Age 32 diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis

hannah07 Member Posts: 8
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:06 in Living with arthritis

Hi everyone, I am very new here, almost 32 years old and have been diagnosed with RA. It seemingly started after I had my daughter almost three years ago but I only experienced random and short lived joint stiffness/pain once every few months and only after doing something strenuous, then the pain disappeared after a day or two and I forgot about it. Recently I struggle with regular swelling of my finger joints, difficulty using my hands during a flare up and even putting weight on my feet and walking can be excruciating , it’s pretty constant now and every day I’ll have joint pain somewhere in my body. I’ve only just started taking sulfasalazine twice a day, but my question is what is everyone’s experience with this drug? What can I expect from it? No more pain/inflammation? Is it possible to take a drug that means I can carry on without any symptoms of RA? I’ll have more questions I’m sure but hopefully this gets the ball rolling :) thanks, Hannah


  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 664

    Hi @hannah07  

    Welcome to the versus arthritis forum. 

    I see from your first post that your RA symptoms have got progressively worse over time resulting in swelling and severe pain. Now that you are taking sulfasalazine you’d like to know what to expect. Well you’ve definitely come to the right place for some answers. I’m sure that forum members will be able to share their own experiences with this drug. 

    You may also find this link to our website useful:


    I hope you receive the feedback that you’re seeking. 

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Hi @hannah07

    i was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in Dec 2020 !

    I have been taking sulfasalazine for around 11 weeks now !

    ive not had any side affects I think it’s working but I was in London for 4 days and the pain my my feet was bad again ! But now I’m home it’s settled again it definitely reduces the swelling I think it’s a start u off medication then they will see how u go I guess ?

  • hannah07
    hannah07 Member Posts: 8

    Hi @Hairobsessed123

    Thanks for the reply! Have you been monitored whilst taking the sulfasalazine? Or had other doctor/specialist appointments? I’ve been asked to book a blood test in 2 weeks time and then 4 weeks time, assuming they are monitoring the medication? Im not really sure what happens next, I saw the rheumatologist who diagnosed me and gave me a prescription for one months worth of meds, I’m intrigued to know whether I’ll just keep taking the meds forever or whether there are going to be regular appointments. Im perhaps naively hoping I’ll just forget I have ‘it’ and let the meds control it forever more!

  • @hannah07

    ive been monitored so blood tests every 2 weeks for 6 weeks then once a month from now on !

    I have only seen my consultant the once and was given a steroid injection then a follow up with the nurse who prescribed the sulfasalazine I have another appointment with consultant in July and I guess he will ask me how I’ve been ect ect .

    so I don’t think they will just leave u there will be follow ups and you should have your rhumatology nurses number if u have any queries hope this helps its all a bit of a whirlwind xxx

  • UshaT
    UshaT Member Posts: 13

    Hi Hannah07

    I've had RA since the age of 12, I'm now 47 and was on Sulphasalazine for over 12 years. I was on 1g a day and had no side effects but I was closely monitored as my disease was / is very aggressive.

    Sulphasalazine is a disease modifying drug, so it should keep the disease at bay, it's not a painkiller. Your specialist will / should give you something for the pain, if needed.

    Happy to answer any other questions you may have, but hope this helps.

    Take care


  • hannah07
    hannah07 Member Posts: 8

    @UshaT thanks so much for the reply. It is encouraging to know you were on the same drug for a long time without side effects. Do you find anything in particular causes ‘flare ups’? I’m trying to decide whether changing my diet or lifestyle will also help. Hannah