Recently diagnosed with RA- medication

hello, just recently been diagnosed at age 36 with RA. I have two small children . I’m really quite worried of the side affects and which medication to you, they have offered me to choose methotrexate or hydroxychloroquine. Does anyone have any advice as to which one to go for?

thank you


  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 715

    Hello @emzcadz welcome to the online community

    You have recently been diagnosed with RA and have been given the choice of either Methotrexate or Hydroxychloroquine. Many of us on the community take one or other or a combination of both drugs. Side effects are also something to be aware of and we appreciate that not every drug suits everyone. So often it is a question of starting with one and giving it some time (mtx takes at least 12 weeks before it has some effect) and maybe keep a note of how much your symptoms are relieved and if you have any other concerns. This will help inform you and your medical team for future decisions.

    I attach some general information which I hope will be helpful

    We are a friendly group who are here to support you so do post any concerns you have because it is quite likely that one of our members will have had a similar experience to share with you.

    One of the important things to do to look after yourself is to find some time each day to focus on yourself, which I appreciate is very difficult with two small children to care for. Take some time out to do a few gentle exercises which will help with the pain and your mobility. The Lets move category will give you access to our new videos which many of us find very beneficial. We look forward to hearing from you again soon.

    Take care


    If it would be helpful to talk to someone ring the Helpline 0800 5200 520

    Monday - Friday 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,204
    edited 12. Dec 2023, 10:26

    Hi @emzcadz

    Sorry to hear your recent diagnosis.

    Hydroxy is milder less side effects I'd say, but Methotrexate (MTX) is the gold standard stronger DMARD.

    Many of us actually take both!

    I know it's tough if you feel rough when you are responsible for children. I had back surgery while my two were little and l was on my own.

    You are probably already in pain though and if one of these two meds works really well for you it would be wonderful to enjoy them in less pain yourself.

    All medications have side effects potentially as @stickywicket often says look at paracetamol's leaflet, but not everyone gets them, Also with the MTX you can take things to mitigate any side effects. Us lot here will have plenty of tips for you too.

    Best of luck

    Toni xx

  • Woofy
    Woofy Member Posts: 251

    Hi sorry to hear you have been diagnosed with RA. I have tried. Hydroxychloraquine and had side effects with it. Mouth ulcers,muscle spasms. Then I was given sulphasalazine which did nothing for me. So was put on Methotrexate, it has been so far pretty good. I have been lucky, I haven’t been sick on it like some. I would go with the Methotrexate. Only because it takes at least three months for the meds to kick in, so if you try the others, it’s going to be a long haul if the Hydroxychloraquine don’t work.

    my rheumatologist gave me a course of steroids which I reduced each month by 1 mg, until the Methotrexate kicked in.

    I took my last steroid tablet yesterday😊I still ache if I over do things, but the pain has been better controlled.

    of course you must decide what you think is best, and be guided by your rheumatologist. Good luck.