Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Treatments


What treatments have been effective for your rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Diadem, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

I started out with just ibuprofen for my rheumatoid arthritis but then got on prednisone, then Plaquenil, and after a few weeks, on to sulfasalazine. The pain was horrible initially but got better after the prednisone. Now I'm off the prednisone but getting some numbness and some mild pain back. Not sure if I will eventually get on methotrexate. My doctor suggested I may.

Comment from: Ric, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I had twin severe knuckle flares of rheumatoid arthritis 6 years apart. Both immediately after first time vaccinations; flu, then 6 years later, shingles. Thought a former Lyme disease episode was complicit and it may well be what triggered the trigger, i.e., the vaccines. Plaquenil is helping. Odd, it is used in Lyme treatment as well.

Comment from: Mrs A Webb, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I am a 69 year old lady with 22 years of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). When it flared up I could not form a fist to hold a pen and was limping when I walked. My doctor suggested a diet of no beef, no sugar or dairy products, and taking olive oil and plant based foods. With adding gluten free diet and daily one tablet of ibuprofen, I am fine. At night I soak in really warm water and using eucalyptus ointment over the intense RA spots. Humidity is the worst enemy for RA; just do extra to get through some humid days. Good luck.

Comment from: NOMOREGOUT, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 27

I have had problems with tendonitis, bursitis and yes, gout since I was a teenager. High uric acid runs in the family. My father passed from a disease called polymyositis a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis. I have even had some gout attacks that landed me in the emergency room. This time though was different. I had knee replacement surgery, and the surgeon reported to me that I had tophi coated on all the ligaments and joints in my knee. That was after the surgery and it created such a gout flare up that I was put in the ICU for three days after surgery, with intravenous Dilaudid and the weaker morphine. Well, I used to like to drink gin. I haven't had a drink since that episode. I am three-quarters vegetarian now. I lost 30 pounds, I dropped from 220 to 190. I get regular exercise and flare ups still happen like waves rippling out from the initial attack, each one is weaker than the last. There is one practical piece of advice, or I should say my opinion as to deal with this, stay ahead of it. Get yourself a bottle of prednisone and stick it in the back of a door somewhere. Then, when on Friday night a flare up occurs you don't have to suffer until Monday to get to the doctor (if you can get in). Take 40 mg for 4 days, 30 mg for three days, and 20 for two days. Naprosyn, colchicine, meloxicam, Indocin, they all work, but not like prednisone.

Comment from: Shankar, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 25

My wife had rheumatoid arthritis. She was getting back pain once in a year during winter and after taking tablets for 1 or 2 months it used to go away. But last year it was worse. She had constant body pain though she was under medication. When doctor changes tablet she used to feel better for 1 or 2 days and then the pain was back. The doctor then tried steroid tablets. My wife started accumulation of fat. But it didn’t help at all. We tried Ayurveda. It increased her gastric problems and she started getting nausea. We were terrified without knowing what to do. Then I found a book on naturopathy. I thought I would give it a try. It really helped her. Since a year she doesn’t have any symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This is what we did that helped us. I hope it might help someone having trouble with rheumatoid arthritis. Daily drink fruit juice without adding sugar or anything extra. Drink it twice morning and evening. Take 2 thick cotton towels (Turkish towel). Dip one in hot water 40 to 50 degree Celsius. Squeeze it dry. Put the hot towel on your back. Let it stay for 2 minutes. Now take the cold towel. Dip another in cold water. Squeeze it dry and put that on your back. Leave it for 30 seconds. Repeat it 4 times before your bed. End this by applying another hot towel for 1 minute. Then take some massage oil and massage the back for 3 to 4 minutes. Try it for 3 weeks. I bet you will see improvements. English medicines will have side effects. This is all natural and you will feel better naturally. Good luck.

Comment from: ladydi777, Published: November 24

Since being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease I have had a variety of symptoms, lower backache, fatigue, sudsy urine, depression, and tired all over especially if I have walked too much. The depression and fear are the worst things as I don’t' know what the future holds for me with this disease that was caused from high blood pressure. Sometimes I just want to be alone because I cannot do the things I used to do. My urine is sometimes a gold color and it is always there so I get feeling sad.

