I’ve started Methotrexate – and yes, I’m glad!

October 30, 2008 at 9:53 pm | Posted in Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 5 Comments
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But before I tell you why I’m glad I have to tell you about my slightly hysterical Rheumatology Nurse Practitioner (aka rheumy nurse) appointment. Although I had pretty much read everything there is to know about methotrexate for the lay-penguin, the good, the bad and the ugly, and although the consultant had already said I should go on to methotrexate, before I started it I had to make a separate appointment to see the rheumy nurse, so she could ‘give me the methotrexate chat’. And give me the methotrexate chat she did!

To be fair to her she was quite human to start with, apologising for the whole mix-up with the early arthritis clinic etc. (Not that she admitted any liability of course – just apologising ‘on behalf of the whole hospital’.) Then she launched into ‘the chat’. Well, she was so heavily on autopilot that she actually repeated an entire paragraph, word for word, and didn’t even know she’d done it! But then she topped it all with the most patronising comment I’ve ever heard.

She explained that you had to take methotrexate on one day of the week, the whole weekly dose in one fell swoop, and that you then took folic acid a few days latter. The killer comment was, ‘It’s very easy to remember. You take m-m-m-methotrexate on a M-M-M-M-Monday, and f-f-folic acid on a F-F-F-F-Friday.’ I was too gobsmacked to come out with a sharp comment like ‘Blimey – what do you do if you have a patient with a stutter?’ or ‘P-p-patronise me again and I may have to h-h-hit you,’ which was rather a shame.

Anyway, the good news is that I’ve been on the m-m-methotrexate now for about six weeks and although I’m certainly not on top of the world I do, on most days, feel a lot better than I did. And an added bonus is that although it’s not making me feel nauseous (most of the time) it IS putting me off my food – which is great as I’d like to lose about two stone … I’ve lost 9lb in the last three or four weeks, and although I know I have to be careful to eat a balanced diet and I know it’s not healthy or sustainalbe to lose weight TOO fast, I’m still rather chuffed. (I know that appetite loss can be a real problem with methotrexate for slim people, but it won’t be a problem with me for quite some time!)

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  1. I have heard rave reviews about methotrexate, infact one of my close friends is on it now, he find it extremly helpful.

  2. I seriously laughed out loud at this post. I was on methotrexate for a few years and it really worked well. I hope it works for you too!

  3. Well I suppose we should thank the dreaded rheumy nurse for giving us both a good laugh … although for me it was definitely an ‘I’ll look back on this and laugh’ moment, rather than laughing at the time! ;o)

  4. Just diagnosed with RA…given methotrexate…am very concerned about the kind of drug it is and it’s side effects…still haven’t been able to take it!

    Am glad to hear that it has worked well for some…what are some side effects I can expect??

    Any thoughts on alternative medicines…has anyone ever tried to deal with RA naturally and has it worked??

  5. Hi Pat,

    Sorry to hear you’ve got this horrible illness … my thought would be ‘take it!’ I presume you’re being well monitored by doctors (weekly then monthly blood tests etc.) and if anything crops up they’ll stop the mtx. I’ve increased my dose since that post and had no effects what so ever. It’s impossible to answer ‘what side effects can expect’ because some people react very badly to it and get lots and some get none, or almost none.

    There are various attempts to deal with RA naturally. If you want more information on RA and diet, visit Robin’s blog, The Truth About JRA (in my blog role). She’s working on dealing with her RA, which is much more serious than mine, with diet. Whether it’s going to work or not … we’ll just have to keep reading her blog to find out! One big problem with RA is that it comes and goes – so something (applies to mtx or diet or anything else) can appear to work because the symptoms go, and then some time later you get a massive flare and they’re back. It’s not a lot of fun, really – but for me it’s manageable at the moment and you’ve just got to take it as it comes and deal with it day by day, I guess.

    It’s worth having a good look at the arthritis society websites and stuff for information too – and there’s a couple of books worth getting hold of too. Arthritis for Dummies is surprisingly helpful and includes a good section on alternative medicines etc., and Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (published by John Hopkins Press) has an excellent explanation of the disease … but definitely from a medical rather than ‘alternative’ standpoint.

    There’s a huge amount of info out here on the net – picking what’s good info and what isn’t is the tricky part!!


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