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Old 03-12-2013, 10:52 AM   #16
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I have OA in both knees for a long time and now also have psoriatic in my hands and feet and sacroiliac joints. I also have taken methotrexate for the past 6 years with good results. I take Plaquenil and effexor which is an antidepressant and in the same catagory as Cymbalta. I am highly allergic to sulfa so that limits a couple drugs. I also have borderline high liver enzymes so my doctor won't try any of the biologicals like Humira or Enbrel. I was comfortable on Aleve or motrin but my stomach began hurting. I got good relief from Darvocet but that was taken off the market so now I take one Vicodin a day, usually at bedtime since getting comfortable for sleep is my biggest issue. I also have Fibromyalgia and take flexaril for that. It works well.

I recently had very low white cell counts on my monthly blood work so we had to reduce my methotrexate dose by 1/3. I am having a bit more pain in my hands especially but that's the way it goes.

I have a woman rheumatologist. Frankly, I usually don't seek out women doctors in particular but women get much more immune diseases and I think she really gets "it". I really love her and the office. Good luck and let us know what you come up with.
It's interesting that you take Effexor. I've taken that for 12 years for depression-no, I'm not depressed now but I did have major depression 12 years ago, and since depression runs in our family, the psychiatrist wanted to keep me on a minimum dose for life. My doctor now is fine with it, but didn't mention it for helping my arthritis. And how is flexeril for you? I've taken it a few times, for about a week each, but I'm like limp spaghetti while I'm on it. It does help me, but I need to set aside a week when I can afford to be out of touch with the world!
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:24 PM   #17
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I don't have medicine recommendations, but about a year ago I started following the Paleo diet.

What got me onto this was I was reading one book....then started looking up some more things regarding it...and came across another book called The Paleo Diet, by Dr. Loren Cordain. It discusses the effects of wheat and other grains on our bodies....inflammation is just one of them.

I'm in my early 40s, was a little overweight, and started to have a few achy joints. I've lost around 40 pounds with mild exercise (I don't do it nearly enough...occasional walk or bike ride).

Anywho...I feel so much better. Tons more energy. I sleep better, have little joint pain, my IBS is gone, have few headaches (oh, I used to get them a lot) and my PMS is negligible. The loss of symptoms was all within the first month.

Basically it's no grains (including flour and corn), beans, and no sugar. Some people still consume dairy, but this discourages it.

You can have all the meat, fruits, vegetables (other than corn and beans), eggs. For oils, you use olive and coconut. I LOVE coconut oil. I do use coconut and almond flour for things like the occasional pancake.

Best thing are these little microwave mug cakes. The chocolate one is basically a mashed banana, an egg, some unsweetened cocoa powder, a little almond butter (or I use melted coconut oil). These are a healthy breakfast or the perfect thing to eat when catching up on my DVR. I also make another version with a little coconut flour (instead of the cocoa powder) and add fresh blueberries.

I could go on and on. There are tons of recipe websites, but the best interactive one between people on it is paleohacks.com
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:35 PM   #18
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DH has arthritis in both knees. he has tried celebrex, naproxen and mobic, and gotten no relief. he took euflexxa injections in his knees, and those help for about 4 months, but you can only get them every six months. the 2nd round of injections didn't work nearly as well as the first round.

he was referred to a rheumatologist with possible RA, but rheumatologist said no, he doesn't have RA or lupus, he's got bursitis in both hips and shoulders. so, he's been getting injections for the past 6 months (just had his 3rd set of injections about 12 days ago) and they're really not helping either. rheumatologist also took him off the mobic and prescribed medrol dose pack and flexeril instead. dose pack makes DH sleepy and flexeril gives him crazy nightmares. i don't know what we're going to do.

good luck, OP. it's very hard to find the right combination of medications.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:24 PM   #19
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Flexeril is a muscle relaxer, not an anti-inflamatory, so it doesn't really do anything for arthritis, per se, it may just help the muscles that work around your joint relax, it's a muscle relaxer.

Almost any NSAID you take for inflammation is going to cause stomach upset. So far, I've found Celebrex to upset my stomach the least. If you have one particular joint that is flaring up, you can get cortisone shots, which in a couple of days does wonders for the joint. I've had the Synvisc injections in my knees a few times (it's like a lubricant that helps keep the bones from rubbing together), but after the first couple of times, it didn't work (for me) either. If you have more than one joint flare up at same time (let's say like you wake up and several joints are involved at one time, like your left knee, left shoulder, and wrists) you can get a steroid taper-packet....to me, this is like a miracle drug, after a few days I feel like superwoman! But when I say "Flare up", I mean these joints aren't normally affected all at once everyday, it's like your body is revolving on you all at once and your joints are red and swollen.

There may be times when you really need a narcotic pain reliever. Before my knee surgery, I was taking a Percocet every night, just to be able to sleep through the knee pain.