Comment from: zamo, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 22

I have experiencing constant pain on my right flank, constipation and flatulence. I am on medication now for irritable bowel syndrome but there is not much improvement.

Comment from: r1cochet, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 24

I started with methotrexate for my rheumatoid arthritis. I couldn't tolerate the side effects, I was laid out the day after with nausea and fatigue. Then I switched to Arava, I have no issues and it appears to work. As for biologics, I've been on Cimzia (stopped working after 2 years) then Orencia (same thing), and now on Humira (burns awfully when injecting, but the pen is even worse).


What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow
Comment from: plus, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 09

My mother started suffering from rheumatoid arthritis when she was 42 (this was 11 years ago). After 2 to 3 years of having diclofenac sodium, this medication became ineffective and she was given biochemic number 19 and this was helpful in relieving her pain by 85 percent. After 2 years even this medicine did not work so she was given another homeopathic medicine which has really helped her; but during seasonal changes she starts showing the symptoms and in such case we increase the dose of the medicine. Ayurvedic remedies have been found to be effective in some other people near about my mother’s age that I am aware about.

Comment from: Jennifer, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

One day I started getting pain in the middle joints of my fingers on my right hand, then it went to my other hand, to my wrists, down to both ankles then to my right shoulder all in a matter of approximately 3 weeks. I had no clue what was going on. I called my primary care physician and they wanted me to call the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) doctor that was in the same building as them. I made and appointment, did blood work and x-rays and was diagnosed with RA. When I feel pain, I don't really swell like others describe, but I have pain and weakness in my hands or my ankles, my muscles hurt too. I have osteoarthritis in my knees right now too on top of it so I’m really batting a thousand. When I was diagnosed with RA, my doctor put me on methotrexate. He has me on that still as well as IV infusion therapy every 2 months. When I feel pain in my hands or ankles, I take ibuprofen to help with the symptoms.

Comment from: Catchryder, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 25

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) about 8 years ago. It just was sort of hopping around my body from joint to joint, shoulders, swelling feet, fingers etc. I can tell you the pain is untouchable with any pain medications. I tried most of the oral medications, with no relief. My doctor put me on Enbrel and it was an overnight success. Now after my last batch of blood work, my sedimentation rates are back to very high, no swelling, but all my fingers and feet are getting painful. So I go back and see her next month, for a possible medicine change. I will let you know what she suggests.

Comment from: theresa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I was diagnosed about 10 years ago with rheumatoid arthritis. I was having almost daily episodes of paralyzing pain in my shoulders, wrists and knees. My ANA's were over 2700 and it was crippling. The Plaquenil and naproxen I was prescribed did nothing to either alleviate the pain or lessen the episodes. I was looking at disability. I attended a lecture on acupuncture and thought I'd give it a try. Within a year, my ANA's were down to 400s and the episodes were few and far between and less in severity. I also keep myself to a strict schedule. Now, I only have an episode if I get sick or run down. I take NO medication other than an occasional ibuprofen. I have an active full time job and good quality of life. It saved my life.

Comment from: Shalu, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 13

My wife is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) since 6 years ago. The doctor gave her Nucoxia 90mg, SAAZ-DS 1000mg, Dexorange and methotrexate 7.5mg. After using these medicine she was quite well till now but since 10 days she started having pain and swelling in both her legs and shoulder. She has stopped all the medicines except Nucoxia since two years.

Comment from: pietpompies, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I am 66 years of age and suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. My doctor prescribed methotrexate and it is working like a charm.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 11

My sister is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis since the age of 16. Presently she is 33 years old and has a three year old son. Current laboratory tests show that her RA factor is 82.6, uric acid 5.1 and ASO 507. Now no joints are left for swelling. She has been suffering from right hand wrist stiffness and left hand elbow stiffness and other parts are going stiff with heavy pain, even she can’t sleep due to heavy pain in shoulder muscle and joint pain. For removing pain she takes aciproxyvon (twice) and sazo 500 daily for the last 2 years and more under the advice of a local doctor.

Comment from: RAKA M., 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 19

I am also suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Now I am 22 years old. Five years back when I was in class 12, the problems arose. But After two years allopathy treatment I felt good. But nowadays the same condition has reappeared in my life. I am getting tired.

