Expats Living in Saigon or Hanoi with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hello,
I am looking for information on Rheumatoid arthritis medication availability in either Saigon or Hanoi.  Would like to contact anyone who may be living in these areas with knowledge of what medications are available.

Thanks

Perhaps if you listed what you are presently taking, you might get a quicker response.

I had RA & was on meds here for 3 years but am now thankfully in remission. All hospital treatment was carried out in Bangkok but all meds bought here. At first I was on a cocktail of meds uncluding steroids but laterly
I was on Arava generic (Arastad) & Salazopyrin & Methycobal. Now I am meds free & fit as a fiddle thank god! Good luck.

Arastad is available at most hospitals with an attached pharmacy .... I have never looked at any private street vendor / pharmacy ( expats are usually warned to avoid most of them, and there is no list available publicly that is expat rated )

[at]Moscowmetro .... if you dont mind me asking, did you have to deal with any nasty side effects from Arava? FDA has it listed as a VERY harsh drug resulting in long term immune suppression, not to mention its 2 year metabolic lifespan. It would absolutely suck having to die from the common cold just to get relief fromjoint pain!

Also.... a few of the International Hospitals in VN are on some strange advertising campaign for Arthroscopy. At least it is a step in a direction of modernized medicine, but for the most part, it does not seem that any treatment in modern day is any better than back in the 90s with Cortisone injections ....

I find it odd scientifically insulting that HIV treatment can be treated with $10 a month in most countries usually with very mild treatments, but Arthriestis has yet to have any significant improvement in treatment methods over the last 30 years.

jefJones :

Arastad is available at most hospitals with an attached pharmacy .... I have never looked at any private street vendor / pharmacy ( expats are usually warned to avoid most of them, and there is no list available publicly that is expat rated )

[at]Moscowmetro .... if you dont mind me asking, did you have to deal with any nasty side effects from Arava? FDA has it listed as a VERY harsh drug resulting in long term immune suppression, not to mention its 2 year metabolic lifespan. It would absolutely suck having to die from the common cold just to get relief fromjoint pain!

Also.... a few of the International Hospitals in VN are on some strange advertising campaign for Arthroscopy. At least it is a step in a direction of modernized medicine, but for the most part, it does not seem that any treatment in modern day is any better than back in the 90s with Cortisone injections ....

I find it odd scientifically insulting that HIV treatment can be treated with $10 a month in most countries usually with very mild treatments, but Arthriestis has yet to have any significant improvement in treatment methods over the last 30 years.

Quick reply....
I had no side effects from taking Arava & have been off it for 9 months now after taking it daily for over 2 years. BUT I had to take many other drugs for the first year to protect vital organs etc & as you say its an immune system blocker so had to have flue jabs etc.
I bought Arastad & all the other drugs at my local pharmacy after my company insurance ran out.(I retired)
Let me assure you this was not as you say "just some joint pain" I woke up one morning basically paralised & the pain was excruciating believe me. To cut a long storey short I had contracted Salmonella here in Vietnam, this triggered my immune system to attack all my joints (reactive arthritis) I was taken to hospital in HCMC ISOS but thank god my company flew me to BKK Bumrungrad Hospital where they tried over 2 weeks to kill the Salmonella with great difficulty but then managed after some aggressive drugs. During this time they could not treat the Arthritis & I can tell you I am a pretty tough x oilfield worker but I have never ever felt pain like it believe me.
Anyways  after 3 years of treatment & over 250,000usd paid by BUPA I am now pain free & in remission now. I still visit Bumrungrad every 6 months for blood tests etc & to see the specialist.

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Hi,

In particular, I am interested in the availability of Methotrexate, Levothyroxine, Rituxan and Xelganz.  But also interested in any RH medications that are available in Vietnam that I may not be aware of because they might come from Europe/Asia and not the Untied States.

Thanks

In particular, I am interested in the availability of Levothyroxine, Rituxan, Methotrexate and Xeljanze.  Not necessarily taking all of these, but checking availability in case I decide to move forward with plans to retire in Saigon.
Also interested any other RH arthritis medications that might be available in Vietnam that may not be available in the U.S. because they come from Europe or Asia.

Thanks

Methotrexate was recently ( 8 months ago? ) being advertised by one of the medical universities here ... it "exists", but i can't be sure at how commonly available even though it is not exactly a newer medication.

Levothyroxine is very common ...

Rituxan( i did not find, please check the spelling or does it have an alternative spelling? )

Xeljanze has been discussed a lot recently in a few of the International Hospital articles ... seems like they are warning about risk factors ( my viet reading skills isn't exactly the greatest ) .... i was not able to find it specifically mentioned as available ( the article seemed to be pushing for an alternative ) but that does not mean that it is NOT available, just that i was not able to located it.

I would strongly suggest bringing as large a supply as you obtain prescriptions for. As long as you keep the medications IN their original packaging, and with valid prescriptions ( dates on the bottles are important ) you should have enough time to find a pharmacy that will be able to provide for all but the last 2 mentions with little problem.

Also: Sorry, i was unable to find price listings.

hey guys

i am in my 30s , i work out daily, try to eat well but I guess none of that matters.

it was 2 years ago I became victim to a horrible auto immune attack, I suddenly had multiple auto immune deseases, rheumatoid, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, Reynolds syndrome and a few more I cant remember now

I was disabled immidately and could not work for 6 months, it was eating away at my eyes , my vision was horrible , I was very sick, in pain and was told it will only get worse over time.

Suicide became my only way of beating it and I started mentally preparing myself.

I gave up on doctors because the only thing they had to offer was hardcore medication with a lot of unsavory side effects, I started researching day and night, for months and found the A.I.P diet. (auto immune protocol)

it explains how the auto immune is triggered in our intestines, and healing our intestines is the only way to get better. (its all true, trust me)

We must stay away from certain foods , we must detox, avoid chemicals, stress, and sleep well.

It took about 2 weeks before I started noticing the difference, in 2 months I was back to work , and now I can live a 100% normal life again, I am not in pain. I do continue to get the occasional FLARE, either from food , or chemicals of some sort , but I do not take any meds, and my body is healing day by day through the diet and lifestyle changes.

I know from experience that most people do not want to follow the A.I.P diet, so I guess this info is not for you, but for anyone who does want to heal, who does want to get off the meds, I can tell you it works and you should begin IMMIDIATELY

I traveled to ho chi min last January, loved it but the fumes and the bad air was triggering my immune daily, so I cannot go back there, im going to da nang this time, and I hope things are a little better air wise.

If anyone has any questions  I hav no prolems answering

Thank you very much for the information, jeffjones and 1willi1, it is much appreciated. Still have several years before the move, so, will continue with the research.

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