I am trying to figure out if my symptoms are from Inflammatory Arthritis (Lupus like syndrome) or a side effect of the Gleevec which I have been taking since 12/30/2014.
Prior to being diagnosed with CML, I was taking low dose methotrexate which resolved the joint pain but I still had synovial swelling and tendonitis (which became very severe at one point). I have since been taken off of the methotrexate, but remain on Plaquneil & 30 mg Cymbalta (down from 60 mg). The joint pain first returned in my hands and wrists, but has gradually spread to my feet and ankles with flare ups in my larger joints. I also run low grade fevers and get flushing and/or rashes when over exposed to heat or light.
My Hema/Onc has given me the go ahead to treat the autoimmune issues with a stronger medication as long as it's NOT methotrexate (because it can cause other bone marrow problems long term). Arava & Rituxan are my other options which my rheumy has considered before. My SED rate spiked a few months ago when I began walking again, but came back down with extra rest and limited activity then started creeping back up. I've also gained 12 lbs since then. Ugh!
I don't know what to do. I need more pain relief, but if the pain is caused by the Gleevec, then I don't want to be taking any more toxic meds. However, I don't think the fevers and feeling unwell after exertion or exposure to heat/light can be blamed on the Gleevec.
I take Aleve & Tyelnol nearly every day, hot showers, ice packs, Rx pain creams, limit activity and increase rest, but it's still not enough and I'm just tired of hurting all the time.