Steroid injection for flare

Skap Member Posts: 7
edited 20. Jan 2020, 06:59 in Living with arthritis
Hi I'm new here.
I have RA which has been reasonably well controlled for a few years on hydroxychloroquine.
I had to stop taking it in September because I was starting chemotherapy for breast cancer. Now the chemo has ended my RA has flared up badly. I have started the hydroxy again this week but it takes a while to kick in.
Meanwhile I hurt all over, seemingly every bone and joint hurts and the fatigue is dragging me down. Just as I had hoped to feel better after the ordeal of chemotherapy I feel worse.
All the Rheum nurse could offer was a steroid injection. I instinctively said no as I've been pumped full of steroids for 3 months but I may have to say yes as I'm getting desperate.
She wasn't very helpful or forthcoming when I asked questions. I want to know whether there are any side effects? What drug do they give and what is the dosage?How soon does it work? How long do the effects good or bad last? Does it actually protect the joints?
Any experiences of these would be helpful.


  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am sorry to read of your past treatment and current predicament. I have had steroid injections in both joints and my behind and they did nothing, apart from one for the OA in my right ankle. That was effective for three months then it all came back. Oral pred or the jabs are given at much smaller doses than in other treatments but they are not an answer: they thin all body tissues, not just the naughty ones. They thin bones, muscles, organ tissues: who needs that in addition to the other crapola?

    Hydroxy alone is usually not enough to reduce disease activity, your rheumatologist may well need to give you another DMARD to bring thngs under control. I am in exactly the same boat as you at the moment despite injecting methotrexate and humira. I've flared before and I daresay I will flare again but I am very lucky in that I am retired, have no family or other demands on my time so can just ride it out. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Skap
    Skap Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Dream. I've taken hydroxy for about four years and it largely keeps symptoms at bay. I do get occasional flares though. I feel my rheumatologist is quite cautious about giving me anything else, he seems to base everything on blood marker rather than symptoms.
    However I haven't even seen him since last May and I've been dealing with cancer. The chemotherapy combined with steroids completely suppressed my RA but now it's all stopped and I've re-started the hydroxy I have to wait for it to kick in.

    I too am retired and could ride it out normally but I have three weeks of radiotherapy starting next week and could do without this as well.