Increased pain from Methotrexate

Orsm1978 Member Posts: 2
edited 2. Feb 2019, 13:29 in Living with arthritis

I was diagnosed with seronegative inflammatory arthritis in Sep 2018 and started taking Methotrexate 15mg once a week and 10mg of Folic acid once a week, I have been on this now for almost 12 weeks.

My typical "flare ups" would be every other day, I might get shoulder pain for 12 hours, it would then travel to another part of my body, most common places being hands, wrists, shoulders and knees. I might then get 12/24 hours relief and it would then start again. During the first 2/3 weeks on Methotrexate my side effects were very little, most common would be stomach cramps. I now feel my pain has become worse and worse, I would say the past 3 weeks the pain in my hands, fingers and wrists has increased to almost every single day. To top it off the past 4 days I have had the most severe "all over" body aches and pains, I can barley walk as it feels like someone has taken a baseball bat to my knees, my shoulders feel like they have been pulled from there sockets and my hips and back feel like I have been put on a medieval stretching rack.

I also have started sweating so much during the night that new bed sheets are required after every sleep.

I have my follow up Rheumatologist appointment on Monday thank god and after speaking with the nurses it seems they will either increase my dosage or add something to what I am already taking.

I am at the point where I could loose my job as I will no longer be able to fulfill my active role (police officer) I've already had 5 months off sick and was hoping things would improve as I am almost at the 3 month stage of Methotrexate.

Is there anyone who has had similar experience to what I have and with Methotrexate, I know we are all different but I am worrying like crazy with the thought of losing my job. I just want to feel normal again.


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello :D

    Methotrexate, as you clearly know, can take some time to kick in but don't despair. Tell your rheumatologist all that you've told us. Many of us are on two or more DMARDS. I take hydroxychloroquine and meth. Other combinations are available :wink: Unfortunately, it can all take time to find the best solution for each individual. Please let us know how things go on Monday. I hope you'll feel a little more reassured.

    P.S. I'm no doc just someone with RA but, as regards the title of your thread, I'd lay a pound to a penny that the methotrexate is not the cause of the increased pain except insofar as it's not enough to hold back the arthritis.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi orsm1978,

    Welcome to the forum. So you have your diagnosis and have just started your first treatment. It is usual to start at a low dose to see how you get on with treatments so that ultimately you will be taking as little medication as possible to cope with your disease. Sadly this does all take time and this is worrying for you re your job.

    I’m not sure why it happens but when I was finally diagnosed and was 'officially' ill it was as if flood gates had opened somewhere and I had suddenly lots of affected joints. Thankfully for me that has settled now.

    Worry and stress are aggravating factors for inflammatory arthritis so you are in a bit of a spiral with worry about your job reflecting in more pain and so on. Can you contact your union, if you have one? You can’t be the first police officer with arthritis - I’m sure they can allay some of your worries and show you how to inform your employer and what to expect in return.

    You may have already seen the booklet on inflammatory arthritis - if not I will find the link for you, so here is the link for living with arthritis which might be helpful.

    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it sounds as though the methotrexate is yet to bring things under control, it is unusual for people to take only the one medication but that is a matter for your rheumatologist. These are still very early days for you, I am an old hand at this and have forgotten what that was like.

    I think there is a link between pain and overheating (I have a recent thread about it on this board) and having both psoriatic and osteoarthritis pain is there 24/365. I also have fibromyalgia which I think can also affect how the body regulates or fails to regulate) body temperature. I sleep on a bath towel, wrap my pillow in a towel and have a hand towel by the bed for midnight moppings. I carry a fan with me at all times and always have a flannel in my handbag. I am loving the current cold weather, I was in the garden earlier today at minus 2, in my nightie, feeling the sweating gradually ease: bliss. Now I am back indoors with clean bath towels. Not bliss. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben