Alcohol, the drinking type

I have psoriatic arthritis and have had for years. I do and always have, had a double gin martini almost every day, if I feel like it. Some days I don't have one at all. I have only been told by one doctor (a substitute) that I shouldn't have a drink with the methotrexate, but I always have anyway. (I'm not very obedient) My liver function is checked three times a year, and so far, is fine. I figure that my quality of life is a major issue, and I think that I sleep better and get more relaxed if I have a drink. Only one..........any more than that and I am a drunk. I know that not everyone can or should do that, but it works for me.

I typically have a drink a week, both while on MTX and now, on leflunomide. That said, I’m monitored at least 4 times a year.
If sleep is an issue, I’m wondering if it would be safer to use other meds or try other strategies.

Hi, I think having a drink whilst on meds is just a personal choice, I have been told not to drink on MTX but do have a drink if I fancy it but often go a month easily without having anything in the alcohol line.
When I had a holiday abroad this year I had at least a couple of drinks each day. Had my liver bloods done a few weeks after my return and all was fine.
As with most things, it all depends on how your body handles it, we are all so different.

Hi Jennyb, I'm with you! When I first started methotrexate I did avoid alcohol completely for the first few weeks while the docs monitored my body for problems with it but then after whining to my consultant at every visit he told me that he didn't think sharing a bottle of wine with my husband at the weekend would do me any harm.

And it hasn't ..... not on methotrexate (which I don't take any more) or leflunomide (big do not drink alcohol warning on the pharmacists label) or Humira. I like a glass of wine or two in the evenings, most evenings! For me it is part of my life - it helps me to relax and just cope with all the rubbish that gets thrown at me with this disease - and I refuse to let this disease steal from me something else I enjoy. I have monthly blood tests and my liver is just fine.

For me, I'm aware of the potential risks, drink sensibly, look after myself generally and will keep having my regular blood tests so I'm quite happy with the decision I've made to still enjoy a drink.



Stoney said:

I typically have a drink a week, both while on MTX and now, on leflunomide. That said, I'm monitored at least 4 times a year.
If sleep is an issue, I'm wondering if it would be safer to use other meds or try other strategies.

I don't drink myself to sleep, I just have one drink, if any. Sometimes none. I sometimes have one while I am cooking dinner. I have no problem going to sleep, I just wake up so early. I do have a sleeping pill to take if I need it when I am on prednisone, but I hardly ever use that, I wake up feeling so fuzzy and don't like that.

I didn't drink on mtx...but I'm not much into alcohol. I admit I've been avoiding it though. Esp since I'm on more than one medication that can effect my liver. Since I went on leflunomide, I now have blood work done every weeks.

Even before I would have the odd drink one or two at the most. I can't remember the last time I had one but I think tis the season to enjoy and have one :)

I think it's a personal preference and can depend on whether someone is more suseptable to problems.

Alcohol. A subject dear to my heart. Disclaimer: I am the poster girl for moderation. I became that way because of Meniere’s Disease, and I decided at one point that, because of my medically necessary moderation, I was going to appreciate every drop of wine that passed my lips. I began wine studies at college, and became a sommelier. (I am not a wine snob, but I know a good bottle when I see it.) In retirement, I began doing wine events for charity. And soon after, PsA struck.

On MTX, I continued to drink my usual 1 glass a day, and that didn’t seem to affect my monthly lever tests. Unfortunately, MTX didn’t affect my disease either, so my rheumie added Leflunomide with a stern warning that I must not drink. This was an unbelievable deprivation for me, but I complied. My liver was a happy camper. Then we went on a cruise where there was a wine bar with high-tech wine dispensers, loaded with interesting bottles. I decided that 70 ml (just a bit more than a 1/4 cup) a day wasn’t 'going to destroy my liver in 10 days. When I got home, I went for blood work, and the next day, the doc was on the line saying “Whatever you’ve been doing differently, STOP.” Oh oh … so I went back to painful abstinence.

My gut didn’t like leflunomide, and it didn’t do much good, so I dropped it and ended up on Enbrel. (Far too late, but that’s another story.) I’m still on MTX, and my bloodwork is just fine, so I’m eenjoying my glass-or-so a day, along with much much improved arthritis and general health.

