Author Topic: How many on long-term cytotoxic therapy?  (Read 1454 times)

Styx

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How many on long-term cytotoxic therapy?
« on: August 24, 2012, 03:08:02 PM »
Hello, I'm curious about how many of you with Sjogren's are being or have been treated with long-term (>6 months) cytotoxic drugs.

Specifically, I'm referring to these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunosuppressive_drug#Cytostatics (note: Hydroxychloroquine i.e. Plaquenil is not cytotoxic).

I was thinking it might be good to catalog some experiences.
1) Which drug(s) have you used? For how long did you use it and at what dose?
2) What symptoms improved? Which symptoms did not improve?
3) Any confounding factors?

For instance,
1) I've used methotrexate (25mg SQ for 7 months) and azathioprine (200mg off and on probably around 6 times for a total of maybe 3 years exposure).
2) I primarily used these drugs to resolve my upper and lower respiratory problems, for which AZA was effective after 7 months of continuous therapy. Throughout my various treatments, my eye dryness continued to progress while on MTX therapy and after my switch to AZA. On AZA therapy, eye dryness continued to progress also, though symptoms of ocular dryness seemed to improve. I would say that upon discontinuing treatment with these drugs, my dryness symptoms typically rapidly accelerated so it would seem that the drugs may have slowed, but not halted, progression. I'm curious about whether I will be able to experience any dryness regression while on very long term AZA therapy > 1 year, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I've also started experiencing mouth dryness recently despite AZA therapy.
3) I stopped and started AZA therapy a lot, so I wasn't particularly immunosuppressed during most of my treatment with it. I also used high-dose corticosteroids for 4 months (which seemed to worsen all symptoms, believe it or not), and I recently did a round of rituximab (which didn't seem to do anything, unfortunately).