Hi - I wonder if you can advise me. I have RA (quite recently diagnosed) and was on ibuprofen x3 400mg tablets a day. This seemed to keep the inflammation down quite well while I was awaiting diagnosis. Now I'm on Methotrexate - slowly going up to 15mgs with rheumy review end of March. When I was taking the ibuprofen I quite often forgot to take the middle day dose and felt unhappy about taking so many pills - I was also taking a stomach protector and thyroxine and Amitriptyline other pain meds and was starting to feel fogged up. Also I wanted to see if the methotrexate was working and couldn't tell. So I came off all my medicines apart from the essential ones and then my stomach became very sore - possibly gallstones possibly ulcer the GP said. So after that he advised me to only take ibuprofen when I was flaring. I managed fine without additional pain meds or NSAIDs for just over a month having decided to just put up with discomfort and low level pain.
But I've had a couple of flares over the past 2 weeks - one so bad it actually made my fingers drift even more so I got up in the morning and found my hands had changed shape visibly. I saw my GP and was given Tramadol and Naproxen - at my request, having been advised by other RAers that these are good for many sufferers. He told me only to take them if I was in pain or started to flare up because otherwise he said it would make them less effective and also make it harder to tell if the Methotrexate was working. So I took them for a few days and have now come off and so far I'm just aching a bit if I do stuff with my hands.
What I want to know is does the Naproxen/ NSAID actually limit the damage that the disease can do to joints by reducing inflammation or would the damage happen regardless and is it really just pain relief? I've never understood the role that NSAIDs play in reducing the inflammation. Surely if they are taking down the inflammation then they are also slowing down the disease in the same way as the Methotrexate? Mat
If you get lemons, make lemonade