Hrthompson87 Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:06 in Living with arthritis

Hi folks

I have just turned 34. I've spent the past 5 months attempting to get my head around my diagnosis of seronegative arthritis. My Rheumatologist only decided to test to HLAB27 gene 2 months ago (positive for the gene) and so my diagnosis of reactive arthritis only happened 2 months ago.

I've spent a lot of time in hospital, have had both of my knees aspirated almost 8 times in total, have been on PREDNISOLONE 20mg steroids for 4 months, METHOTREXATE for 3 months and SULFASALAZINE for almost 5 weeks.

None of the above really do much to help the ever spreading arthritis. The one thing that did help was the steroid injection in my right knee but the one in the left lasted only about 10 days!

It has spread over the course of the last 5 months and was originally just in my knee and 1 finger, but is now in both knees, both feet (all over!), 2 toes, 1 finger and 1 thumb. Slightly worryingly I now have lower-mid back pain (left hand side only) and jaw and tooth pain, as well as headaches (I've never had headaches in my life really!)

I read a case study recently which said that often dmards generally don't work too well for hlab27 positive reactive arthritis sufferers, but there is a small study to suggest that TNF blocking biologics are much better. Sadly I have to wait 2 more months as they won't start me on them till the sulfasalazine has been in my system for 3 months...the sulfasalazine seems to be helping a bit with my knees but my other symptoms, including AWFUL FATIGUE, have just progressed and aren't affected by any of the meds!

I am now tapering very slowly off my steroids as they're doing nothing and just make me fat and moon facey and the depression is unbearable! So

My question is - has anyone else had biologics for Reactive Arthritis (NOT rheumatoid) and have you had any positive reactions???

Any help would be amazing!

X hannah x


  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 1,003

    Hi @Hrthompson87 and welcome to the online community,

    You’ve just been diagnosed with reactive arthritis after numerous tests, different diagnoses and changes in medication - it’s not surprising that you’re finding it hard to come to terms with everything that’s going on. Biologics are one of the treatments for reactive arthritis but you will have to wait a further two months before treatment begins. You have asked if there are members on the forum who can talk to you about their experience of this treatment.

    It seems you already understand a lot about your condition and the various treatments for it, but it’s always helpful to hear from others who are going through what you are experiencing. Everyone on the forum is very friendly and supportive and I’m sure will respond to your question if they can.

    Meanwhile, you my be interested to read the Versus Arthritis booklet on reactive arthritis - it’s informative about the condition and the current treatments:

    You mention that you are experiencing fatigue - there’s also a useful page on managing fatigue that you might like to read as well:

    Best wishes to you, and please let us know how you are getting on,

    Anna ( Mod)

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

  • Hannah_Lucie

    Hi @Hrthompson87 your symptoms are almost exactly same as mine and we are similar age. For me the headaches are searing and the jaw and tooth pain for me sometimes is so bad I can only manage sloppy food like Weetwbix as unable to chew and swallowing is difficult. I wonder if you had any luck with biologics for your ReA?. I am also positive for HLAB27 and steroids not helping much- disease seems to be progressing in spite of steroids. I wanted to discuss biologics with my rheumy in a few weeks. I would love to hear from you if you are happy to share any updates on your ReA. All the best, Hannah xx