Is my mother getting the right treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
Q: My mother is 52 years old. She is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for the past 4-5 years. She started with ayurvedic treatment for a period of 3-4 months and showed few signs of recovery but she discontinued it, fearing it might have some side effects. After that she started doing exercises and used to take Voveran for 2-3 years, when the pain used to be intolerable. She also started precautions like not sitting under the fan and not taking food that created problems for her. Now things have started worsening. She used to have occasional swellings and pain in the right foot. Her current treatment medications are Sunday - Osteofos 70 (empty stomach), 3 tablet Medrol followed by Methotrexate injection (0.6 ml); Weekdays - 2 tablet HCQS, 1 tablet Supracal, 1 tablet Folicite, along with several exercises. This has been going on for the past 1.5 months and she is showings signs of recovery. Does Methotrexate and Medrol have side effects on liver and kidneys?
A:It would seem that your mother is under treatment of a very good rheumatologist. I am saying this because she is getting absolutely correct treatment. Methotrexate is the anchor drug for rheumatoid arthritis. This drug has reputation of being one of the safest drugs known to human beings. It can be taken throughout life but only under the care of a good rheumatologist, as she seems to be taking it presently. HCQ is a wonderful drug; it helps methotrexate in increasing its efficacy and also cuts down on its toxicity. Folic acid is essential for the protecting the blood making tissue in the body called bone marrow. Weekly Medrol is good for preventing nausea that can be caused by methotrexate in some patients, it also makes methotrexate even more effective at such a small dose. All the other medicines are supportive, to keep her bones in good shape etc. I feel that she is one of the luckiest patients with rheumatoid arthritis to be getting such a wonderful and latest treatment in the hands of some really good rheumatologist. I am sure she would soon become totally healthy. But, just remember never to play with medicines without the advice of your rheumatologist.