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My partner has had a severe flare up of RA after having the AZ vaccine. Pain and swelling in feet, ankles, hips, hands and fingers, knees, neck, side of the face. Has been in bed for a week. Has anyone else had such a reaction?

He has reported it to the Yellow Card scheme. Called his medic who has prescribed Co-codamol.. and Naproxen.

Is there any thing else I can do to help him?


  • BBJBBJ Posts: 4

    @NicSid99 I had the AZ vaccine on 2 March and was diagnosed with RA on 19 March so it's early days for me. I only had a sore/stiff arm and a couple of days feeling fatigued. Because I'm such a newbie I can't offer any support - I just wanted you t know that you'd been heard.

  • Hi @NicSid99

    I am signposting you to an information page all about COVID-19 vaccines which is the VA central information page for this topic.

    I hope you find this useful.



  • Thank you for the signpost to the website.

    However, it doesn't entirely help. It only gives general advice.

    The fact remains that my partner has had a major flare up.

    The meds the doc prescribed haven't been delivered yet.

    The hospital where he could have steroid injection has not replied to calls and emails.

    My partner is going up the wall... his feet are swollen.

    He won't contact 111 for help.

    What do I do?

  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 1,316 ✭✭✭✭

    Contact 111 yourself perhaps?

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 26,334 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi @NicSid99

    I hope your partner is feeling a bit better this morning?

    BUT if not you are in a tricky situation. You say your partner is going up the wall yet won't contact 111 for advice and probable help. Puts you between a rock and a hard place.

    Mike suggests you call 111 yourself which is an idea I would tell your partner you are doing it though I have a feeling you might need his permission🤔

    How is the medication prescribed by his Dr supposed to be arriving? is there a pharmacist you can chase they are very often much more helpful.

    Thinking of you


    Toni xxx
  • IancIanc Posts: 2

    I know what he's going through I've been having a flair up for the past 3 weeks I can barely hold a fork. Unfortunately the only real way out of this hole is time. Hopefully his medication when he gets it will improve the situation. Please be patient with him I know he's going through hell and you as well .

  • EllenEllen Posts: 468 mod

    Hi @Ianc

    Welcome to the versus Arthritis online Community. Can I thank you for coming straight in with support for a fellow member and that member's partner.

    It sounds as though you are also having a rough time at the moment having a lengthy flare. Was this after your vaccination too?

    Please do have a look around the forum and join in wherever you feel comfortable.

    Best wishes


  • IancIanc Posts: 2

    I had to come off methotrexate for a while because my cell count dropped. Mrs on the point of calling a 20 year relationship off still hanging in there. Told her to go out explained it wasn't because I didn't want to be with her just she needs to do things she likes away from the pressure. Last week was bad I got your nothing but an idle selfish forking bxxxxxd and I was pathetic and weak. Sometimes we are aloud to be weak there is no shame in it. But our partners who are also in hell need to have a rest form it.

  • BrynmorBrynmor Posts: 910 admin
    edited 6. Apr 2021, 13:51

    It is really tough on relationships when going through a massive flare, both for the person involved and the partners and families. One of the worst things is the feeling of helplessness - nothing seems to fix it and also wanting to help without knowing how, is really horrible.

    Talking to someone about particular problems may be helpful: anyone can call our free helpline on 0800 5200 520 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).

    The Versus Arthritis website has a couple of useful general resources on managing relationships:


    which are probably best talked through with partners after any immediate flare and subsequent round of pain has passed.

    Calling all members: Many members have experienced severe flare ups - how have you coped with the crisis?

  • I am new to this site too. However, I was active on the old Arthritis Care site years ago, under the name NooNoo - some may remember me ;)

    I had the AZ jab on 31/1 and felt really awful for about 5 days (chills, flu symptoms, headache, nausea, also had a numbness in my face for 4 days, like I’d been to the dentist) and have also been in quite a bad flare up since. I had ‘uncontrolled RA’ prior to the jab but had held off starting a biologic because of the concerns with covid and lowered immunity. My GP refused to report my adverse effects, so I reported them via the yellow card. However, all you get is an email thanking you for the useful feedback.

    I have really struggled to get any advice on having the second jab, which is due end of April. My GP referred me to my rheumy consultant, who referred me to the AstraZeneca helpline. After giving my full medical history and side effects to AZ, I was told the jab has been thoroughly tested and deemed safe but if I was concerned to contact my GP!! Eventually I emailed an immunologist who has said to have the second jab as the adverse effects are reported as being less severe on the second one. But as I am still in flare up I am really not sure that is sensible.

    My consultant won’t give me a steroid jab as “it would leave me at risk from covid” but is arranging for me to speak to the nurse about starting biologic treatment. Tbh going on these meds scares the hell out of me!

    I note that someone on here mentioned iron levels dropping. In 2019 I had a “virus” (the hospital never found out what was wrong, despite having blood tests every few days, x-rays, echocardiogram, CT scan...) which I think sent me into a cytokine storm as my CRP went up to 295 and my Hb dropped to 7. I ended up having iron infusions and after a few months of total rest started to feel better. I have since learned that it is possible to have inflammation induced anaemia, so I assume that is what I had and the other forum member may also have.

    On an additional point, from those that I know who have had the AZ jab, those over 60 (with and without health conditions) have had no real problems. However, those younger and in particular those in their 20’s have had quite bad reactions - fever, chills, flu symptoms and been confined to bed for a day or so. I think maybe the AZ jab triggers a very strong immune response in those who are NOT immunosuppressed.

    @NicSid99 I think you need to speak to your hubby’s Rheumy team asap for advice. Mine has helpline number where you can leave a message.

  • EllenEllen Posts: 468 mod

    Well indeed Welcome back Noonoo! Now @Scrummycake

    It's lovely to see you posting again of course some of us will remember you particularly one or two moderators including me.

    Thank you for your detailed post it makes very very interesting reading.

    Please do let us know how you get on after your second AstraZeneca vaccination.

    I hope you decide to call in regularly now.

    Best wishes


  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 1,316 ✭✭✭✭

    According to a GP on the TV if you had a reaction to the first jab then you should not have a reaction to the second, I cannot verify that as I don't get my second one for another 3 weeks.

  • If I decide to have my second jab I will certainly let you guys know if I have a reaction!

    In the meantime, my son’s friend (25yoa) who is a hospital doctor is due to have his second jab on Friday. He was tested for covid antibodies months ago and obviously had been exposed to covid at some point as he had antibodies. Yet he was unaware as he was asymptomatic. However, he had to have a covid jab for his work and had the AZ jab. He had a bad reaction, he was actually in bed for 4 days and said he had never felt so ill. It is bizarre that he can have had covid and not known, yet he had a bad reaction to the jab. I am waiting with interest to see how he is with his second jab!

  • YvonneHYvonneH Posts: 573 admin
    edited 6. Apr 2021, 14:14

    Hi NooNoo @Scrummycake

    I too remember you, thank you for coming in to help people who have had unusual and extreme reactions to the covid jab.

    I will forward these to our Health Team to see if there is anything they have heard regarding these issues. When I hear I will pass on any comments

    Do take care

    Yvonne x

    So far the Health Information Team are saying you have done all you can, having contacted the medical teams looking after you (each of you). They sadly have no further advice to offer.

  • @YvonneH aka Vonski ???? 😃

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 26,334 ✭✭✭✭
    edited 6. Apr 2021, 18:50

    Not Vonski surely @YvonneH ? Noonoo! I remember Noonoo!

    Those were the days @Scrummycake - welcome back🙂


    Toni xxx
  • @frogmorton I thought I recognised your name! Yes, those certainly were the days, I spent far too much time on the forum 😂

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 26,334 ✭✭✭✭

    Oh yes so did I @Scrummycake ! But it was fun and good distraction from pain wasn't it? I just pop in now first thing while my meds kick in and very occasionally at other times.

    It can be addictive😁


    Toni xxx
  • YvonneHYvonneH Posts: 573 admin

    Hi there,

    No not Vonski, though I remember her too, I have been a moderator since the days of Jean123 - at first we weren't supposed to sign our names, just be an anonymous 'moderator'

    I'm glad things have changed now

    Yvonne x

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