Dr, I’m a 44 year old female and have just been diagnosed with RA. My PCP ran first few tests..RF came back + but low (1:180), CRP was – and my sed rate was -, ANA was also + but according to him it too was low. My rheumatologist also ran blood panel and anti-CCP was + . Is there a range for this test also that indicates high or low? I have not started meds yet because the Rheum was awaiting my blood work but I have an appt in a week and I’m very afraid of all the side effects of the meds. I have had no swelling since the first of October and before than I have only had swelling on one other occasion both times in my thumb and forefinger. If I wait for another flare to start meds will I be doing damage? Is the RA doing damage even when there is no swelling? I’m so scared.
You have asked a lot of questions but my sense is that what you want most is reassurance. Treatment of RA is generally fairly safe. The FDA doesn’t usually approve drugs unless the benefits far outweigh the side effects. This is certainly the case with most of the RA medications. Trust your doctor but also ask your questions and be sure you are satisfied wtih the answers. You can find plenty of information about the medications by reading through different areas of this website, too. Go to the Patient Corner for specific information about the medications. Good luck !!