Monday, May 14, 2012
Teatment for JRA/JIA -What has worked and what has not worked.
This post is for anyone dealing with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or anyone just wanting more information on this disease and its treatment. Medicines Savannah has taken or is currently taking: Methylpred (Steroid) -Savannah has been on this medicine, twice, for 10 days. Worst medicine on Earth as far as side effects. She acts crazy, throws tantrums, turns as pale as a ghost, and just feels all around horrible on this steroid. It did very little alleviating her joint pain, too. Methotrexate (chemo drug) -This is taken in shot form weekly. It has helped with Savannah's joint pain some. It is not a "burner" (thank goodness), but can hurt sometimes at injection site. Savannah usually has a bruise, at the injection site, for a few days after the shot. Side effects: headaches, upset stomach occasionally. Remicade (biologic drug) -This is a medicine given by infusion (I.V.) every four weeks. It takes about four hours for the infusion. Savannah saw some improvement on this medicine, but not enough. She had a major flare on this drug after fifth dose, so she was removed from taking Remicade. Side effects: None. Orencia (biologic drug) -This is a medicine given by infusion every four weeks. The infusion only takes about an hour and a half. Savannah has seen her best improvement on this medicine. Side effects: awful congestion about two days after infusion (lasts a few days), headaches. Diclofenac - Used to help with joint pain. It did not help Savannah at all. Naproxen -Used to help with joint pain. It had no effect on Savannah. Celebrex -Widely known medicine to help arthritis pain among adults. It has just recently been approved for children. It did not help Savannah at all, though it greatly helps my adult brother who has adult rheumatoid arthritis. Folic Acid - Taken daily by Savannah to help keep the Methotrexate from hurting Savannah's liver function. Side effects: None. Helps with upset stomach from taking Methotrexate. Juice Plus (vitamin) - Savannah has taken this, daily, for almost five months. She has not gotten sick, once, since taking it...even though she has an extremely compromised immune system due to the medicines she takes. Side effects: None. Strongly recommend. In the past nine months, Savannah has had to go to Children's Hospital/Birmingham FIFTEEN times for appointments, treatments, and procedures. This is an almost two hour trip one way. Is it worth it...YES!!!! It is important to note that everyone is effected differently by medicines/treatments. What works for one, may not work for another and vise versa. We hope this information is beneficial to you.