Comment from: louis, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: January 21

I am suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Presently I am 34 years old and have an 8 year old son. Current laboratory tests show that my RA factor is negative. Now no joints are left for swelling. I am suffering from right hand wrist stiffness and left hand elbow stiffness and other parts are going stiff with heavy pain, I can't sleep due to heavy pain in shoulder muscle and joint pain. I have taken all the tests.


The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer
Comment from: Mari, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I've just turned 50 and diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 37 after heart attack. I was extremely fit nonsmoker, ate decently, and was thin. The only thing I do now that's bad is smoke, no excuses, but my life's awful. I've tried every conceivable treatment medically and naturally. Enbrel biologics helped for 2 years then stopped. It is the chronic fatigue I cannot stand. After about 2 years of horrific pain I was put on cocktail of medicines, Humira, etc., painkillers like OxyNorm along with anti-inflammatories. I'm on 240 mg oxycodone per day; ironically I hate drugs and all my life swore off them for personal reasons. I asked over and over if oxycodone was addictive, but was assured it was not if as taken as directed. Well oxycodone is addictive, so because of my trust and ignorance I'm hooked because they ease the pain and stop me from trying to kill myself.

Comment from: Rebtay, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

Methotrexate has prevented flare ups of rheumatoid arthritis.

Comment from: Louise, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I have had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for over 30 years! Some of that time managed very well, some managed badly. I found it very difficult to acknowledge I had such a serious disease, but ultimately couldn't manage with two small children back in the day (1987) and acknowledged I needed help. Friends thought I would be dead by the end of the year. However, through help from my husband, he used to have to carry me to the toilet at night, and my family, I received excellent medical care. However was a bit of a hippie, I struggled to take the medication I probably needed as I was concerned of its impact on my overall health. Ultimately got a very good doctor who kindly guided me back onto proper medication and into remission for a number of years. I moved in 1998 and had a referral to a 'professor' who did nothing with the management of my RA and probably contributed to me being worse now than I should be. My advice to anyone with this disease is to be proactive in managing it, and make sure you challenge and discuss with your doctor. It is your body, and you are the one who it impacts, don't be afraid to say to your doctor if you are not happy.

Comment from: caitlin, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

Enbrel works really well for me, especially since I am always busy with sports and school. It makes it easier for me, and I can’t really feel any pain until the week is up. Then I have to take the shot again. But it has really helped me get back into my sports and helped me play my current softball season.

Comment from: THANA, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 13

My sis been suffering RA for five years. She tried all kinds of medicine – modern and traditional – with no changes. I really hope patients with similar health problem would share with me how to cure this.

Comment from: the cure, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 22

Boron or Borax have been effective for me. After 5 years of pain it has now stopped and I take no more medication for it.

Comment from: Riana, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

I have rheumatoid arthritis now for 5 years. I have used folic acid, methotrexate, Celebrex, Arava and cortisone. Now 1 year ago I started with Humira injections every second week. So 7 months ago I have stop using the cortisone and the Celebrex. It much better with the Humira injections, but I must still take the Arava and methotrexate.

Comment from: whit25, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I have been living with RA since I was 6, I am now 25. I am taking Mobic and that treatment is working for me.

Comment from: Kego22, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I have had R/A for 30 plus years and have tried many treatments. All have worked up to a point then have been given newer treatment. Most recently Humira. I have recently suffered with blood clots to the leg and then the lungs. I have stopped Humira and am about to go on Rituximab

Comment from: Polychrome, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 18

Methotrexate isn't an anti-inflammatory; it's a folic acid inhibitor. Oncologists use it because it inhibits metabolism at the cellular level. The action for RA is in suppressing the over activity and profusion of inflammatory response cells in the synovium. It can interfere with many cellular metabolic pathways. Liver tests are used during treatment to determine if red blood cell production has been inhibited, among other things. Just because an inexpensive treatment is being required before approving the use of the more expensive biologics by care (cost) management specialists doesn't mean it's safe and effective for all patients.

Comment from: d, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 18

I had been taking Methotrexate for some time without much change so was given Arava as well. I felt really great for 4 months then got really sick and was hospitalized. These don’t mix well. It was a very frightening and expensive lesson.

