Advice needed

LisaKesterDodgson Member Posts: 38

I was diagnosed with RA in 2000 at the age of 33 and have been on methotrexate and prednisone ever since. I had full forefoot reconstruction on both feet in 2009 which was brilliant because I can walk again without so much pain and have even taken up Latin American dancing!
Unfortunately my rheumatologist retired recently and recommended a new one who I saw in January. Due to the joint erosion in my hands and the fact that I now have borderline osteoporosis caused by the steroids he has advised me to come off the methotrexate go onto biologics.
I am very worried about changing my meds as for one thing I live in Italy and this would mean having to be followed by an Italian Doctor and I am worried about the side effects. I would also like to know how restricting this drug is as I travel a lot and wonder how difficult it would be to transport this drug if I am away for weeks at a time - I often come back to the UK for 2 or 3 weeks at a time or I go to the USA for 15 days at least twice a year.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :D


  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,593
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Lisa,

    Thank you for your enquiry to Helplines. I appreciate that you are dealing with some important decisions about your on-going treatment. There are several different avenues where you may find some good support while you are deciding how to procede. One avenue is the living with arthritis thread on our forums - where many other forum members will be able to share their experiences of deciding about anti TNF / biologics.

    One of the difficulties in having a long term condition like arthritis is that you may need to be able to access your specialist at short notice so being in a different country from the prescribing Drs may come to be tricky what ever treatment options you go for. With most anti rheumatic drugs regular blood tests monitor your inflammatory (and other) levels and watch out for how your organs are coping on a treatment.

    You mentioned that you may be coming off methotrexate (MTX) and going onto biologics - generlly people stay on mtx, and given that you've talked about osteoporosis I wonder whether they want you off the steroids instead?

    I wonder whether there is anyone in a rheumatology service you might go and meet, to test out how you get on / or are able to communicate.

    If you'd like to talk things over, you can ring us long distance if you wish, or is there a rhuemalotogy nurse you can make an appointment with to coincide with your next UK trip?

    If we can be of further help, please do come back to us.
    kind regards

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