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Comment from: LizH., 55-64 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: October 24

I do not recommend this drug in combination with methotrexate. Liver enzymes have not been normal since. It made me feel ill - the doctor said it was a flare, but it was not a flare - it just made me feel sick all the time. I was told by general practitioner, and she said that a lot of people felt ill on ARAVA. History: I was diagnosed with RA 2 years ago. I tried methotrexate without much relief for 8-9 months. They dosed me with a wide variety of NSAIDs over time along with it, but none of them helped at all. Then, a new dr. put me on Arava, with the metho & that's when my liver enzymes went sky high. They are still not back to normal after nearly a year with no meds at all. I just got scared away from taking anything, but wrist joint damage has begun. So, I started plaquenil, and I am trying milk thistle for my liver and staying away from all alcohol for the time being. We shall see, not much relief so far, just digestive issues, increased hot flashes and mid-afternoon into evening fatigue that wrecks my life. I have Sjoerens & Reynauds also. I had wheezing yesterday – haven’t had that since on metho/Arava. But, of course the Drs. say it is not associated.

Related Reading: methotrexate | liver | arava

Comment from: Kimba, 55-64 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: September 29

In Nov.2003 after Hepatitis C and Polio vaccinations on the same day I got a horrendous allergic reaction. After this event my RA began very aggressively. Rh factor 100. Took Vioxx, Methotrexate, Plaquinil, Prednisone. Was still in constant pain with huge painful flare ups in all my joints in the body. Sometimes I could not get out of bed and needed help to dress etc. Life wasn't worth living anymore, I thought. Then, in April 2006, I began taking 20mg Arava daily plus continued taking 5 mg Prednisone and after less than two weeks I was pain free. It was like a miracle and I had to get used to the new "me." Since then, I have not had any stiffness or flare ups or used my wrist braces a single time. After one year, I began taking 20 mg Arava only every other day and will now try every three days. I am also down to 3 mg Prednisone daily. I hope I will stay this well forever. My liver enzyme values are monitored every three months. I was very scared of taking Arava at first because of the long half-life but I am glad I did since I have had two and a half good years now.

Related Reading: hepatitis | polio | vioxx

Comment from: 55-64 Female on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: October 22

I was on enbrel and methotrexate and doing quite well for about a year, but unfortunately developed methotrexate toxicity and had to stop. My rheumatologist prescribed ARAVA to replace the methotrexate. It took about four months to build up to levels where it was effective, but have had no problems on it. I feel good. The only side effect I have experienced is some very slight numbness in my toes which occurs in the morning and wears off during the day.

Related Reading: enbrel

Comment from: Diane 49, 55-64 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: February 02

I had several flares that just wouldn't go away. the methotrexate and plaquenil just were'nt enough, but the arava seemed to do the trick. I haven't felt this good in a long time.

Related Reading: plaquenil | arava

Comment from: 25-34 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: February 18

I was dx with RA as a teen 17 my Doctor back then just had me on Motrin 8oo Doctors now cant believe how that didnt harm my kidneys as an adult i am very afraid of meds and what they can do to your body i started arava one year ago then two months into it i had a bad cough that lasted 3 months so i stopped med the doctor didnt think it was the med i then was afraid to try anything but recently my RA had gotten worse I would wake up in screaming pain and couldnt move my left hand was giving out was curled up then I would have to work a 8 hour shift and take care of my family what a mom does so I then relized i cant take this pain I need to be able to move again and be able to work so I went back on the arava which is doing great now i still have a little pain but not enough to complain about I rather be able to move and be pain free now i can deal with the rest later I also work in the medical field so i am afraid of my immune system but this medication has helped me this time around I dont get nausea with it but i dont get a heavy appitite I have lost 5lbs in one month with this med I feel pretty good joint wise I wish one day their will be a cure but untill then I need to save what joints I have left I hope this helps some of you i am 34 years old now and plan to live a full life and pray pain free good luck to all of you!!!and also I noticed my blood pressure was high but when I was off med it was high just as well due to pain but I take diovan to keep that under control..

Related Reading: motrin | cough | diovan

Comment from: free to move, 55-64 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: November 09

My RA seems to be in remission. I have experienced easy bruising and always have some bruises, primarily on my legs. Overall, I am happy with the results I have achieved.

