Jump to content

Hang onto your hat: Sclero Forums Upgrade May 14-21, 2017!! The Forums will be offline for up to 4 days, and then will return with an entirely new look and feel.


Saw My Rheumy Today, Update

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 kiwimum03


    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 242 posts
  • Location:New Zealand

Posted 01 July 2007 - 07:06 PM

Hi everyone,

I had my rheumatologist appointment today, I haven't seen him in 4 months, since I started on the Plaquenil.
He feels the Plaquenil is working, my joints aren't so sore, my dry eyes have improved, even my gastro problems seem a bit better.

He was annoyed I weaned off the Prednisone so I could test for Cushing's Disease, so he wants me to finish my testing and go back on a low dose of Prednisone (7.5mgs) just to help me out with the rest of my pain.

I also mentioned to him about my insomnia. I am tired all morning until about 4pm and then I feel much better and am awake until midnight or 2am, and of course wake up exhausted.
Even if I go to bed early I just lie there unable to sleep. so he has prescribed me Amitriptyline at a low dose of 10mgs, he said it would help me to get my sleep cycle back on track and may help with my bad muscles aches/fatigue.

He did say it was an antidepressant too, but I am thinking I might need one anyway, I have been trying to tough it out, but have been crying spontaneously lately and my anxiety has been playing up, so I think it might be good.

I think a few others here are on it, how have you found it? I do hope it helps with my sleep and my muscles........just to feel rested and relaxed would be nice.

So I am to stay on the Plaquenil, restart low dose Prednisone once the cushing's tests are finsished (as long as they are normal) and also the Amitriptyline, I hope all that combination gets me feeling better.

I have to say I am a bit better on the Plaquenil, but I would love to feel like I haven't been hit by a truck some days.

He wasn't any help with my abnormal lactation (of course its not his field), and also discovered my estrogen was low (something my general practitioner didn't tell me) and also he rang the hospital where I had my Gastroscope and they told him I had Chronic Gastritis, pre-ulcer. Something I didn't know!!!
when I had the scope done they told me and my general practitioner that it was normal, but they did take biopsies and I guess they must have come back and my general practitioner didn't know, so that was interesting.......just keep on with the Losec I guess.

Okay, that is my big ramble, feeling a bit drained today.


#2 Sweet


    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,895 posts

Posted 02 July 2007 - 04:00 AM

Hi Irene,

Thanks for taking the time for the update. I'm really glad the Plaquenil seems to be helping you. I know it's done wonders for me.

I think you'll be very happy with the Amitriptyline. It's been used for many years successfully to treat both depression and insomnia. Sleep deprivation makes everything seem so much worse (trust me I know this first hand!!!) so I hope after a few good night sleeps you will regain a bit of your energy and stamina.

Take care my friend.
Warm and gentle hugs,

ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#3 Donna


    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 02 July 2007 - 04:32 AM

I was on Amitriptyline quite a few years ago, and it did help me with sleep...I don't even remember why I was taken off of it - I now take Trazadone, which is also used for depression and sleep.........

Your sleeping habits seem like mine - I can never get moving till later in the day - and was always up to atleast 2am - but I'm trying harder to make it to bed by midnight -

My Sleep Study doctor also has me on Lyrica to help me get into a deeper sleep & it 'usually' works pretty good...Just that no matter what time I go to bed, and what time I get up - I'm always tired - most of my energy comes after Supper/Dinner time.....

Wishing you the best, and hope it works well for you..........

Take Care.......Hugs......Donna :)

#4 kiwimum03


    Silver Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 242 posts
  • Location:New Zealand

Posted 03 July 2007 - 03:44 PM

Thanks for the replies Donna and Pam,

I am still hesitant about the Amitriptyline, and will converse with my general practitioner before I go on it, think my rheumatologist is going to send her a letter anyway.

I am also still wary about going back on the Prednisone..........ugh, I guess he wants me to be comfortable while the Plaquenil builds up, but I have been on the Plaquenil for 16 weeks now.......does it just keep on improving?

Well I am tired today, I have been doing too much lately,

thanks for your replies :)


#5 Elehos


    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 196 posts
  • Location:Upstate NY

Posted 04 July 2007 - 05:22 AM

Hi Irene,

I tried Amitriptyline, but since my system is senstitive to quite a few meds, that one didn't work for me. Everyone is different, so even if you hear someone saying a certain med was horrible, it might be wonderful for you, so please keep an open mind about at least trying something. Please keep us posted on how things are going with your meds, and hope that your drained feeling will lift soon. Oh, how many of us can relate to not sleeping, and our hearts go out to you!

Best wishes,


#6 WestCoast1


    Gold Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 553 posts

Posted 04 July 2007 - 10:41 AM

Hi Irene,
Thanks for the update on your apt. It sounds like you learned a few useful things. As for the Plaquenil, I have heard that it takes about 3 months for it to be fully in your system. I remember hitting a plateau about that time. It was certainly better than where I was before I started!!! :)


#7 Piper


    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 140 posts
  • Location:Canada

Posted 04 July 2007 - 02:45 PM

Hi Irene, I take amytriptyline for night time pain and sleeping problems and I must say it helps me with those. I think it even helps my over all pain levels during the day because when I go off of it I really feel more pain. I take it off and on as it seems to build up in me but over all I feel like it helps.
It wouldn't hurt to give it a try and 10 mg. is a very low dose.
Hugs, Piper

#8 jefa


    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,284 posts
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 04 July 2007 - 06:46 PM

Hi, Irene. My general practitioner tried me on amitriptyline to help me with sleep problems. Unfortunately, it didn't agree with me. You have to be careful if you are also taking an SSRI because the combo can increase the side effects. For me, the problem was blurred vision and mental confusion. I had a problem with anomia, where I was saying the wrong words for things. I noticed immediately after speaking that I had said the wrong thing, but it happened several times a day. I also had an extremely disturbing metallic taste in my mouth. This went away when I stopped taking it. We finally experimented changing the time of day that I took the SSRI (fluoxetine) until I found the right balance. I also have to take an afternoon nap for about an hour and a half. I was amazed at how taking a nap can improve insomnia! Like others have said, however, you need to work with your doctors to find the right combination of meds for you. The more you take, the harder it is to find the balance. As you are not already taking an antidepressant, it would be worth a try at a low dose.
Warm wishes,

Carrie Maddoux
(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums Support Specialist
(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums UK Chat Host

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)