What after first line drugs?

yesmeducky
yesmeducky Member Posts: 50
edited 5. Apr 2009, 16:26 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all,
I understand that we are given the 'first line drugs' to begin with but would like to know how long before the next level of drugs . I understand that everyone responds differently but i'd like some idea of the time scale. I've just started the sulfa treatment (third week) and hoping it will be effective; if it is will it be weeks, months or years before more drugs are offered? Some info would be greatly appreciated. Best wishes to you all. Thanks Heidi :)

Comments

  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry, I have OA. Just to say hello and welcome to the site. I'm sure someone who knows more will be along in a while. Love Sue
  • mistywillow
    mistywillow Member Posts: 711
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    yesmeducky wrote:
    Hi all,
    I understand that we are given the 'first line drugs' to begin with but would like to know how long before the next level of drugs . I understand that everyone responds differently but i'd like some idea of the time scale. I've just started the sulfa treatment (third week) and hoping it will be effective; if it is will it be weeks, months or years before more drugs are offered? Some info would be greatly appreciated. Best wishes to you all. Thanks Heidi :)

    Hi
    Everyone responds (or doesn't respond) differently. The aim is to try and use the drug that generally is associated with the least side effects first. Most take at least 6 weeks to notice any difference, although steroids seem to work more quickly.

    Gillx
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,072
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I think Gill is right they start with the least side effects first. If you are lucky then you shouldn't need any more to keep things under control. If not then they will either try something else or add something to what you're already on.
    Take care
    Toni x
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,371
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Heidi,

    Welcome to the Forum as we've not met before.

    Whichever drugs you've been put on you'll be monitored with regular blood tests to see if it's helping you - if not that's when they'll move you onto something else after a fair trial. It only took four weeks for me to start to feel a difference with Mtx - so you may not have to wait too long before you see some changes.

    Luv Legs :D
  • yesmeducky
    yesmeducky Member Posts: 50
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your replies. They've been helpful. Nice to meet you too!
    Best
    :lol: Heidi
  • yesmeducky
    yesmeducky Member Posts: 50
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    yesmeducky wrote:
    Hi all,
    I understand that we are given the 'first line drugs' to begin with but would like to know how long before the next level of drugs . I understand that everyone responds differently but i'd like some idea of the time scale. I've just started the sulfa treatment (third week) and hoping it will be effective; if it is will it be weeks, months or years before more drugs are offered? Some info would be greatly appreciated. Best wishes to you all. Thanks Heidi :)

    hello Heidi,things have changed over the last few years,in the past they started with 1st line drugs(anti inflammatories/steroids etc which treated the symptoms but not the disease))but now we are started on 2nd line as soon as diagnosis is confirmed,the Sulfa you have been prescribed is a DMARD(disease modifying anti rheumatic drug)IE,2nd line treatment,the next step could be to add another DMARD or try a different one,if that fails and you meet certain criteria you may be eligible for Ant-tnf treatment,which is the newest treatment against RA. my experience is as follows
    Dec 07 started on sulfasalazine,12 weeks later was worse so methotrexate was added,dose gradualy increased,still no better so started Methotrexate injections(still with sulfa)dose gradualy increased to max 25mg injection.,im better,but CRP/ESR still raised in the 30s/40s,and still have pain and visible swelling,so had a DAS score done which shows my RA is still very active/aggressive so i meet the criteria for the new Anti-tnf treatment.different consultants seem to have different lengths of "waiting and seeing"time,i think im fortunate in that mine seems to make decsions quicker than some others ive read about,i couldve been referred for Anti tnf 1month ago,but i have some reservations and want to wait until i see consultant again in May before i make my final decsion.
    good luck,hope you get the right meds to help

    Thanks Scottishlass, that's helpful. I 've been on the sulfa for 4 weeks now and it's just possible my symptoms are dampening down a touch but it could be that i'm having a better day. I want to believe it's the sulfa. I'm sorry to hear your RA is aggressive and has been troublsome to control. I hope your consultant can offer you the reassurances you need in making the decision for Anti TNF. Best wishes, good luck and thanks, Heidi :P

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