but it is not a specific sign for inflammation.  Rather, it only suggests something is happening the muscle, but not specifically what.


Anna from Port Alberni, BC asks: I really have no symptoms, but my doctor is concerned that I have mixed connective tissue disease because my RNP test is positive.  What should I do?

Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is similar and has some overlap to systemic lupus.  By definition, an antibody test called RNP should be positive in MCTD.  However, as in many conditions and tests in rheumatology, a positive test does not necessarily diagnose a disease.  Conversely, a negative test does not always rule out a disease either.  To truly make a diagnosis of MCTD, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or many other rheumatic diseases, your doctor/rheumatologist needs to review your personal history with you, complete a physical examination, review the appropriate tests and put all that information together to make an informed diagnosis.

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