When RA Medications Stop Working

Question

What happens when the Humira injections and the methotrexate stop helping my RA? I stay in pain and swollen with stiff joints. Are there other medications? If not, does that mean I need to file for disability as I am in constant pain, and have swollen-stiff joints?

Answer

We have seen great advances in treatments for inflammatory arthritis (rheumatid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis) in the last 10 – 15 years.  There have been several new medications approved in the past 2 years alone.  Also we are learning more about combining medications to get good control over inflammation.   Your rheumatologist is likely watching how active your disease is – by checking your swelling, pain, inflammation markers on your bloodwork, or changes by x-ray, however, it is your responsibility to speak up.    If you feel your medication has stopped working, ask your rheumatologist about changing your current treatment plan.   There may be other biological medications or combinations of medications that can get you feeling better.

Victoria Ruffing, RN

About Victoria Ruffing, RN

Ms. Ruffing has been a member of the Arthritis Center since 2000, currently serving as the Nurse Manager. She is a critical member of our patient care team.