MTX and Hydroxy - How long to work?

Cez Member Posts: 46
edited 2. Jan 2011, 14:04 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all,

I'm on my third week of Hydroxychloroquine (1 twice daily) and Methotrexate 15mg. I know the literature says it can take between 3 to 12 weeks to work but i'm just curious as to people's personal experiences with either drug?

I had a steroid injection the week before i started the medications and it was a life saver, for the first time in 6 months, i didn't need take diclofenac before i was able to walk to the bus stop! Now I hardly take it at all. However, because of the injection, it's hard to know whether that's controlling the inflammation or the new drugs are starting to work. As the effects of the injection are soon likely to die off, I'm sure I'll soon see!

Thanks for any info you can give me.


  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Afternoon... I've been on hydroxy since march, not noticed any difference to be honest, but if I understand correctly it's not a painkiller, think it's meant to slow the disease down.. I'm going to my rheumy appointment on the seventeenth so will be discussing things with them..
    I'm still having to take a lot of painkillers on a daily basis but I do have osteo arthur that causes a lot of problems too.. Lol

    Best of luck..

    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • ironic
    ironic Member Posts: 2,361
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Cez,
    We are all different when it comes to these drugs. The Hydrox was my first medication and I was a little slow to respond to it probably getting nearer to 16 weeks but saying that I did find the longer I took it the better the results.
    I have been on MTX for 12 weeks and it did take about 10 weeks before I felt the difference. My Rheumy did say that she did not expect me to feel the full benefits until at least 12 weeks and I was to continue with the Diclo’s at the full dose.
    I also had the injection before starting the MTX and I did find a difference after a couple of days.
    As I say we are all so different with these drugs and I know some people on the forum felt an almost immediate relief from them.
    I am thinking of giving the diclo another month before I try and go down to two a day.
    I do hope you are one of the lucky ones and improve quickly.
    Lv, Ix
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Unfortunately, there's no real answer to this one. Hydroxy never worked for me and MTX took about 4 months. I went up really slowly on the dose though.

    Like you, I was put on steroids when I started MTX, although they were oral steroids. I was convinced it was the MTX but when I came off the steroids, pain hit me again. Although it took a while for MTX to work, it was worth the wait. In between flares, my overall pain level is lower.

    All the best of luck!
  • alarkra
    alarkra Member Posts: 213
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Cez,

    I had the steroid jab too when I was put on mtx and hydrox (as well as meloxicam and sulphasalzine). I'm on more of a hardcore cocktail than you, but I found that the steroid jab helped jump-start my system as I was bedridden before it. I personally found that it took nearly 12 weeks for my bloods to show that it was all working and to actually start feeling the effect - I had another steroid jab after 6 weeks which helped keep me going.

    You'll find that everyone has a different response to the meds, so there is no exact science to when / if it will work. However, I certainly have my fingers crossed for you that you start to feel the positive effects soon. Keep strong. xx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We are all different in how we react to these things, hence it is difficult to say how long before one feels a difference. I can honestly say that steroid jabs have not helped, ever. I am now on injected meth ( I have been for some time, but its effect on my PA has been, well, negligible) but it keeps the medicos happy and may well be supporting the humira. I cannot tell. I have never been given hydroxy, so cannot comment on that. It can take some time to find the cocktail that works for you - I hope you notice a difference, for the better, and soon. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben