Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy has recently started having doubts about the change of medication (from Arava to Plaquenil) that his rheumatologist recommended last week. On one hand, this has nothing to do with anything that is going on in the present, but is instead related to a really bad period I had in the past while I was on Methotrexate. (My rheumatologist at that time refused to take me off MTX, even though I begged to be taken off this medicine…ultimately I took myself off MTX.)
So, the thought of taking any medication that I have not taken before scares me to some extent. I was scared when I started taking Arava almost half a year ago – but with the support of others, I reminded myself that I had created a rheumatoid arthritis support team that would be responsive to me needs and to my feedback. (I also reminded myself that taking a medicine which I was mentally/emotionally struggling against did not seem to make much sense.)
Other than my hair loss, I have not experienced any other side-effect (that I know of) with Arava. Compared to the side effects that I experienced while on Methotrexate (nausea, dizziness, heat-sensitivity, diarrhea, headaches, etc.), I would hoose my current hair loss over the previous list, any day.
But as with any medicine, there is a cost and a benefit that differs with each individual…so maybe it is indeed time for me to try another medicine, to see if it provides me improved benefits compared to the one that I am currently on. As with any other aspect of living with rheumatoid arthritis, my thoughts continue to go up and down.
On days when I am feeling relatively well, I ask myself why change and risk the unknown? Is it not better to stay on my current medicine?
On days when I am not feeling well, I tell myself start the change immediately! What harm can come from trying a new medicine?
Since last week, I have continued to jump back and forth between the above two responses. Luckily, I have a session with my psychologist this coming week, so I plan on addressing this issue more in order to come up with a firm answer.
Is it just me, or do others face similar issues when it comes to deciding which drugs to take and not to take?
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!