Hi there! This is my first post, but I’ve been sort of “lurking” for months. I started having symptoms last June which started in my right knee only at night and the morning and felt very much like an injury (which led to seeing multiple Orthopedics and pretty much a waste of money). In September, things started getting much worse and the pain spread to the left knee, then to the ankles, then to the elbows, eventually to the neck and jaw until it was so bad I could barely move. The good news about things getting severe so fast is that the Orthopedic quickly recognized that what I actually needed was a rheumatologist and I have a great one that I’ve been seeing since October. She thinks that I am in the small percentage that have PsA without having Psoriasis (although my dad has psoriasis so it’s definitely in the family).
I’ve been on 15 mg/day of prednisone since October (I know it’s horrible for you, but I was quite literally disabled and in excruciating pain without it). We also started with Plaquenil (which did nothing), and then about six weeks ago we started Methotrexate. After about 3-4 weeks I did start to feel improvements and lowered the prednisone dose by 5mg (at rheumatologist’s instruction). Obviously, I was slightly more stiff than I had been previously but I was cruising along fine for the first week on a lowered dose. Then the pain started increasing again. It’s not bad enough to make me want to go back to 15mg (I really can’t deal with the cravings, weight gain, moon face anymore), but by about 7pm I’m super stiff and sore and generally cranky. And the days certainly aren’t pain free either.
So my question is whether this increased pain could be because of the taper? Has anyone had this experience? It’s just suspicious because when I was on plaquenil and tried to taper to judge if it was working, within 24-36 hours I was in excruciating pain and that hasn’t happened so it seems clear to me that the MTX is doing something.
I just feel really desperate for the MTX to work and to get off the prednisone for good!