Would like to hear from those who are nearly pain free after being on Methotrexate and enbrel

Just starting Mtx and want to hear from those with success stories. Going to be heading onto Enbrel later. Is it possible for symptoms and pain to minimize and/or vanish? How did you feel on Mtx? Side effects? Looks like it wiil take 6 weeks to get up to the min required dose, any comments, suggestions? Dr says that since I have no permanent damage to joints, the sooner I get on eds the better, is that true?

I wrote a long, nice reply, and then lost it. Grrrr.

I’ll summarize. Yes, you can achieve remission or tolerable symptoms with Enbrel. Most of the folks who do, don’t post very much because they are out living life! :slight_smile:

Your doc is right on the money, early aggressive treatment is the preferred treatment and will help slow or stop joint damage.

Be patient. Sometimes it takes a few months to achieve the results you are looking for. As long as you ARE making progress in the right direction, continue to be patient.


I had some nausea and diarrhea when I started mtx but it eased up the longer I was on it. The mtx is still effective for me. I take it with Remicade though I also took it with Enbrel. The biologics each have lasted about a year for me and yes it made the pain, stiffness and fatigue much less. I could almost have a life! But after about a year I have to go on another biologic as my enthusiastic immune system builds antibodies to it and the med slowly stops working. Thankfully there are lots of meds to try. I still flare and have bad days (like yesterday- I made it out of bed but not into the shower!) but I took my mtx last night (I inject for less nausea) and I went to the fair today. With my cane but I went! Some meds have worked better for me than others and finding a good combination takes patience.

Gypsy I might add that sometimes it’s so hard to be patient. You will very Likely have days that your are so frustrated you might pop, but try to push those frustrations aside. It does take time to get the meds just right. Remember that we are all individuals and what works for some doesn’t work for all. We are here for you anytime, but we especially understand those days. We all will vent once in a while, and we will be ready to circle the wagons for you. I wish you the best on your new drugs and hope you start to see the effects very soon.

Hello impgypsy. I went on MTX almost two years ago, and it did nothing for me, good or bad. When I recently added Enbrel, the improvement was amazing. Not only did my physical condition (pain, stiffness, fatigue) improve, but my depression and brain fog lifted too. You are very lucky to have been diagnosed before having permanent damage. Many of us here have not been that fortunate.
Your doctor is absolutely right: early and aggressive treatment is the way to save your joints.
It usually takes several months to know whether a particular treatment is a good “fit” for you, and you may have to try more than one drug to find the right one. So starting before the damage happens is definitely the smart thing to do.
Good luck!

I had a 2.5 years remission on Enbrel alone. It was fantastic! I could barely move or get out of bed before the Enbrel. As long as I kept taking the Enbrel I had zero symptoms.

Good job treating your disease early and aggressively!

Thank you all! I am quite anxious about these meds, accompanied with my continued denial of the levity of this disease. I am going forward with meds and my spouse is very supportive. So appreciate your words of wisdom

I’ve been on mtx a month now. I won’t say I’m pain free but every week I notice a change. I was and still am flaring in my ankle I’ve gone from not being ale to put ay weight on it to almost walking with no limp. My back feels better now then the 6 months I was on sulphsalizine. I am still hopeful for pain free days I’m not there yet.

I was a bit like Seenie - MTX felt like it did nothing for me, but boy was Enbrel amazing! I'd say it took 4-6 months to get to full efficiency, but I honestly felt noticeable improvement overnight!

MTX certainly had its side effects (which for me was kind of unexpected - I've always sailed through my life without side effects, allergies, any of those things - till PsA). I got nausea, exhaustion, and a generally upset tummy for the day after. I found it best at bedtime to "sleep it off". The Enbrel had no side effects at all for me - except feeling so much better it actually surprised me :)

It is hard, isn’t it? That denial really digs in! I follow the advice of Dory (Finding Nemo) “Just keep swimming!” As long as you are moving forward you are going in the right direction. It’s good that you have support. My hubs is my hero. He know my limits better than I do and acts as the enforcer! He even gives me my injections if I am feeling super wussy that day. It’s nice to have a back up!

impgypsy said:
Thank you all! I am quite anxious about these meds, accompanied with my continued denial of the levity of this disease. I am going forward with meds and my spouse is very supportive. So appreciate your words of wisdom

I live in China, about 1 hour flight from Shanghai and have found an excellent hospital and Dr. (she is actually from Romania). She must follow a very strict regiment of guidelines before I will be allowed to get on any biologic. (Enbrel is her favorite for success)..Not sure when that will happen. Know that I must be on MTX at least 6 weeks to get enough dosage to 'hopefully' make a significant difference in my symptoms. My hands are the worst, second to my stiff neck and my toes have a bit of discomfort that I am hoping will be slow to get worse.

Reading so much on the internet can be 'dangerous' as it is so easy to read about a symptom and then think you have it..hahahaha I really must take this day by day and my promise to myself is that I will get back into good physical shape. Up until May 1st, I have always exercised almost daily and as a 62 year old could woop anyone...SInce becoming symptomatic, I have been afraid to exercise. Gonna get back on the horse today, and have received a large caution warning to NOT overdue it...lol

I am on 20 mg mtx and enbrel and it’s working really well for me. My joints are all fine and tendon pain mostly gone. In fact I’ve just come back from a 5km run! I couldn’t even have walked/hobbled that this time last year I can tell you.

The dependability on waking up the next day knowing another joint won’t have flared up is a great feeling too.

I have no side effects with enbrel. If I don’t drink lots of water on mtx day I can get a hangover feeling the next day but I can put up with that compared to the pain/fatigue I had before!

In summary, I feel like a normal person!

I have been taking MTX and Enbrel for a couple of years now. As most others, I have occasional not so good days, but I have vast more good days now with the Enbrel. I am very thankful this drug is available (and my insurance pays for it). It has helped me tremendously.

When I was first DX'ed w/ PsA in 2008 I could not walk. Psa grabbed hold of me one day with a sore middle finger and within weeks had spread to me feet, ankles, fingers, knuckles, elbows, hips, knees, shoulders, and even my jaw. I started MTX and six weeks later I was playing competitive tackle football. My remission lasted all the way until my new rhuemy told me i was not supposed to drink alcohol while taking MTX. I said "yeah, well, all medicines say that". He said "no, you don't understand, you CAN NOT drink while taking MTX. I said "well, Houston we have a problem! I'm a frequent beer drinker" He said "my Lord son, your lucky to be alive!" So that was the end of my MTX day's. But yes, MTX provided me with complete, 100% remission.

And I also believe that doctors should stress the fact that alcohol and MTX do not mix. Back in them day's I didn't google nothing. Doc say's here, take this, I took it, it worked, end of story. I know it should be the patients responsibility to research and know what they are putting into their body, but let's face it, a lot of folks ain't gonna do that. Anyway's, end of rant!