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4. Not Taking All Your Medications

If your doctor prescribed more than one RA medicine, there’s a good reason for that. One of those drugs may ease your pain, and the other helps to stop joint damage.

If you’re not sure what your drugs do or why you need them, ask your doctor. Also tell her if side effects or costs are problems. She can help you look for solutions, whether it’s another drug or help with costs, so you can keep up with your treatment.

5. Skipping Medication When You Feel Good

You may be tempted to skip your medications on days when you’re feeling better. Don’t do that.

Missing a dose could cause the pain to return, and it may be harder to get relief later. Your RA could also worsen.

Some drugs need to stay in your bloodstream at specific levels in order to be effective. If you skip them too often, blood levels of the medication will drop and you could end up with a flare of your RA. You might forget a dose once in a while, and that's OK. Just take it as soon as you remember (but don't take a double dose).

6. Overlooking Your Mood

RA can be painful and challenging. It’s normal to feel sad about that at times. But if you start to feel depressed -- for instance, your blue feelings don’t lift, and you don’t enjoy the things you used to like -- tell your doctor so you can get treated and feel better.

Your doctor can refer you to a counselor for “talk therapy” and prescribe antidepressants if needed. You may also want to join a support group for people with RA, such as those offered by the Arthritis Foundation. Ask your doctor for more information.

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