I was given a diagnosis of RA and Lupus. I feel I do not have lupus, no clinical signs. Can a doctor go on blood tests only?I was given a diagnosis of RA and Lupus. I feel I do not have lupus, no clinical signs. Can a doctor go on blood tests only?

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I was given a diagnosis of RA and Lupus and have been treated with plaquenil for many years. I feel I do not have lupus, no clinical signs. Can a doctor go on blood tests only?

I get bouts of Palindromic Rheumatism and take 20 mg prednisone for 3 days and the pain goes away with no residual. In the last few months this has been a little more frequent. I have a bad record for tolerating new meds but I think my rheumatologist is thinking of adding methotextrate. Is there any other med that could be beneficial? I have had RA for 15 years and am 73. So far plaquenil has kept me well most of the time.

Thank you

Answers from our Doctors

Dr. Eliza Chakravarty says:

A diagnosis of lupus or RA usually needs more than just blood tests. Sometimes lupus and RA can look very similar and even indistinguishable, particularly if the main problem is arthritis. Doctors will often try to use antibody testing such as antinuclear antibody tests or rheumatoid factor to help clarify the diagnosis, but it is even more difficult if a patient has positive tests for both. The good news is that, for the most part, the treatments are the same whether the person has RA or lupus arthritis.

Again, very difficult to tell at times whether someone has RA, lupus arthritis, or an overlap between the two. Medications such as plaquenil can be very effective for both RA and lupus.

This is a difficult question to answer. Certainly plaquenil is a very good medication; and methotrexate has been shown to have good efficacy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. There are many different medications for rheumatoid arthritis that have different side effect profiles. Choosing the best RA medication to try involves careful discussion with your doctor and depends on many factors related to your RA, other medical conditions, and side effects or allergies you have had to medications in the past.

Answered on: Friday, September 3, 2010 - 13:49

Comments

Commenting: Guest
03/15/2013 - 14:31

I was told that the RA and diabetes also tinnitus are the result of having Lupus is this a common factor in Lupus I also have had Multiple Sclerosis for many years so wonder if they are all autoimmune disease s

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