Flare-ups on biologic

Hi all. I was diagnosed RA positive in August 2022. I was put on methotrexate and prednisone. In the December I landed up in the E&A with what the think was methotrexate pneunomitis, but could also just have been my RA attaching my lungs. Anyway, I was put on Amgevita fortnightly with 2.5mg prednisolone a day. Things are really good, and I am grateful. Lately I have been having almost continuous discomfort in my toes, fingers and wrists. Today my shoulder is really sore. This is really scary as that is exactly where it all started. Is it possible to still get flare-ups while on a biologic?

Kindest regards Jacqu


  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,420
    edited 22. Jan 2024, 10:38

    Hi @Jacqi

    Thank you for posting on our Online Community, we are sorry to hear of the difficulties you have faced around your medication and condition.

    It is possible still to have flare - ups even on biologics as they can be caused for a number of different reasons. Having a cold or virus, change in weather or hormonal changes can contribute to flare - ups, but if your symptoms persist it may be that your medication is becoming inactive and dosage may need adjusting or the drug may need changing.  

    It may be worth speaking to your rheumatologist to see if you could try another drug. There are many drugs available to treat RA and not one size fits all. 

    You can find a list of the different types of biological therapies on our website, along with ways to help manage your symptoms.

    Best wishes

    Tracey - Helpline Advisor

  • ruth1980
    ruth1980 Member Posts: 4


    l’ve just been reading your info on fatigue and so grateful I’ve been struggling with my health for a long while, I have OA and RA I find my Gp very unhelpful she recently did ecg blood test and chest X-ray which all came back normal and just told me to go for a walk which only made me feel worse after reading your info I can understand I have been trying to do too much so I’m going to pace myself take things very slowly hoping this will help with fatigue

    I would love to read from others who suffer with fatigue and what they do to help themselves


  • @ruth1980

    Thanks for contacting out Online Community. We're sorry to hear you have been struggling with your health for a while, and have not found your GP helpful. Dealing with long term conditions like OA and RA can leave us feeling exhausted especially when we are in pain. When dealing with fatigue it is important to pace yourself and not push yourself too far or you may make things worse. Our website has helpful information on managing symptoms of fatigue, pain and the best exercises for arthritis.

    If you are wanting to chat with others who have arthritis, to share hints, tips and experience then the Living with arthritis discussion may be a more suitable place to ask questions.

    Best wishes

    Tracey - Helpline Advisor

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 661

    Hi @Jacqi

    I've been on Amgevita since July 2021. In the summer of 2022 I had a bit of a flare - nowhere near as bad as it was before I was put on the biologic though. My rheumatologist told me that with some patients they build up antibodies to Amgevita so she did a blood test for that. Fortunately that wasn't the case with me. She gave me a Kenalog steroid injection and that cured the problem. Last September I had an issue with the joints in my hands and feet - again nowhere near as it was at it's worst. My rheumatologist again gave me a steroid injection and that settled things down. She said that sometimes things drift out of kilter between the inflammatory arthritis and the treatment and using a steroid injection can bring things back into step.

    Hope you get something sorted soon.