I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was on disability for 6 years. I forced myself to go back to work and have been working for 3 yrs. I have changed jobs 3 times trying to find a job my body can tolerate. I am a registered nurse and work as a case manager in an acute care setting. I just recieved my 3rd loading dose of remicaide and am on methotrexate. The daily grind of working everyday has increased my rheumatoid symptoms, fatique, pain level. I have daily patient contact with pt who have TB, MARSA, VRE. Considering my health status should I continue to work in this enviroment? Thanks so much for your time.
This is a great question. While I cannot speak to your own personal case, we do worry about increased risk of infection in RA patients in general, and those on the TNF inhibitors in particular (by TNF inhibitors, I mean Enbrel, Remicade, Humira, Simponi and Cimzia). These drugs do predispose to some particular infections such as TB and fungal infections. Working in a high risk environment where there are lots of infections may put an RA patient on these drugs an further risk.