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Starting pulse Prednisone-Methotrexate

Discussion in 'Women's Alopecia Areata' started by starshine, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. dancer

    dancer Experienced Member

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    :bravo: That is such good news! As we all know the nape can be so hard to grow, the fact the derm said it is strong and healthy is even better, so so pleased for you :0
     
  2. starshine

    starshine Guest

    Thanks Dancer. You have been so encouraging throughout this whole treatment. I do have to admit though, that I am terrified of what will happen once the Methotrexate tapers down, but I don't want to stay on it forever either.
     
  3. dancer

    dancer Experienced Member

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    I am sure it must be very difficult to be in that position, one I have never experience as treatments never worked. But keep positive because what ever happens you are still the same wonderful person your were before this all started.However you are wiser, stronger and have people here who really care and understand.:love: Try not to worry it may just turn better than you hoped

    :grouphug:
     
  4. starshine

    starshine Guest

    Dancer, you are so kind and positive despite having lived with this yourself for so long and having it begin at such a young age. I know you have made peace with it, as I know I will have to if it does not reverse, but I truly hope you will at least regain your eyebrows/lashes one day. I know there is always hope for regrowth, no matter how long, and I think everyone with this condition has to hold on to that.
     
  5. dancer

    dancer Experienced Member

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    How True! thank you :)
     
  6. Joann

    Joann Moderator

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    Wonderful news Starshine!!! I'm very happy for you. :) Thanks for sharing the positive news with us.

    Hugs,
    Joann
     
  7. starshine

    starshine Guest

    Thanks, Joann. I will update on my next derm visit in 6 weeks.
     
  8. Joann

    Joann Moderator

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    Please do continue to update. I really appreciate it as it helps me to help others with Alopecia Areata considering this treatment. Generally I advise caution when taking any oral meds for Alopecia Areata hairloss but some people really want to give it their best shot. Your experience on the treatment will help me to help others with their questions.

    Thanks a million!!! Good Luck!!! I hope and pray when you do wean off that your immune system has gone into spontaneous remission so the regrowth can continue to grow and flourish.

    Hugs,
    Joann
     
  9. starshine

    starshine Guest

    So here is my 8-month update from the dermatologist on Methotrexate. The nape area is finally showing signs of regrowth, although it is very fine and white, but definitely showing signs of growth. The top of my hair has really filled in, so much so, that no scalp shows on top anymore if I blow-dry it and use a good volumizing product. I do still have a few small bald patches here and there, but we are continuing to treat them with higher dose injections. Don't get me wrong, my hair is still very thin overall and I am not comfortable going out without a hair piece, but there has definitely been noticeable progress within this last month. One eyebrow seems to also be filling in, but the hairs are very fine and light colored. Given the new growth on the nape area, my derm is continuing the Methotrexate for another 3 months along with the injections. I am still on-the-fence about trying squaric acid on the stubborn areas as all the horror stories about this treatment have me scared. One thing I will say about this treatment is that it is a slow process and you really need to have patience and be in good health otherwise, as this is a strong medication to be on for such a long time.
     
  10. dancer

    dancer Experienced Member

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    Thank you for sharing your update which is sounding very promising :) It gives me real pleasure to read that you are having success with this treatment even if it is a slow progress, hard to be patient when you want something so much! I presume as you have not said anything different you have still not experienced any ill side effects.

    My thoughts are with you and I am willing those little white hairs to grow strong and take on pigment for you

    :love:
     
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  11. starshine

    starshine Guest

    Thanks Dancer, you're the best!
     
  12. starshine

    starshine Guest

    So I just came from my new dermatologist, as my old one left the practice. The one I am seeing now is the head of the practice and although he is young, I think he is knowledgeable about Alopecia Areata and I really like him. I have been on Methotrexate now for 10 months and this is what he told me. When Alopecia Areata starts as mine did at an advanced age with no prior history, it is usually a little different than when you have it from a young age. He feels that there is usually more of a trigger, which in my case was probably stress, severe iron deficiency and poor nutrition. This is simply his opinion, of course, but I thought it was interesting. He showed me photos of when I first started the Prednisone/Methotrexate treatment about a year ago and I really have made amazing progress. I was at my worst with about 60-70 percent hairloss and he feels that I am now at about 30 percent with a lot of new growth in progress. My body hair is also slowly returning. I have all-over leg hair although it is still fine and white and underarm hair is returning. Eyebrows are slooowly coming back but they are being the most stubborn and we are continuing with injections. Anyway, he feels that the Methotrexate did not "cure" me, but it did stop the loss and allow my body to begin to heal itself. I was also improving my diet, taking supplements and in general taking a lot better care of myself which he feels all contributed towards the healing process. I am still on the Methotrexate and am getting scalp injections in the stubborn areas, but at my next appointment in two months, he thinks we will begin to taper off if the improvements continue. I just wanted to add one probably final post to this thread as this is the first time since I began this ordeal that I have felt real hope, and if anyone is considering the use of oral steroids, I think it is worth a try with strict physician supervision, of course. I don't know if my hair will ever be totally normal again or what will happen when treatment is totally stopped, but I am in a better place now that I was when I started and I am thankful for all the wonderful, caring people I have met along the way, so it hasn't been all bad.
     
