6 month flare


Hi All,

Hope you’re all well!

I was diagnosed with RA last February at 30 years old.

I really wanted to manage the condition naturally through a healthy diet, exercise etc and decided to go on to Hydroxychloroquine as it was the softest drug available.

This worked well for a while but since around December last year I’ve been in a bad flare. 2 steroid injections have helped for a time but worn off. About 4 weeks ago I doubled the dose of Hydroxychloroquine but it hasn’t made much of a difference.

I’ve seen the Rheumatologist today who has prescribed Sulphazalazine and a course of steroids as well.

I’m absolutely gutted as I feel like I’ve failed at managing the condition holistically but was so concerned the RA was out of control and I was doing permanent damage. My hands are so swollen and painful, especially in the morning where I can barely move them at all and my jaw has been awful on and off.

Anyway, enough feeling sorry for myself!

Just wondered if anyone had experience of Sulphazalazine? Can you live like normal? Did it work? I am partial to the odd glass of wine or two after work 🙈 can I still so that?

Been trying to do everything to carry on as normal but feel as though I’ve now got no choice!

Any experience welcome! Hope you’re all well as can be and managing alright.



  • Tom
    Tom Member Posts: 522
    edited 26. May 2022, 09:33

    Welcome to the forum, @Iouc13 . I see that you were given a diagnosis or Rheumatoid Arthritis a year ago last February. Your decision was to manage the condition naturally through diet and exercise, taking Hydroxychloroquine as the mildest medication available to you. All was well until last December when you experienced a significant flare up. Having visited the Rheumatologist, you are now seeking information on the drug he prescribed, Sulfasalazine.

     You express feelings of failure as your holistic approach has not worked. Please bear in mind that nothing that works for you is wrong. The treatment of RA has many medications available to be worked through in an ordered progression.

     Here are some links to our website that may interest you: (the first includes information that will cheer you).



    This link gives information on diet that may include options you have missed:

    I think that your views and experiences could prompt a lively debate on the Forum, so please keep posting.

    Good luck.

    Tom, Moderator.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726

    Don't beat yourself up about failing to manage RA holistically. It could never work. We have faulty, overactive immune systems which attack our own bodies. They need strong meds to counteract them.

    I've never taken sulfasalazine but many do. It's a tried and tested DMARD. I do methotrexate and hydroxy and they work well for me. But all DMARDS can take up to three months to kick in.

    I'm not sure what the 'drinking rules' are for sulf but it's always best to lay off until the meds work. I like a glass of wine with my evening meal. Occasionally, I'll have another. I don't drink on meth day and usually take another day off too. The main thing is to monitor your regular blood tests and, if your ALT levels are at all raised, cut it out for a while.

    As for living 'like normal', I guess it depends on your normal. I've always found though that adaptability to change is the key to living well with RA. Good luck.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright