(December, 1998)

Methotrexate Blues and Light Units for the Home
from Kelly Z.

Ed: I just wanted to give a little update. I have written a few times before and have appreciated your responses. I have been on Methotrexate now for about 5 months and it has not given me the response I'd hoped for. It has cleared up my scalp, some of my abdomen and back, but has done squat for my arms and legs.

I am trying to get off this stuff because of the limitations on drinking. (You can't drink at all.) My next comments are to Todd, who is attempting to get a home UV unit [see link at bottom].

The first thing is know all your options. With UV treatments, there's UVA and UVB. UVB is stronger than UVA and does not work for many (myself included).

Second, with UVA, there is the option of PUVA (which has helped me in the past, but the pill Oxoralen just kills my stomach). Thanks to the National Psoriasis Foundation, I was able to give my doctor another option, topical Oxoralen. I'm so glad I pay him for me to give him options! The issue with the topical Oxoralen is it has to have a formula for the pharmacist and it is primarily used in Europe.

The third thing he needs is a doctor who is willing to prescribe the light. He will have a better chance of getting his insurance company to pay for the lamp if a doctor prescribes it.

Todd needs to know there are more options than just a box. Wall units work just the same but take a little extra time. The positive about wall units is they are much cheaper than a box.

At National Biological Corp., the wall units run between $1,500 and $2,000 plus shipping and a monitoring device. I am still waiting to hear if the insurance company will pay for it, but I have parents who are willing to float me a loan for the unit if the insurance declines.

It amazes me that an insurance company is willing to give the doctors somewhere to the tune of $6,000 ($60 per treatment, 2 treatments a week, for 5 weeks) for the same treatment I could get at home for the cost of a wall unit. I know your thoughts on home therapy and I respect you for them, but living in Chicago and working 45 hours a week gives me few options.

Try not to scratch, and buy stock in Vaseline. -Kelly Z.

*****

Ed's Response: Thanks for the information, Kelly. Sorry the Methotrexate isn't being more cooperative for you. I share your frustration when the results don't seem to warrant the dangers and sacrifices. -Ed

Todd's e-mail
ALSO: Check UVB, UVA and PUVA in the ARCHIVES.

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