Sulfasalazine help/guidance

BeckyFlower Member Posts: 4
edited 20. Dec 2016, 12:21 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi everyone, hope you are all well and ready for Christmas?

I'm currently on Sulfasalazine (4 a day) and have fortnightly blood tests. My white blood cells have been low (1.44) on the past few blood tests, and I received a call from the hospital today advising me to completely stop taking them for a week, then start taking them again with just 2 a day instead....

I thought you wasn't suppose to just 'stop', and gradually lower the dose? Wondering if anyone can advise/comment from previous experience?

If blood tests keep showing low white blood cells then I will have to stop taking them and go onto another NSAID :( although I've heard methotrexate is more restrictive than Sulfa?

I'm only 27 so quite worried about my options if NSAID's do not work out for me.

Thanks for reading x


  • Brutha
    Brutha Member Posts: 51
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I was on sulfasalazine for nearly two years, three in the morning and three in the evening. Then I had an infection and I came off everything for about 6 weeks. Not back on sulfa but am on methotrexate and leflunomide.

    Sulfasalazine is a Dmard. Dmard drugs get there name from their function. Disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs. Sulfasalazine is supposed to be a milder one. There are many Dmard in many different combinations available. I hope you find what works for you soon.

    NSAIDs are your anti inflammatories like naproxen and ibuprofen. They are more used to treat the symptoms, Dmards are targeting the cause.

    Best of luck

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    As I understand matters it is perfectly OK to just stop any DMARD - in the past when I had to stop the meds for a while it was immediate. The only thing I had to taper was prednisolone because I had taken a moderate daily dose for three years. DD