More than one medication

sharongronow Member Posts: 4
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

I was interested to read that some people are taking multiple types of medication to help combat their symptoms. So far I have only been offered one at a time and when that didn’t work, I’ve had to try another. I’m now waiting for my second type of Biological therapy to see if that will work, in the meantime I’m struggling to get by with over the counter pain relief.


  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 356

    Hi @sharongronow,

    Yes indeed - I take prescribed drugs (Naproxen and Omeprazole) and over the counter (Co-Codemol) and top these up with supplements (CBD capsules, Turmeric, Bromelain), which according to my pharmacist is safe. I also use a TENS machine, deep tissue massaging gun to soothe tendons and muscles and help with locks and smear on various lotions and potions. I started a course of Acupuncture about 3 months ago visiting once a week, I've scaled that back to once a month now and that's led to less flare-ups and when I do get them, they're less severe.

    These aren't for everyone and I've found some things (such as Glucosamine) actually made me feel worse, so it's trial and error. Always best to consult your GP or pharmacist first I think.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,599

    It's not at all uncommon to take two, or even three, DMARDS or one DMARD plus a biologic. I take methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine. Of course, if we have bad side effects with one DMARD, there's no point in keeping it in the mix. I don't think I've heard of anyone taking two biologics.

    I'd suggest you ask your rheumatologist next time you see him / her. Meanwhile, be careful with the OTC painkillers. Always check with the pharmacist that they won't interact with any prescribed meds. Or, just ask your GP to prescribe something.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 605

    Hi @sharongronow

    I'm one of those that are on multiple medications - I take sulfasalazine, MTX and the adalimumab biosimilar Amgevita for my psoriatic arthritis. I assumed this was the standard progression until I attended a Nuffield health joint pain course in January where I met two other IMID people on biologics only. I spoke to my rheumatologist in February and she said the 3 drugs together gave a better response than the sum of the 3 individually - I think the term is synergistic. I asked her if there was any way I could reduce my medication and she reluctantly agreed I could reduce my sulfasalazine from 6 tablets a day - 3gms - to 4 tablets a day - 2gms. I did this by first reducing to 5 for two weeks and then down to 4. About a month after this I had my worst flare since stabilising in September 2021 so I had to ramp back up to 3gms a day. I find that really odd since sulfasalazine was the first drug I was put on and it had no beneficial effects in the 9 months I was on it before being put on Amgevita. Neither did MTX which I was on for 5 months before Amgevita.

    I suppose since we are all different then it stands to reason that our treatments may need to be tailored to meet those differences.

  • JenHB
    JenHB Member Posts: 130

    I'm currently on mtx and hydroxychloroquine. At my last appointment earlier this week the consultant told me that if I start flaring it means that they can then consider biologics as I'm already on a combination treatment. She is hoping I don't and my next appointment is in a year, but I've been told if things start getting bad to phone the advice line and she will see me sooner.