Any good METHOTREXATE alternative?? Please share!

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by JamieinBoston, May 29, 2003.

  1. JamieinBoston

    JamieinBoston New Member

    Hello...I'm hoping to get some feedback...advice, opinions, personal accounts...from those who have sought a succesful (or not, I suppose) ALTERNATIVE to METHOTREXATE. My best friend, 29, recently received a dignosis of Rheumatiod Arthritis. Still stunned and not quite ready to be 100% proactive, I'd like to gather some information both for her (of course) and myself. She is currently taking (please forgive incorrect spellings)"Bextra" and "Plaquinil" in VERY small doses. She's a tiny woman, 5'1 and 98 pounds, hence the lower doses. She has a reputable Rheumatologist in NYC where she lives, and has consulted a doctor with more "holistic leanings" as well. She's made some hopefully helpful dietary changes, but she's still struggling with fairly crippling pain. She would prefer NOT to go on Methotrexate for sveral reasons that I'm sure many of you understand first-hand whereas I cannot. ANY IDEAS? ENCOURAGEMENT EITHER WAY? I'd really appreciate it! Any stories/personal accounts that may offer her some consolation and ease her fears about this diagnosis would be welcome, too! Thank you! "JamieinBoston"
  2. dmfraser

    dmfraser New Member

    It is not good news I am afraid. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which is more effectively treated with disease modifying agents (DMA's). They are all toxic but one could end up in a wheel chair very quickly if one does not attempt to get the disease under control. Diet alone is definitely not the answer. Many naturopaths have told me they cannot treat it and other autoimmunme diseases. I developed RA 7 years ago several years after breast cancer.
    The autoimmune system is damaged with the presence of a tumour. Loss of oestrogen can also pre-dispose you to developing RA. There are different reasons as to what triggers the condition to rear its ugly head. The purpose of methotrexate is to modify the progress of the disease and therefore slow down joint damage. The possibility of multiple joint damage is very real. Glucosamine with chondroitin (a sea mineral) in powder form taken in non-citrus juice and water 2-3 times day could help but your friend will have to go on the drugs and be monitored closely with monthly blood tests. It is also essential to take 5 mg folic acid daily to prevent hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity caused by the methotrexate).

    After 7 years I take a reduced dose of methotrexate 7.5 mg weekly, (reduced from 17.5 as it caused liver toxicity and can lead to liver damage/hepatitis), 500 mg Naprosyn daily, Prednisone 5 mg daily and Kenacort (Cortisone) injections every 5-6 weeks. I have also stopped full time teaching employmeent recently due to severe pain, stiffness and impaired mobility, serious drug management issues and raised liver enzymes for 5 months. The reality is that RA ruins careers, causes varying degrees of immobility and sometimes severe joint damage and can alter lifestyle significantly.

    Suggest your friend continually researches the internet on all the issues she is concerned about. I am refusing Arava and Enbrel because of the death, infection, lymphoma rate.
    They have not been around long enough.

    Best wishes to you and your friend for good success. It is a difficult road.

    Diana
  3. beckster

    beckster New Member

    You can do your friend a great favor by going to a web site
    called The Road Back Foundation. It is a successful, different approach that has been done by M.D.'s for almost 40 years now. A must read book that talks about this is The Arthritis Breakthrough by Henry Scammell. The web site can tell you where a doctor (M.D.) is that is near you.
    If you have questions I am usually on the Cfs/fibromyalgia
    board. Your friend is lucky to have a friend like you.
    Beckster
    [This Message was Edited on 08/31/2003]
  4. Minnehaha

    Minnehaha New Member

    I was diagnosed with RA in 1998 - put on smallest amount of Prednisone (per my requesr). sent to RA specialist who promptly wanted to put me on Methotrexate.

    About that time came across article regarding James Coburn and his RA. He was taking MSM and having good results. I started MSM at end of 1998 - now take it daily - 4 capsules daily (2 in a.m. and 2 in p.m.) Have been relatively pain free etc. I was bedridden for almostd hardly walk or use my arms. I order from Swanson Health in Fargo, N.D. but it is available everywhere - Walgreens etc.

    No side effects - and I also take Glucosamine and Chondroitin and lots of antioxidants as well as Vit. C.