Those with RA are a complete different complex issue, that's when they bring out the "heavy guns" of medications. I feel really bad for those with RA that can't keep it under control.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:51 PM   #20
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I've been taking 800 mg hydrocodone for severe arthritis for years with no ill effects. I know it's a controlled substance, and my doctor monitors me closely. The dosage is for one tablet by mouth three times daily, but there are days when I don't feel like I have to take it at all, so I don't have any fear of becoming addicted. She's trying to wean me off it completely, but that ain't gonna happen.

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Old 03-12-2013, 07:46 PM   #21
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I've been taking 800 mg hydrocodone for severe arthritis for years with no ill effects. I know it's a controlled substance, and my doctor monitors me closely. The dosage is for one tablet by mouth three times daily, but there are days when I don't feel like I have to take it at all, so I don't have any fear of becoming addicted. She's trying to wean me off it completely, but that ain't gonna happen.

Queen Colleen
I'm sorry, but this doesn't really make any sense. Hydrocodone usually is dispensed as Vicodin or another generic name, and comes in 5/500 mg tablets. The 5mg is the Hydrocodone part, and the 500 is the acetaminophen portion and is usually dispensed every 6-8 hours for pain. If you were taking 800 mg of pure hydrocodone a day, you'd probably be dead as it's 12 times the recommended dosage. There is also no such thing as a 266 mg tablet of hydrocodone (800 divided by 3), or an 160mg tablet of acetaminophen to take 3 times a day. I'm just pointing this out, because I don't want anyone on the board to think you can safely take 800mg of Hydrocodone a day.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:01 PM   #22
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I wish I could take things like Vicodin or Percocet or Codeine. Unfortunately, all meds like that leave my body pretty much as soon as they hit my stomach. Never have been able to take them. And let me tell you, there's nothing as fun as throwing up after having all 4 wisdom teeth removed.....

I was on Prednisone a couple of years ago for an allergic reaction. For those 3 days, I had NO pain...it was fabulous. Then the witchy mood came on and nobody wanted to be around me. Hmmm. So not really an option at this point.

My rheumy hasn't suggested shots yet. My worst pain is in my fingers, so I don't know that I would even want to try something like that (if that's something they do).
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:11 PM   #23
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I wish I could take things like Vicodin or Percocet or Codeine. Unfortunately, all meds like that leave my body pretty much as soon as they hit my stomach. Never have been able to take them. And let me tell you, there's nothing as fun as throwing up after having all 4 wisdom teeth removed.....

I was on Prednisone a couple of years ago for an allergic reaction. For those 3 days, I had NO pain...it was fabulous. Then the witchy mood came on and nobody wanted to be around me. Hmmm. So not really an option at this point.

My rheumy hasn't suggested shots yet. My worst pain is in my fingers, so I don't know that I would even want to try something like that (if that's something they do).
Oh I remember that mood-swing days with Prednisone (along with weight gain), but if you only have to take it for 7-10 days a couple times a year it's not bad. I'm not positive, but I don't think they give shots in the fingers, though I have received them in my wrist joint. I'm sorry you can't stomach the narcotics. Have you ever tried Ultram for pain relief, it's non-narcotic but helps with pain receptors. My Rheumatologist also prescribes me Ambien, sometimes that can help me sleep through the pain at night time. I wonder if that Paraffin wax dip would help your fingers any?
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:18 PM   #24
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I haven't heard of Ultram. I'll have to research that.

Not sure about a paraffin wax dip...my sister suggested that or a manicure but the manicure I had last June was incredibly painful - the manicurist massaging my fingers was horrible (not her fault...just my fingers are very very sensitive to things - sometimes even the sheet laying on it will hurt).

Off to research.....
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:55 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Scrappy_Tink View Post
I'm sorry, but this doesn't really make any sense. Hydrocodone usually is dispensed as Vicodin or another generic name, and comes in 5/500 mg tablets. The 5mg is the Hydrocodone part, and the 500 is the acetaminophen portion and is usually dispensed every 6-8 hours for pain. If you were taking 800 mg of pure hydrocodone a day, you'd probably be dead as it's 12 times the recommended dosage. There is also no such thing as a 266 mg tablet of hydrocodone (800 divided by 3), or an 160mg tablet of acetaminophen to take 3 times a day. I'm just pointing this out, because I don't want anyone on the board to think you can safely take 800mg of Hydrocodone a day.
Sorry! You're absolutely right! I picked up the wrong medicine bottle and read the wrong thing. The hydrocodone bottle says hydrocodone-apap 10-660 tab. (This bottle is usually kept in my bedroom to keep it from being confused with any other of my meds, but I had to refill the prescription today and it was sitting on the table by my chair.) I hope this didn't lead anyone astray and thanks so much for catching my error!

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Old 03-12-2013, 09:40 PM   #26
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Sorry! You're absolutely right! I picked up the wrong medicine bottle and read the wrong thing. The hydrocodone bottle says hydrocodone-apap 10-660 tab. (This bottle is usually kept in my bedroom to keep it from being confused with any other of my meds, but I had to refill the prescription today and it was sitting on the table by my chair.) I hope this didn't lead anyone astray and thanks so much for catching my error!

Queen Colleen
No problem!! I keep my narcotics separate too...actually usually locked in a safe since I have teenagers coming and going. Not that I don't trust them, but better to be safe than sorry!
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:53 PM   #27
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I realize this is an old thread, but I got some great info reading all the posts on it!

