October 21, 2008

Adventures In Disease Modifyers

The current meds I am for my arthritis are not as effective as they had been, so my doc has started me on a more "serious" Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs).

Methotrexate, some might recognize it as a cancer drug but it is also the old gold standard of Auto Immune system drugs.

It's only once a week and at low doses but the side effects are not pleasant at all, Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, drowsiness or dizziness and minimal hair loss.

Started my first doses this past weekend, didn't have the vomiting but the day is totally wasted. If I am still the side effects are pretty minimal, but any movement brings them all on.

They also have me on high doses of Folic acid, it's suppose to help keep the side effects to a minimum.

The bad part is that the drug bascially destroys your immune system. It's my immune system that is attacking me, so they want to suppress it so it stops destroying things. Which means anybody I come into contact with that has a cold, flu, chicken pocks, measles, etc I have about a 90% chance of getting.

I can't even be around anyone that has gotten a "live" vaccine because I can get the disease the vaccine is trying to prevent in them. They actually say that in all the literature I have read about the drug, they also tell you to wash your hands after any contact with people. I have started to carry around a tube of hand sanitizer.

I also have to have blood tests every month to check white/red cells, liver, kidney, etc functions because the drug can destroy those too.

I won't know for at least a month if it's working or not. But I am looking at it this way, what doesn't kill you will only make you painfree!

Posted by Quality Weenie at October 21, 2008 11:58 AM | TrackBack

Wow! What happens when you go for blood work? Do you have to wear a mask to prevent infection?

Hope it works!!!

Posted by: pam at October 21, 2008 01:50 PM

Blood work is just a blood draw and then they do some tests for different levels of stuff.

It's been suggested to wear a mask, especially during flu season but I am going to take a wait and see approach.

The drugs I am currently on is a immune suppressor too and it hasn't been to much of a problem.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at October 21, 2008 03:47 PM

Oye. I hate hearing you have to go through all this, but I sure hope it works the way they need it too.

Posted by: Tammi at October 21, 2008 10:05 PM