How long does sulphasalazine take to kick in?

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taylor04
taylor04 Member Posts: 18
edited 15. Jan 2013, 17:53 in Community Chit-chat archive
Hi, I'm 30 years old and was diagnosed with RA last September. Started taking sulphasalazine at the end of October and had built up to the full dose by 17th Dec. I'm still having to take prednisolone and diclofenic as well and symptoms are still not fully under control. My (new, temporary consultant) thinks the sulphasalazine isn't going to work on its own and wants to start me on methatrexate as well right away but I've read that the sulphasalazine can take about 12 weeks to work so I'm inclined to wait and see if that works and then start taking the methatrexate if it's still not doing much. Just wondering what other people's experience has been. Thanks!

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  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I began sulph in 2002 and it's never achieved much for me arthritis-wise. Over the years since then it's been taken with tablet meth, injected meth, cyclosporin, celebrex, naproxen, diclofenac, prednisalone, leflunomide and three anti TNFs at various times and in various combinations. Don't be too surprised (or worried) if another med is added, that is par for the course. Good luck. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • taylor04
    taylor04 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks, my main reluctance to starting methatrexate is because of not being able to get pregnant whilst taking it. Of course, I will take it if it's necessary but would rather give the sulphsalazine a bit longer to take effect if that's all it needs. Although if it should be working already and it's not then won't bother waiting.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello. It's good to meet you. As you've discovered already, arthritic life is full of tricky decisions :roll: We're usually told these meds can take up to 12 weeks to work and, it sounds as if you're into your 4th month.

    When you say your symptoms 'are still not fully under control' it kind of depends what you mean by that. Most of us will never get back to 'pre-arthritis' states and it can be matter of what levels of pain you can tolerate. However, if your rheumatologist thinks the disease is still active then something does need to be done. The pred and diclos won't stop the RA.

    Only you can decide how quickly you want to try for a baby and therefore whether or not you want to go onto meth. In your situation I'd be discussing options with the rheumatologist who will have come across it many times before.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • taylor04
    taylor04 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Sorry, I meant end of November I started Sulphasalazine. And only on full dose from 17th Dec so I would say I'm only 4 weeks into the 12, hence wondering why my consultant is pushing me onto combining other drugs already.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I guess that does change the picture a bit.

    There are two factors in an auto-immune arthritis – pain/stiffness and disease activity. If only they would march hand in hand life would be a lot easier :roll: However, it's not always the case. I've had my meth upped when I felt very good about things. Equally, I've virtually crawled into an appointment only to be told brightly "Well, according to the blood tests, you're doing OK." :shock:

    You may feel that the pain and stiffness are under more control than before but, if your blood tests show that the sulph isn’t having a lot of effect on the disease itself, then your rheumatologist will want to change things. The sooner this disease is clobbered on the head the better.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • taylor04
    taylor04 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks stickywicket, that's really useful to think of it like that which I hadn't really thought about before. I think I presumed that pain/stiffness is directly linked to disease activity but if that's not always the case, that's very useful to know!
  • mike26
    mike26 Member Posts: 416
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    hi taylor04

    your wright it does take up to 12 weeks to see any results (prednisolone).
    methotrexate thay say 12 to 16 weeks to see any results.

    but like we are all going to see differant results, some quick, some slow,
    others it works for, me it droped my (white blood cell count).
    had to stop taking them.

    on methotrexate now kepping fingers crossed,(but i must admit ive got my doubts)..
    I hope im wrong ...



    good luck mike26 :roll: ...
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Taylor and welcome to the forum
    Sorry I cant offer any advice, but I see the others have been some help, maybe you would like to put this in LWA more people look in there .
    I do wish you well with the treatment xx
    Love
    Barbara
  • mike26
    mike26 Member Posts: 416
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    sorry taylor04
    my post should read 14 jan2013
    Sulphasalazine not (Prednisolone) me heads going think m8
    :roll: :roll: :roll: mike26..
  • taylor04
    taylor04 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    That's ok Mike26! I figured that's what you meant!!