  13. dancer

    dancer Experienced Member

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    :band: starshine that's is such wonderful news, the fact everything is growing sounds very positive to me. Thank you so much for sharing the conversation you had with your derm I found it interesting in regards to my own hair loss and I am sure you have given hope to others who come here.

    sara xx
     
  14. Nickibee

    Nickibee Guest

    I am current approaching the 3 month mark with methotrexate. The last two weeks my derm bumped me up to 18mg. Before I was only on 12.5 with steroid injections. I've noticed significant regrowth on the back of my head but the temporal region and hairline experienced extreme loss. I never had any hairline issues at the front of my head and man do I hate that. It's hard not to think about it when u see it everyday on your forehead. But I'm making do. I've seen some regrowth on one of the temporal sides so that great. I just thought the methotrexate would stunt the loss more. But hey at least something is growing back in. Being positive is the best medicine. I wanted to ask u ladies, is anyone on an anti anxiety med to help with the condition. It was recommended to me and I saw a psych who prescribed me Effexor a couple months ago but I haven't started it. I just didn't want to take something I wasn't sure I really needed. But some say it helps with coping and the emotional catastrophe of losing all your hair slowly. Thoughts?
     
  15. connie

    connie Guest

    Starshine, congrats on your progress!!! I am Excited for you (is that weird or what??)! I am on an anti-anxiety med. My mom passed two years ago in March, moved in with my dad full time who is a dementia, Alzheimers sufferer with only one leg. I have been on low dose Buspar for three years I believe. When I first went to my PC 4 or so weeks ago, it upped the dose a little. Everyone around me notices the difference. I don't feel like I am in HYPER DRIVE anymore!!! I am pleased that my Dr made that call! So , just to throw a question in here......BODY HAIR LOSS (eyebrows, legs) can be associated with Alopecia Areata, or is that the point that we turn the corner to AT or Alopecia Universalis?? Thank you for any answers
     
  16. dancer

    dancer Experienced Member

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    Hi Connie
    I have not had chance to welcome you! Yes loss of body hair is associated with Alopecia Areata, total scalp loss is AT total body hair loss is Alopecia Universalis, sadly I fall into the last group and have been Alopecia Universalis (except short periods of regrowth up to the age of 21) since I was 12. The one positive factor of Alopecia Universalis is the ultra smooth legs which are the envy of my friends!:p
     
  17. houstonvirgo

    houstonvirgo Guest

    Starshine,

    I am new to this site, though no stranger to Alopecia Areata. I have had Alopecia Areata since I was a kid, though it was always manageable with shots. My Alopecia Areata got out of hand when I started taking Humira for my Rheumatoid Arthritis last year. This year my doctor switched me to Enbrel. I had no idea how strong this drug was because I was totally bald two weeks after starting Enbrel. I have stopped the medicine; however, my Alopecia Areata has now turned in Alopecia Universalis. I have very little lashes and eye brows left and they are falling at an alarming rate. Both my rheumatologist and dermatologists are perplexed as they have never seen a case like mine.

    After doing some online research, I suggested the pulse prednisone and methotrexate to my doctors. They said I have nothing to lose and I just started last week. So far, no hair, though after reading your journey, I realize I need to be patient. I just wanted to say thanks to all on this thread and on this site for supporting each other. It has been truly been amazing to read some of the stories and words of encouragement here.

    - HoustonVirgo
     
  18. dancer

    dancer Experienced Member

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    Hi houstonvirgo

    Sorry to read of your troubles with arthritis and alopecia. Just wanted to wish you good luck with the treatment, I really hope it turns it around for you.

    Sara x
     
  19. starshine

    starshine Guest

    Hi Houstonvirgo. I am sorry your Alopecia Areata has progressed to Alopecia Universalis, but there is always hope. I do think the prednisone/methotrexate is worth a try. As you can see from my long journey, the Methotrexate did not kick in for about 3 months and the first thing I noticed was the hair loss slowed down and eventually stopped. I did not continue with the Prednisone as I have osteoarthritis and my dermatologist did not feel it was doing much anyway, but everyone is different and you have to see what works best for you. I also continued and am still continuing with scalp injections even in the brows, which I do think have helped.

    Connie and Dancer, thanks for your encouragement. I still have a ways to go, but at least it is looking more promising. As for body hair, I am confused on that as well. I did lose almost all leg and underarm hair and in other areas as well, but I did not go to Alopecia Universalis. Now, most of my body hair has returned, but it is white and almost transparent and has been that way for several months. I am beginning to wonder if it is going to be this way forever (not a bad thing as I still don't have to shave since it is so light).
     
  20. houstonvirgo

    houstonvirgo Guest

    Thank you Sara and Starshine. I really appreciate your words of support and encouragement. I will definitely keep you guys posted on my progress over time.
     

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