I felt it important to post this for others. Several years ago I suffered a nasty bout of scalp psoriasis, then three years ago, got bad psoriasis on my leg and arm. Eventually went away after several months. A year later, I started suffering minor joint pain, asymetrical and went to PCP. She did blood tests, came up with positive RA factor and elevated anti CCP antibodies, and told me I had RA. Since symptoms were fairly minor, they put me on Plaquenil, at which point symptoms got far worse, but not consistent with RA.
I got sausage like swelling in my fingers, and also in one foot, again not symmetrical. The joints themselves didn't hurt, but the tendons were swollen. Two Rheumatologists told me that I needed to take methotrexate in addition to Plaquenil, but something didn't feel right. At the same time, they upped my dose of Plaquenil, and my symptoms got worse.
Fast forward six months later, at the end of my rope, found out I had Psoriatic Arthritis, not RA. They totally missed it because just a small percentage of PsA patients have positive RA factor (5-12%), and I had neglected to tell them about my bouts with psoriasis. The worst part of this is that Plaquenil is the worst drug I could have taken, as it actually triggers flares of PsA. And the half life is 50 days, so finally stopped taking it and am only starting to feel somewhat better.
Long story short, please share everything with Rheumy and if it doesn't feel right, do your own research and speak up for yourself. It's revolting to think I suffered for more than a year on a drug that was making things worse, and if I hadn't figured it out, would still be taking it along with more toxic medications.