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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Tips on methotrexate

New biological therapy is making a big difference to my condition

It might interest your readers to know I have recently been put on tocilizumab infusions as part of a methotrexate taper trial after methotrexate started to lose effectiveness. I felt the difference almost immediately (inside two weeks) and my first blood test showed C-reactive protein (CRP), a test to measure disease activity, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), another diagnostic test that shows the level of inflammation, of 1 and 2 respectively. Now after a couple of infusions my disease activity score (DAS) is less than 1 and I'm in remission. Nothing I can say or give can do justice to the work of organisations like yours and companies like Roche that have made this possible.
Harry Hunt, via email (Spring 2014)

Side-effects of methotrexate

Having read the Questions and Answers section in Arthritis Today Summer 2009, I wonder if I may be able to suggest a potential solution to a question posed by Marilyn Masters from Southampton regarding troublesome mouth ulcers. I have also experienced problems with recurrent mouth ulcers over the past two years since, it seems, commencing methotrexate. I am on a smaller dose of 7.5 mg once a week, but they still occurred, sometimes two or three at a time and lasting up to two weeks at a time, making eating extremely painful. I sought advice from my dentist and rheumatology team, but to no avail apart from increasing my folic acid to daily except on the methotrexate day. I then read in a woman's magazine about Vitamin B12 being a potential solution. I have been taking 25 mcg daily for the last six months and it has worked wonders. When I stopped it for a month out of curiosity, the ulcers came back, so needless to say, I will not be stopping them again. There are different dosages available, but I have found this small dose successful.
Mrs Wendy Harrison, London

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