If you are someone living with any type of inflammatory arthritis, you know that spotting your symptoms and identifying the differences between medication side effects and serious medical problems can be difficult.
Dr. Uzma Haque, MD, assistant professor of medicine at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, lists symptoms to look out for that can help you determine whether or not you should make the trip to the emergency room. “Patients should be aware of medication side effects and know when to reach out,” Dr. Haque states.
Dr. Haque suggests going to your primary doctor or Rheumatologist if you experience:
- Flu-like symptoms such as fever, head and body aches
- Acute joint pain and swelling (different from a typical flare up)
- Mouth sores
- Sudden abdominal pain for people taking Xeljanz or Actemra
If you not able to see your primary doctor, it’s advised to visit your local urgent care if you have these symptoms:
- High fever with a rash
- Severe and sudden abdominal pain
- Sudden spine pain
A visit to the emergency room is a good idea if you are experiencing:
- Severe chest pains
- Sudden loss of vision
- Uncontrollable bleeding
Dr. Haque says that those with any arthritic flares can handle them as long as they rest and pace themselves.
Please always consult your doctor.