Comment from: Jenniferkjk, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

When diagnosed with RA and I immediately went to see a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner because I found that there is no cure from Western medicine. My painful, swollen fingers and toes are now under control. The RA is very much under control now and I also sleep better without pain from inflammation. I did not suffer from any deformation of my joints.

Comment from: cpw, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I’m 53 and was diagnosed with RA this year. It started with a sore foot and then three weeks would go by and it would turn up in one shoulder, then three weeks later in other shoulder. It went to my fingers in my right hand and then my knees were so swollen I could not bend. After my diagnosis I had two specimen jars of fluid removed from my knee. Then my doctor gave me two Prednisone injections, which did help. I feel better, but I still have bad days sometimes. I especially feel for the young ones who have this.

Comment from: S.B., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 16

I have recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis had been given Celebrex and Plaquenil. Medications give me relief, but slowly.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 20

Enbrel has been very effective in controlling my rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Comment from: rlm, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

I started taking methotrexate and medrol dose packs as well as decadron shots and toradol shots. I also take folic acid every day to eliminate side effects from the methotrexate, such as, thinning of hair and bruising.

Comment from: Rosie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I have had arthritis for 1.5 years. I have pain in both wrists every day and have now started to have pain in my left knee. I also note my right feet and ankle getting swollen now when I eat anything with gluten or acid. I take a small pill called rheumazin forte which takes away the pain in the wrist but not in the knee. The pain in the knee goes away if I take naproxen. If I do not take these medications every 24 hrs my synovial joints get stiff and I am not able to use my hands or move around.

Comment from: Joyce, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

I find that pure fish oil has benefited me for the past 4 years for my rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I'm 47, female, and about 7 years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I was relieved that my problems finally had a name. I was prescribed ibuprofen, Naproxen and Diclofenac, but that caused stomach problems. I did well on Methotrexate, but I found the risks too high. Moreover, my doctor had to increase the dosage every week. I started using an Aloe Vera drink for a while, but started using Omega 3 about 4 years ago. I am very content with that. As long as I use 1 capsule (1,000 mg) a day, my inflammation episodes are as good as absent.

Comment from: blue, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I have had RA for about 5 years and have been taking Methotrexate and Leflumenide for the past 2 years which have kept it under control. The doctor is talking about Enbrel as a further treatment. I would like to hear what side effects people have had from this drug as I am uneasy about going on it.

Comment from: sara, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

I was diagnosed with RA after having stiff painful joints in legs and hands about 5 years ago and almost unable to walk. I started on prednisolon tablets for about 4 months then plaquenil and prednisolon then just plaquenil continuously and it has been very good for about 4 years. I have been living an active normal life but a bit slower than before. I have recently had a concern about hair thinning and dry mouth, not sure if this is caused by medication or RA or just old age.

Comment from: Molly, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

I'm on Plaquenil and prednisone for my rheumatoid arthritis. Tried Methotrexate and Enbrel and none of these treatments seem to work. Next thing is Humira. I also have broken my ankle in the past and currently have a torn rotator cuff that needs to be repaired. I just seem to be so tired all the time. Also have anxiety and depression for which I also take pills.

Comment from: wmaddie1, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 01

I am on Enbrel, and take Vicuprofen, as needed for pain. Right now, I am going through a severe flare up, and nothing really helps.

Comment from: guy, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 18

I’ve had RA for 8 years now and recently had a treatment called; bilateral yttrium synovectomy. It took my knees down to normal size and I have no pain at all now. Miracle treatment for me!

Comment from: Shelly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 18

I have had RA for 14 years now, along with my RA I have fibromyalgia. I am taking Enbrel, cymbalta, flexaril, and prednisone. I don't like taking prednisone due to the horrible long term reports I have heard about. My doctor has suggested I take Leflunomide to replace prednisone. Has anyone, does anyone out there have both Fibromyalsia and RA and using these RX medications. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Comment from: Nellie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

A drug called Arava was my miracle drug. I have been in remission for more than 2 years now.

Comment from: Rafiullah Utmani, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: April 11

'Luban' is glue obtained from trees. It is found in the deserts of Pakistan and India which is very useful for arthritis patients.