Is Anyone Taking Methotrexate, Prednisone And Enbrel Together?

Question

Asked by Andrea

Is Anyone Taking Methotrexate, Prednisone And Enbrel Together?

My husband started out over 9 months ago with 10mg followed be 15mg of Prednisone daily. They added 20mg of Methotrexate once a week and 3 Folic Acid daily 6 months ago. They added once a week Enbrel injections 3+ months ago. He finally started showing results after 4 to 6 weeks of the Enbrel. Now they are trying to reduce the Prednisone, but when he drops below 10mg he breaks out in a terrible rash, oozing, bleeding and extremely painful. He has gained 100 pounds in the last 8 months due to the Prednisone. He is tired all the time. It is nothing for him to sleep 14+ hours after taking the Enbrel on Friday night and the Methotrexate on Saturday night. To give him credit he has not missed a day of work, only a few hours here and there for appointments. It is hard to watch someone who used to be so athletic reduced to this state. We are wondering about going somewhere for a second opinion. I realize Rheumatoid Arthritis cures are not an exact science, but his doctor is not very forthcoming with answers to questions. I am tired of watching him suffer.

Answer

I would definitely recommend that you get a second opinion. It does sound as if your husband has a particularly stubborn case of RA and I'm not at all sure why he's getting a rash. Clearly, losing weight is only going to help his joints, so some changes need to be made. the first change may be for your husband to go back to his doctor and have an honest conversation about what he needs from a rheumatologist - check out one of my recent posts on self advocacy for tips on how to begin to change the relationship with your doctor to one of equal partners. When you have a chronic illness like RA, your doctors are important members of your team, but you are the team leader who makes decisions based on the information that the doctor gives you and research you do yourself on sites like this one. If your doctor isn't giving your information, you can't make decisions. If the doctor doesn't respond to this kind of conversation, definitely see if you can find somebody who'd be a better partner in this fight - check out a post I wrote some time ago about characteristics of a good rheumatologists.

Good luck! Please let us know how things go?