Related Reading: bruises

Comment from: ploeper, 55-64 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: August 04

I am the poster child for this drug. I was on gold shots before and the RH broke thru. I was put on Arava after that. Since starting Arava, I have had no, pain, swelling, stiffness, soreness or anything. I am in a chemical remission & have been for several years.

Related Reading: arava

Comment from: torticolis, 45-54 Female on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: April 08

I have been taking this medication for two years and my results are good. I had a difficult time walking before I started on the med, but now I jog three times a week.

Comment from: 19-24 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: January 10

I have been on this treatment for about 3 months now. I vomit almost everyday, and have constent heartburn and chestpain.

Related Reading: heartburn

Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: January 03

worked early after about a week but then ceased to have affect about week three. side effects were horrible, sore throat constantly,mouth ulcers four at a time, numbness in hands and arms, abdominal pain, heartburn fatigue breathlessness swelling of hands.

Related Reading: sore throat | abdominal pain | fatigue

Comment from: meemawat53, 55-64 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: October 31

Oh my gosh. This med arava has helped me so much.a few months ago I had lost almost all the use of my left hand and arm.. some in my right but noe as much as left. Both knees had been inflamed and hurt all the time. I could hardly walk. After about a month of taking the med. the nausea went away, But I started taking it at bedtime, which helped. I slept through the nausea. The only problem I had was scalp itching, and my dr reduced dose. took care of the prob.

Related Reading: arava

Comment from: 55-64 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: November 20

I began taking this medication after Methotrexate stopped working for me. I got the full benefit of this drug after about 3 months on the drug.

Related Reading: methotrexate

Comment from: 65-74 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: February 17

Nothing else has worked for me. The prednisone stopped the pain, but caused numerous other problems. I have been on this for about 2 years with no problems.

Related Reading: prednisone

Comment from: 19-24 on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: February 06

I have been on arava for 8 years. I had to take nexium because of nausea with it which helped. It did help my RA. I now have EXTREMELY high blood pressure and have had to stop... my immune system cannot handle the drug anymore and I am only 24. PLEASE BE CAREFUl....

Related Reading: nexium | high blood pressure


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms & Treatment See Slideshow
Comment from: CP, 45-54 Female on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: January 21

I've been on it for a couple of years. I'm still not sold on that it works. I do know the side affects from coming off it is a killer.

Comment from: 65-74 on Treatment for 10+ years (Patient) Published: January 31

I could tell the differences within weeks after starting AVARA. I have been on it over 15 years & my RA is under control. Have had RA 33 yrs. I have more problems with neurpathy (burning nerves) now. It is a side effect of the rheumatoid. Diagnosed after 28 yrs of severe RA.

Comment from: mocha_deb, 35-44 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: May 17

This has been the only drug with benefits for me that I have not became allergic to or the side affects far out weighed any benefit.I have been through the full regimen of other drugs in the last 5years and have been on this with success for the last two years.

Comment from: madoreen, 65-74 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: August 01

I have been taking Arava for over a year now.My Doctor and I have had to adjust the dosage. ..I now take 10mg 3 times a week. I was taking it every day but had side affects.I also take Sulphasalizine every day..I have Psoriatic Arthritis and my pain, and stifness was so bad I got to the point where I could not bath or dress myself or walk without hurting.Every thing I did was exhausting. I have to say I became so much better taking both medications and listening to my body.I still get very tired if I do too much, and I use Lidocain patches when needed on joints, and areas that become inflamed.When the joints in my hands become really painful I put rubber gloves on and keep them under hot running water 'till they feel better, and OH! yes a hot shower is my best friend(can't get into the tub any more!)I hope this has helped someone out there . Being in pain 24/7 is not a good thing.Keep looking for help and trying new things.