I figure, if my liver isn’t rebelling, I will continue as I am. This is good.

Sounds like leflunomide is quite the drug. I never had the pleasure..............maybe I will one day.

The combination of Leflunomide and MTX is a bad one, and there are some sources which say they should never be combined because of the toxicity issue. My rheumy had me using them concurrently, but the leflunomide was only at 10 mg, which is, I think, half the max dose. For some reason, she thought my disease wasn’t severe enough for a biologic.
I got my second opinion at a specialty PsA clinic, and their assessment was that my disease was severe, and the only option for me was a biologic. That told me a lot, most of it bad.

I'd say it depends on the gin. Bombay is OK. Beefeaters no way. (all gins aren't equal, there is some wierd stuff in cheaper gins)

My Dermo says no way, My young Rheumy says 15 units/we

ek, a smaller person less. My old rheumy says what ever I was drinking before the MTX, and maybe a bit less.

The MTX seems to help results of the enbrel, but I guess if I had to do without it, I would. (the MTX) I the interest of full disclosure, I collect vintsge scotch and as of last thurs am part owner of a micro brewery/distillary.

Drink quality, not quantity. LOL

I'm following this discussion closely. I've never drank (even I college!) because most alcohol, even fancy stuff, tasted weird to me, and made me cough (much to my husband's amusement). Anyway, I don't know if my tasted have changed recently, or what, but on vacation this fall we were out at a brewery for lunch on the Oregon Coast, and my husband's beer smelled great, and I had some, and it tasted GREAT to me. I've been entertaining the thought of having a 1/2 glass of beer once in awhile, but have been a little freaked at the liver possibilities.

I'm not recommending anything to anybody, but I say, if it smells good, have some! I think that some of the stuff said about possible damage is just stuff. Here is how I look at it: I have been through a lot, continue to go through a lot, a lot of things have been taken away from me, and if I want a little drink now and again, and it is not hurting me, then who cares? It would be a different story if it was making me sick or something like that. I'm 58 and I am sure my liver has been through worse things. But that is just my opinion.

Microbrews rock. Beer has about half the alcohol of wine.


Hi Santa!

Oh Lamb it is you! Too funny.

I am not much of a drinker anymore but do enjoy a couple of glasses of wine 4-5 times a year. My Rheumy said that would be fine and my blood tests every 6 weeks are good. I am on Remicade and mtx. This is the time of year I have a few and on my birthday. But smoking is another subject. I roll my own so they are less expensive and I smoke outside and have since I was pregnant 19 years ago. Even in ice storms. I feel about smoking the way some seem to feel about drinking I guess.

Oh jennyb I read somewhere that alcohol can cause early morning awakening. Just an FYI.

Thanks. I used to smoke, and did for over 30 years. I smoked through chemo, radiation, everything. My oncologist finally quit talking to me about it. I felt like crap, and was developing that cough, and I really got tired of having to plan my every move, planning where I could smoke, and how I would smoke, and I got tired of having the smoking addiction rule my life. I had so many things taken away from me that I hung onto that like crazy, One day I just decided that was enough, got some patches and never looked back. I was severely addicted to nicotine. That was over 14 years ago now, and I'm so glad that I did that. But I had smoking dreams for years after that, and I still miss it sometimes and completely understand smoking.

I sure do wake up early, maybe that is why? I seem to wake up early even when I haven't had a cocktail in a week. Makes me wonder, though.

I used to drink too heavily, about 3 years ago? I was dealing with a lot of anxiety while recovering from an abusive marriage and alcohol made it easier to cope with myself. Now, I am better treated with meds and counseling and find that I don’t drink as much or ever really. I may have a few glasses with my new husband every few months or so, but I notice that if I don’t hydrate myself well and have a drink or two, I just don’t feel right the next day or later in the evening. It tends to put me off of adult drinks for a while. It’s nuts that I didn’t seem to notice that when I was using alcohol as a poor coping behavior! I am taking MTX, and my labs have been normal with my occasional drink. I guess, as long as the labs remain okay, then I’m okay.