My RA Drugs

Drug Type Start Stop / Notes
Methotrexate 25 mg DMARD 7/12/2008 9/15/2008
Humira TNF Blocker 1/15/2009 8/12/2009
Simponi TNF Blocker 8/12/2009 12/9/2009
Enbrel TNF Blocker 12/9/2009 4/18/2011
Enbrel + 10 mg leflunomide TNF Blocker 4/18/2011 2/1/2012
Orencia + 10 mg leflunomide T-Cell 2/1/2012 10/16/2013
Cimzia + 20 mg leflunomide TNF Blocker 10/16/2013 3/19/2014
Xeljanz + 20 mg leflunomide JAK Inhibitor 3/19/2014 8/28/2014
Remicade + 20 mg leflunomide TNF Blocker 8/28/2014 12/28/2014 Stopped leflunomide 3/15/15
Kineret Interleukin-1 12/28/2014 5/1/2015
Prednisone (10 mg or 5 mg) Steroid 3/15/2015 6/26/15
Actemra Interleukin-6 6/24/2015 1/7/16 Increased from one inj every other week to once a week 7/20/15. Changed to infusion (4mg/kg) every four weeks on 11/16
Actemra + Methotrexate + Meloxicam Interleukin-6 1/8/2016 Increased Actemra infusion from 4mg/kg to 8 mg/kg, added 15 mg. methotrexate (via injection weekly) plus folic acid for side effects. Added meloxicam  8/18/16 Stopped 10/16
Simponi Aria + Methotrexate TNF Blocker 12/2/16 Discontinued MTX July 2018

15 thoughts on “My RA Drugs”

  1. Hello Carla
    Sounds like we have some common health issues. I have been on about every drug ever made and Rituxin has been the answer to my RA. Unfortunately it was not available 30 years ago as most of my meds are now treatment for the degeneration.
    I found your site in a search of Buzz Burkhead. I have some questions and would like to communicate by email if you have time.
    Best of luck and hope to you on fighting this disease.

  2. Have you looked into MTHFR? So sorry for what you are going though! My sister also has RA – very bad case.

  3. Wow you have been on a lot of meds
    I’m on simponi now, I developed antibodies to humara and enbrel the last 14 months I have been bed ridden not happy on how long the meds are taking to kick in. This is the worse my Ra has ever been I was diagnosed in 1998

    • Hi Lala: I’m sorry that you’re having such troubles. Not everyone knows that you can actually develop antibodies to medications just like you can to bacteria and viruses. Simponi worked well for me and I’ll hold you in my thoughts with the hope that it will also work for you and soon!

  4. Thanks Carla
    I’m also taking leflunomide I stopped taking it for a week upon dr approval
    I was getting servers pain in fingers along with tingling since I stopped the pain subsided, dr claims she doesn’t think it’s the med so I don’t know if I want to restart.

  5. Cynthia said:

    20 years of disease and I am at the end of the line, having taken almost every RA drug there is. Some worked, one (Simponi) almost killed me. Now (thank you, Simponi) I have LGL leukemia, so no more TNF blockers for me. Rituxan (B cell instead) is the last in the line. So it’s “Rituxan or die” or should I say Rituxan AND die. Having so many side effect problems over the years, I now have “drug PTSD”. I have JC antibodies that make Rituxan more likely to cause me harm – or death. And only a marginal opportunity for success. BTW I have a terrible RA doc, and yes, I’ve looked through 4 counties, 2 states, and 5 major teaching hospitals for a good one. It’s basically “take this, and don’t call me from the ambulance”. Glorified drug dealers. Anybody have a good RA doc in SoCal? I digress… Basically I’m desperate, scared silly, and don’t know what to do. I started AIP a week ago. No relief yet. Meanwhile, I’m living on steroids and Celebrex – which are killing me. Any advice? I REALLY need help.

    • Oh, man, you have really been through it. As you can tell, I’ve been on most of the drugs as well but haven’t had near the side effects that you have — they just stopped working. Wish I could recommend a good doctor. Don’t know if you’ve tried Kevzara — it’s an IL-6 blocker, fairly new on the market, but it’s had good success. The biosimilars are TNFs which won’t do you much good, but there are a couple of new drugs in the pipeline if you can hang in there (and I hope you do!). Good luck. Come back and let me know how Rituxan works.

      • Cynthia said:

        Thank you so much for your response. I have decided not to do Rituxan. At least for now. Doing it would clearly mean risking my life (being prone to side effects) and I just don’t see the wisdom in that. If the goal is to get me off steroids, I am going to try to diet my way off. I’m about 5 days in. Nothing much yet. I sound sure of myself but I’m not. I don’t know which way to turn so I’m trying this.

      • Hi Cynthia: I know several people have found a lot of relief through changes in diet. I don’t know if you’ve heard about Chef Cat Ruehle. I’ve been fortunate to hear her speak in person. She used to be a pastry chef until RA and severe flares. She controls her disease via diet and has several cookbooks, etc. out. You can do a Google search and find out a lot about her methods/diet/advice. Here’s also a link from the Dallas Morning News featuring her story She might be able to provide you some insight that might help. I hope these changes bring you some relief. Please do let me hear from you to see how you’re doing. (And if I get put on Rituxan, you’ll be the first to know!) Sending hope and health your way.

  6. Velvet Chang said:

    Hi Carla
    Ive been on methotrexate for two years. and have just been approved for Simponi Aria. I’m curious about your discontinuation of methotrexate. Was it a dr suggestion or on your own? How was methotrexate and Simponi Aria together.

    I’m actually doing very well but X-rays revealed some bone erosion in the hands. Needless to say I’m nervous about taking another medication with unknown side effects.

    Thank you.

    • Hi. Congratulations for getting approved for Simponia Aria. I stopped methotrexate because I was taking injectable MTX. I was going to be traveling out of the country for three weeks and really didn’t want to travel across international borders with hypodermic needles. So I was going to stay off MTX while I was gone. But I did very well without it (in fact, I had less fatigue) that when I got back, my doctor approved my staying off it. Everyone is different, but I’ve never had any issues with Simponi Aria, with or without MTX. It’s scary starting a new medication. But I’ve had really good results with both Simponi (the injected) and Simponi Aria (the infused) medications. I’d love to hear back from you on how you’re doing.

      • Velvet chang said:

        Thank you so much for personal reply and
        For keeping your blog alive.
        Just having a forum to address RA issues
        Is very helpful and comforting.
        Aloha nui loa

    • Velvet: I’ve always felt the RA community is a strong part of my foundation. Sometimes you just need to connect to someone who “gets it”? Are you familiar with It’s a great resource with a lot of patient advocates who tell their stories and help answer questions you have. And I’m always here if you need me.

      he mea iki, Carla

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s