If you have arthritis or take medications to treat it, a cough, fever or fatigue may be signs of infection. That’s because you may be more vulnerable to infections than the general population, says Dee Dee Wu, MD, a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Paramus, New Jersey. Plus, infections can become serious, so treating them promptly is important.
Corticosteroids, methotrexate, leflunomide (Arava) and biologics, suppress or modify your immune system, affecting your body’s ability to fight off germs, says Dr. Wu. “We advise patients to stop these drugs and call us right away if they develop signs of ...more