Methotrexate, persistent cough and natural medicine

ipanjwani Member Posts: 3
edited 20. Jul 2021, 09:51 in Living with arthritis

Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with what appears to be psoriatic arthritis in October 2020. Although my condition could be rheumatoid arthritis, my nails are flaky and this is a sign of psoriatic arthritis. 

I took Sulfasalazine for 3 months but no real improvement and then the last 2-3 months, I have been taking Methotrexate. My condition greatly improved and inflammation in my feet and hands went down. However, I developed a persistent, somewhat violent, dry cough and so my doctor as taken me off Methotrexate. So now I am only taking Sulfsalazine but the pain in my feet, hands and knees have come back quite badly. This week has been painful. I have the following questions if anyone could help me:

1) Is there a combination of drugs that could help me in my condition but not have the side effect of the cough?

2) What if I take Methotrexate in the long-term? Could my lungs be damaged?

3) Could anyone suggest alternative remedies such as homeopathy or natural medicine to reduce inflammation? (I take cod liver oil and ginger tablets everyday and am avoiding gluten but something stronger)

4) I have heard of this US medicine called 'Heal n Soothe' [Admin Edit - Link deleted] Does anyone have experience of this and could they recommend it?

Thanks for your help.

God bless you.



  • Tom
    Tom Member Posts: 522

    Hello, @ipanjwani and welcome to the forum. I see that you have been taking sulfasalazine for PSA without much improvement, but found methotrexate to be helpful but with side effects that lead to your doctor taking you off it. It is the case that not everyone reacts in the same way to medication and it can take time and patience to find the right treatments.

    Here are some links from our website that may be helpful to you:

    We cannot give advice on commercially available treatments. We strongly advise you to rely on your Rheumatology team to advise you.

  • ipanjwani
    ipanjwani Member Posts: 3

    Thank you Tom for these links!

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,707

    Hello and welcome from me too.

    There are lots of Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDS). Methotrexate and sulfasalazine are just two. Unfortunately, quite a few can cause coughs but then the untreated disease can also cause lung damage so it's best to just persevere and find the right combination of meds for you.

    Yóu ask about methotrexate possibly damaging the lungs if taken long-term. As I said above, it can but so can an inflammatory arthritis. I've been on methotrexate for over twenty years. i had mild asthma before I started on it and it's only very slightly worse now. No more than I'd expect with age.

    Personally, I wouldn't go down the 'natural remedies' route as I think they can only tinker round the edges and potentially interact with some of our prescribed meds. (Pharmacists are brilliant at telling us what would / wouldn't be OK. I think a gluten-free diet will only help if you have a gluten intolerance or coeliac disease. I would really counsel against any commercial products tho' I've not heard of the one you mention. If they worked they'd be available on prescription. If they're not available on prescription then it's probably just someone out to make money from our ill-health.

    Do get in touch with your rheumatology helpline if you can. They might need to wait before prescribing something else until your cough has completely gone but it will help if they know how you are now and they might suggest something else to tide you over.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    I think any product that uses the unimaginative abbreviation of “n” in place of “and” in the name should be given a wide berth. The rest of the description could apply to anything from indigestion to sunburn. Is the company called “Total Pain Solutions” by any chance? As @stickywicket says, if it was any good the NHS would be prescribing it. Otherwise it’s just someone making money out of desperate people, and some of these alternative remedies can contra-indicate when taken in conjunction with prescribed meds.

    I’m sorry I can’t advise on your chest issues, as I have no experience of this but do talk it through with your GP.