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Suggest an alternative of Methotrexate for rheumathoid arthritis

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Posted on Tue, 1 Apr 2014
Question: Have been diagnosised with rhethoid artisitis...doc has me on methotrexate 2.5mg 4tab once a wk. for 2 wks. then going to 6 tabs...this is taken with folic acid.....I do not feel comfortable with taking the methotrexate, because of all the side effects, and the fact it was once used for treating cancer.....Is there something else out there that will work for me, without destroying my body ?..........Dianne......75 yrs.old.....Thanks
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Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar (1 hour later)
Brief Answer: Most of RA medications have side effects Detailed Answer: Dear XXXX Thanks for the query. Since rheumathoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, medications used against it are a bit "unnatural" and "tough on the body" because they intend to supress your own body from attacking itself. That bein said, untreated rheumathoid arthritis can be a deadly disease, incapacitating, and now linked more and more to heart disease. My grandpa died from a pneumonia while suffering from rheumathoid arthritis (you are more susceptible to infection) but on the other hand my aunt died from a massive heart attack with no other risk factors than rheumathoid arthritis. There are a series of other medications such as Arava, Plaquenil, and Azulfidine which can be used instead of Methotrexate. You can talk to your doctor about those alternative first line medications; there are also monthly injections that are more expensive and are usually reserved for people who do not respond well to the oral medications. Hope this is helpful, wish you the best Dr Brenes-Salazar MD Mayo Clinic Cardiology
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar (9 days later)
I am recently on methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis, I do not like taking this med. Can you suggest a natural form that would help, instead of man made drugs.....thanks
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Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar (2 days later)
Brief Answer: No good naturopath alternatives Detailed Answer: Dear Ms Phillips Thanks for the follow up. Unfortunately, there are no good alternatives from a natural standpoint; you see, the medications used in RA supress the immune system, and most natural remedies do not have that capability; as I said however, there are many oral alternatives like the ones I mentioned before, so you could discuss the side effect profile with your rheumatologist and pick the one you feel more comfortable trying. Best regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar

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Practicing since :2007

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Suggest an alternative of Methotrexate for rheumathoid arthritis

Brief Answer: Most of RA medications have side effects Detailed Answer: Dear XXXX Thanks for the query. Since rheumathoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, medications used against it are a bit "unnatural" and "tough on the body" because they intend to supress your own body from attacking itself. That bein said, untreated rheumathoid arthritis can be a deadly disease, incapacitating, and now linked more and more to heart disease. My grandpa died from a pneumonia while suffering from rheumathoid arthritis (you are more susceptible to infection) but on the other hand my aunt died from a massive heart attack with no other risk factors than rheumathoid arthritis. There are a series of other medications such as Arava, Plaquenil, and Azulfidine which can be used instead of Methotrexate. You can talk to your doctor about those alternative first line medications; there are also monthly injections that are more expensive and are usually reserved for people who do not respond well to the oral medications. Hope this is helpful, wish you the best Dr Brenes-Salazar MD Mayo Clinic Cardiology