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My Anti DNA blood test is higher still

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  • My Anti DNA blood test is higher still

    Hi all, I haven't posted for ages, but have been reading about everyone else with interest! Last September I had a medium positive ANA, and a very positive anti-DNA at 53 (normal range under 20) I've been on Plaquenil 200mg per day for just over 6 months, which seems to have stopped the swellings, as I haven't had any since February. However, I still have sore and tender muscles, and aching joints, mostly shoulders, hip area, and of all places - the sides and back of my ribs! I can't say it is excrutiating pain, but more like nagging aches. I saw my Rheumy yesterday, and he said that my recent blood tests show my ANA as weakly positive, but my anti DNA has risen to 73 now. He said that now really confirms his original diagnosis of 'probable Lupus.'' He doesn't want to raise my Plaquenil yet, he said he prefers to take things slowly for a while. I took Ibuprofen through a bad patch I had just after Easter, for 3 weeks, but it didn't help, so he has prescribed me a months worth of Meloxicam, 15mg once a day, to see if that improves how I feel. I see him next in 4 months time. I'd like to know how any of you out there have got on with Meloxicam, as I'm not familiar with it. Cheers!

  • #2
    Hello Eileen

    I'm so sorry you are in pain. I must say I think the treatment you had is a bit peculiar. I can't think why a Rheumy would say he wants to take things slowly - I presume you have a life to live and would rather be feeling better sooner rather than later! Honestly, the things I read on here make me so cross. I am on 400mg of Plaquenil a day which I think is the 'normal' dose unless you are rather thin. It's also a pretty safe drug with relatively few side effects so I wonder why he won't increase it? Also I wonder whether you've had your urine tested? You don't mention it but I would think with a high anti ds DNA you should have been tested. If your anti DNA is high and getting higher I am a bit surprised you've not been given a dose of steroids to be honest with you Eileen.

    I've discovered over the years that there's no point beating around the bush with these doctor types, you need to let them know you are the boss and you want some help! If you don't get any relief from the NSAID I'd call the rheumy and insist on being seen again sooner. I hope you start to feel better soon.

    Rebecca x


    • #3
      Hi Rebecca, thanks for your quick reply! I have been seeing my Rheumy every 3 months up to now, and I do have my urine tested each time,(no problems)and BP taken. also, he gives me a blood test form each time to get tests done 2 weeks before subsequent appointments. (usually 7 or 8 different ones) I'm not thin, I'm around 10stone 7, so that doesnt affect the amount of Plaquenil I could be given. Maybe as I've only been on 200mg Plaquenil 6 months, he thinks it might not have fully worked yet? I did say to him that the aching wasn't too terrible, and that I feel better when I keep moving and not sitting too much - maybe I'm my own worst enemy!! Yes, if things got too bad, before my next appointment, I would definitely call up to get an earlier appointment... Thanks for your thoughts and advice Rebecca.


      • #4
        Hi Rebecca,

        It's good he keeps a constant watch on your urine and BP, especially as you have the DsDNA. I'm a bit confused as to why he would only have you on 200mg Plaquenil unless you have any known eye problems or suffer from Psoriasis.

        I'm on Meloxicam (Mobic) 15mg and it does make a big difference in my joint pains especially. Hope you find the same.



        • #5
          My rheumy has reduced my plaquenil to 200mg as well. I assumed it was due to my weight and the risk of retinal toxicity. Plaquenil is prescribed based on your 'ideal weight' and not your 'current' weight. So if your ideal weight is less than what you currently weigh he may be going by that.

          I was on mobic for awhile and it did give me some relief. But i now find myself on MTX, Plaquenil and pred as a combination. I have stopped taking the mobic for the moment. I may find i need mobic again when i start to wean pred again soon. It's all trial and error really.

          Hope mobic works for you and that you feel better soon.


          • #6
            Thank you for your posts, Lily and Diamond! I think my weight is more or less 'ideal', as I am fairly tall. I don't have any eye problems or Psoriasis,I'm having yearly eye tests now too, to be on the safe side. I'm just hopeful that the Meloxicam work for me, I took my first one today and I doubt that I will have unwanted side effects from it, as I tolerate medication very well. Does anyone know how soon I can expect any improvement from the Meloxicam? I wondered if it has to build up in my system for a while.


            • #7
              I believe that is an NSAID medication, so most people will notice an improvement within a few days. Full improvement often takes 2-3 weeks however so give it that long to work before you make any decisions as to whether to keep taking it or not. Hope it helps you a lot! Many people here have found great relief with various NSAIDs, a lot of people really like Mobic in particular.


              • #8
                Thanks Maia - I'm ever optimistic and that sounds promising!!


                • #9
                  Hi Eileen,

                  I haven't been officially diagnosed yet but I too am on 200mg Plaquenil. However, I'm not sure if it's relevant, but someone mentioned body weight - my BMI is around 18 so I'm rather thin. I'm also extremely short sighted.

                  For me, I'd rather my rheumatologist took things slowly and increased the dosage as opposed to giving me a really high dosage that could be dangerous. If the aches and pains are bothering you a lot, make sure you don't understate them. Also, if you're not happy with your treatment plan then you could ask for a second opinion.

                  I hope you're feeling okay,

                  Kathryn xx


                  • #10
                    I am confused as to why the 200mg has not been increased to 400mg especially with a DsDna that high.
                    I wish you well moving forward and hope that you get on the correct dosing of medicine to get you feeling well again.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for your good wishes Karol, and Kathryn, that made a lot of sense what you said re your treatment by your Rheumy I'm sure also, that I'm not in even a quarter of the pain that a lot of sufferers on this site are in. I certainly was very ill for several years 16 years ago when I was diagnosed with 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome', which I believe a lot of people on here were misdiagnosed with! At least I have got a correct diagnosis now. I'm going to take Maia's advice and take the Mobic for 3 weeks to give it a chance to work fully, if it does, then I'll ask my GP for more. I forgot to say that the other day when I saw the Rheumy, I mentioned my permanent freezing hands, he felt them and said it was Raynauds - so I have that in common with you Kathryn, and probably a thousand others on here!! I hope you get a firm diagnosis before too long, and that the Plaquenil helps you. It got rid of my swellings anyway!!