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Aug 31, 2018 · Rheumatoid arthritis questions in Autoimmune Diseases

Plaquenil is a DMARD. The biologics, I believe, are the ones that are concerning for lymphoma. I think DMARDs actually slow down the chance of lymphoma. But yes, I hate the idea of taking drugs for a disease that I don't feel I have. I asked my rheumatologist what the repercussions of not taking a DMARD now were and she said they were "significant." The purpose of the DMARD is to prevent damage to joints and the progression of the disease. So, she wants me to start before I start having symptoms. It's just a hard pill to swallow, so to speak.

Aug 31, 2018 · Rheumatoid arthritis questions in Autoimmune Diseases

Sorry you're suffering. It was my understanding that marijuana oil had no THC in it, so therefore it isn't illegal. You can order it online, can't you? Do you have any friends in other states that could send some to you? It's available here in Missouri and we're about as conservative as Texas is. I would check about the cannabis oil. I think it probably is available.

Aug 31, 2018 · Rheumatoid arthritis questions in Autoimmune Diseases

Hi, Karen. Thanks for your info. Have you ever had significant symptoms or has your life been pretty much normal since 2003? I just do not know what to expect because I feel great and am rather fearful of all of a sudden getting ill. I got terribly ill on Plaquenil with severe stomach pains and violent diarrhea. Was not able to take it. I gave it a try for 6 months but the stomach issues were crippling. But all of the DMARDs basically have the same side effects. Just checking all the bases before I "dive in" again.

Aug 31, 2018 · Rheumatoid arthritis questions in Autoimmune Diseases

Thank you for the links, John. Yes, my doctor tested me for other autoimmune diseases, primarily DRVVT, anticardiolipin antibodies, antiphospholipid panel II, and beta-2 glycoprotein IgG and IgM. My x-rays are negative. My ANA was very high which initiated the investigation. From what I understand, a high positive anti CCP test almost always indicates RA. My concern, of course, is taking a medication that can cause more negative effects than the disease is doing currently. I literally feel great, energy level is excellent, no aches and pains out of the ordinary (I'm going to be 65 next month). So I just want to be sure that taking a DMARD is a good idea when I have no symptoms of RA nor have I ever other than hand stiffness. I live in Kansas City but I'm a teleworker at Mayo. Just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing before I start another med that could potentially make me feel far worse.

Aug 31, 2018 · Rheumatoid arthritis questions in Autoimmune Diseases

What I'm trying to find out is if there is anyone being treated for RA who has not experienced any significant symptoms since diagnosis.

Aug 31, 2018 · Rheumatoid arthritis questions in Autoimmune Diseases

I had a little stiffness in my fingers in the morning. Nothing else, no pain. My doctor took an ANA which was strongly positive and sent me to a rheumatologist who did an anti-CCP. It was over 200. From this she told me I had RA and put me on hydroxychloroquine which made me sick and I discontinued it. Just saw her again six months later, no symptoms. She repeated tests and anti-CCP was higher than before. She wants me to start sulfasalazine. My question is, has anyone been diagnosed with RA who has never been in an active stage, and how imperative is it that you take a DMARD? The meds make me far sicker than the disease so far. I understand why it is recommended – to keep the disease from progressing – but so far I have no signs of RA. Is that even possible??