... before it starts working? Does it make the pain go away completely?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - I've started taking methotrexate 2 weeks ago for RA. How long does it take?
Question posted by GaTeaLady on 5 Feb 2011
Last updated on 19 January 2017
I have been on it for 2 1/2 weeks and am already seeing an improvement. I am also taking a low dose of Prednisone with it 15mg this week, 10mg next week then my blood work but I already can close some of my fingers that I could not before starting the drug. I am very encouraged so far.
I got RA suddenly in July 2010, and was put on prednisolone, naprosyn methotrexate tablet form, then the dr added plaquenil and arava. The methotrexate by itself didn't seem to be helping much, so instead of the tablets, I was given 0.8ml weekly MTX injections for 20 weeks. This was 20 weeks of hell... diahorrea up to 20 times a day and weekly blood tests. No social life and no energy!! Still didn't help the pain particularly in fingers, hands, knees and feet. Not sure what the requirements are, to go onto biologicals in other countries, but here in Australia, you have to be on at least 3 of these heavy meds, as well as cortisone,( and have them not work) before you can get govt permission to go onto Enbrel, Symphony, etc. But it was worth it now. Enbel works for me, (4 months in) but still taking low doses of MTX and prednisolone. So to answer your question, no, it doesn't stop the pain, but it may be a means to an end. Good luck, persevere, and I hope you are soon pain-free.
As hard as it can be to hear, I believe that total pain elimination with RA is nearly impossible (of course mine is severe and I also have Ankylosing Spondylitis).
I've been diagnosed for nearly a year and although I would love to say my pain level is bearable, it's far from it. I'm very lucky to have a wonderful team of doctors guiding me on my journey to better health.
I really dislike my comment being so bleak but it's my reality (and potentially yours) and I'm working everyday on my coping skills.
I hope your case is less severe than mine but I think it's also good to be prepared and know what you could be up against.
I wish you my best. Good luck. Most of all... Cheers to the best health possible!
I have been on MTX for 2 years and unfortunately, it does not really do anything for pain. It will definitely slow the progression of RA and PSA. It can take 3 to 5 weeks to fully enter your system. Blood tests are essential. If you don't see any pain reduction by then, discuss with your Dr about a prescription for a pain med or anti-inflammatory drug. I was put on Meloxicam and has been very effective for me.
I also suggest that you discuss with your Dr about starting an exercise program. This has helped greatly with my own pain management.
Good luck with your condition.
What you may want to do is read some of the posts here about this condition and medications. I provided a link for review. There are other questions about this medication you can also review. I hope it helps the pain soon.
I did some more reading and found that it may take as many as 3 to 6 weeks for the drug to start improving your condition and as many as 12 weeks to feel the full effect.
Be sure you keep your doctor appts. as your blood needs to be tested while on this medication.
- Methotrexate uses and safety info
- Methotrexate information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side effects of Methotrexate (detailed)
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