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 2 years ago. I know that is not arthritis as discussed here, but the meds I've taken seem to also be prescribed for some things mentioned in this thread. I've taken Mobic (did nothing), Lyrica (I was a zombie & it didn't reduce any pain or stiffness) and have been on Cymbalta 30mg 1x daily since last August. I also take half of a Soma at bedtime only as needed. I take that once or twice a week, on the bad Fibro days where I need it just to be comfortable enough to sleep well.

There are some very knowledgeable people on this thread, so I wanted to see if any of you have weaned off of Cymbalta without side effects. The Cymbalta does help my Fibro - I feel 75% better on it. However I've also gained almost 20 pounds since I started taking it. Weight gain is not listed as a major side effect of Cymbalta, and I do realize it could be unrelated to the drug, but I've never had an issue with weight, and no matter how much I exercise & watch what I eat, I just keep gaining. I'm only 4'11" so 20 pounds in 9 months is a great deal.

I thought I'd try & wean off of the Cymbalta to see if there's any fluctuation with my weight. Then I read how severe the withdrawal can be from it - yikes! Has anyone done this successfully with minimal withdrawal symptoms? I read this on a website: “Withdrawal from Cymbalta can be difficult and uncomfortable. It should only be done under the supervision of a doctor. The withdrawal symptoms can be so intense that some people are not able to stop taking the medication entirely. Some common Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, brain zaps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, nightmares and extreme irritability & anxiety.”

Well now that sounds fun doesn't it?!?!?!? Any words of wisdom?
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:05 PM   #28
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I just wanted to post an update on my post. Back in March my knees were so painful that I was limping badly. Had cortisone shots in both knees--did not help AT ALL. Two weeks later the pain was so bad I actually had to miss work because I couldn't get out of my house under my own power. DH took me to the orthopedist and he gave me a narcotic and ordered an MRI--turns out I have a torn meniscus in both knees and a large amt of fluid in the joints. He recommended Supartz, a lubricant that is injected into the joint space.

I cannot tell you how great this stuff is! They're giving me 1 shot to each knee every week for 5 weeks. The doctor advised me that it would probably take 4-5 weeks to feel any difference, but I had some measure of relief within a few days. It lasted only 3 days. Then I had the 2nd shot yesterday and it's like I never had arthritis! I'm telling you, this stuff is a MIRACLE DRUG. I can walk the dog, climb stairs, get up and down without holding on to furniture and I'm taking NO pain meds.

I hope this Supartz continues to work this well. Honestly, my knee pain was so bad that we were seriously considering either selling the house of renovating the basement so I could avoid steps. It was baaaaaaad. But I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel! And if it keeps me from having double knee replacementsd I will be a happy camper indeedy!
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:34 PM   #29
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My knees are shot. I can relieve much of my other pain with hot soaks and movement laced with Naproxen. My Dad fought his off with heat and exersize most of his life.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:24 AM   #30
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There are some very knowledgeable people on this thread, so I wanted to see if any of you have weaned off of Cymbalta without side effects. The Cymbalta does help my Fibro - I feel 75% better on it.

I thought I'd try & wean off of the Cymbalta to see if there's any fluctuation with my weight. Then I read how severe the withdrawal can be from it - yikes! Has anyone done this successfully with minimal withdrawal symptoms? I read this on a website: “Withdrawal from Cymbalta can be difficult and uncomfortable. It should only be done under the supervision of a doctor. The withdrawal symptoms can be so intense that some people are not able to stop taking the medication entirely. Some common Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, brain zaps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, nightmares and extreme irritability & anxiety.”

Well now that sounds fun doesn't it?!?!?!? Any words of wisdom?
I have words of wisdom! Or something, anyway.

I went from 60mg once a day to nothing, and had about a day or two of withdrawal, but I hadn't been taking it for long. I took a percocet to help with the pain so I could sleep, and was otherwise pretty much ok. It took me a couple of weeks to get back to "normal", but I had a mild (and odd) case of seratonin syndrome right before I went cold turkey (It made me forgetful, I couldn't remember if I took my cymbalta, and apparently started double-dosing), so I'm not sure how much is attributable to the spike then cliff effect.

Tapering is safer/better/easier than the cold-turkey I did. Cymbalta is available as 20mg capsules - you can do a week or three on that, then start re-dosing the capsules. Inside each capsule is a whole bunch of little time-release beads of medication. The recommendation is to open the capsule, count the beads, then take as many beads as you need for your next step down. So if you wanted to go from 20mg to 10mg, you'd put half the beads from a 20mg capsule into one standard gelcap (you can buy those at the pharmacy or health food store) then the other half the beads into another standard gelcap.

If that sounds like too much trouble/too weird - from 20mg of Cymbalta you can go to a low dose of Prozac. Talk to your doctor, but most people seem to go from 20mg of Cymbalta to ~ 20mg of prozac as a step-down. Maintain that for a few weeks, then you can discontinue the prozac, because prozac has a much easier withdrawal profile.
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