Related Reading: arava | psoriatic arthritis

Comment from: Desperately Seeking Cure, 45-54 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: March 14

I have been on Arava for about 4 months and it stopped the swelling and pain almost immediately. However, I experience the itching around my ankles and buttocks, dry cough and throat, shortness of breath, massive hair lose, hot burning sensation on the bottom of feet, numbness of toes, some stomach pain, lose stool, headaches (at first, not s much now), skin bumps looks like rash but feels like acne and when I scratch some come off. In addition, my blood pressure has been high the last couple of times I have been in for the Orencia treatment, normally I have 116/60 but the last couple of times it has read 130/60ish. My initial dosage was 20mg a day but now I am taking it every other day and have gone as much as five days, I have noticed a reduction in hair lose and coughing, and no more itching. I do blood work every six weeks and results are normal. I will see my Dr. in a couple of weeks and hopefully we can discuss and agree to reduce the dosage. Previously I was on Remicade and Methotraxate for about eight/nine years but this stopped working. I feel okay but not a 100% like I use to when I first started the Remicade and MTX regiment eight/nine years ago. I also take Thistle and try to exercise often and hoping to get back into doing yoga two/three times a week like I use to. In my opinion Arava is a very toxic medication and I don’t like it but it has helped me some. My recommendation is to monitor yourself; hence you are the one that knows your body and keep on working with your Dr. to adjust the dosage to a comfortable level to get the most benefit and live life to its fullest.

Related Reading: cough | rash | acne

Comment from: Denise, 55-64 on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: September 29

All I can say is Arava is a miracle drug for me. I have been on the brand name drug Arava for over 7 years prior to taking numerous other drugs that just made me sick. I am on a low dose of 10mg. My insurance required me to use the generic version of Arava when one was developed a couple of years ago, and I was told it was the same drug so I took it. After being on the generic for a few weeks I developed severe migranes and felt nauseaed and pain. Basically, sick as a dog! I talked with my doctor again and told him and he said it is possible that the generic brand had a different binding ingredient and I went back on the brand name Arava (after a lengthy review with our insurance company) and felt fine after a few weeks. I read that some of the other reviews mentioned migraines and nausea and wonder if they also used the generic version. If so, try the brand name and see if it makes a difference to you too.

Comment from: 45-54 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: October 19

I was diagnosed with RA, I'm 46 years old, male, hispanic My mother has severe RA since her mids 30. I used Arava for 3 months and the swelling of my hands and elbows stopped completely.

Comment from: Faith, 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month Published: January 09

It caused elevated liver enzymes, with most of the symptoms that accompany elevated enzymes. Only on it for about a month before developing problems. No real relief from pain during this brief time.

Related Reading: liver

Published: October 26

At first, it seemed to be working, but after 2mos, the nausea began; and after 3 mos., n&v. Need to call my MD after reading your website article. Thanks

Comment from: 45-54 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: June 25

I was diagnosed with RA 2 years ago. Started off taking methotrexate, plaquenil and a round of low dose prednisone. Did well until side affects of methtrexate became too much (mostly nausea). My rheumatologist put me on arava and I've been doing well. Pain (mostly hands, wrists, ankles & feet) is mild to moderate but definitely manageable. I feel confident that my doctor is managing my RA as aggressive and as safely as possible.

Related Reading: methotrexate | plaquenil | prednisone

Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: May 19

hi again I am the one two reviews under this one iwas dx with RA when i was 17 well the medicine arava eneded up not working for me after all it gave me so much shortness of breathe and a cough that lasted me like 3 months again so now i know it was the medication and it made my Blood pressure so high like 190/100 and a high pulse ive been off arava now for three months and the cough is gone it was so bad i couldnt breathe and constantly coughing and it was a dry cough I am in so much pain again i am so afraid to take anything new but I know I have too I get really bad migraines at least one every weekend with a lot of nausea and not even vicodin helps or nausea meds I pray that I will have the strength to try a new medication and one that has few side effects I work in the medical field as a Medical assistant and i am around sick people all day so if i take a medication thats lowers my Immune that is scary for me I try to live a normal life but its not that easy when i have so much pain all the time my body feels like i have been hit by a car so those of you with this awfull diease I wish you luck and be careful with this medicine yea it helped my joints but it caused other serious peoblems I have tried this medicine twice already well now my blood pressure is back to a normal 128/70 but OMg the pain is so severe so i am going to see what else my doctor recommends me to try I just know now to be more careful with side effects Im 35 years old now and i plan and want to live a full life but pain free so wish me luck..

Related Reading: arava | cough | vicodin


The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

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