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    IL 6 inhibitors (Actemra)
    Pretzelady posted:
    I was currently put in a study comparing Actemra with another Biologic drug. The purpose of this study is to compare the the way the two drugs act on the cardiovascular illnesses. My concern is, everything I have read about Actemra says it should be used only if the TNF biologic drug doesn't work. This is also stated on the Actemra website. This drug has just been FDA approved in the United States and I believe it has been on the market for about two years. If anyone has been on this drug or has any information about it, I would appreciate hearing from you. My main concern is if it is safe to take without taking a TNF first, and why does the Actemra website state it should be used if the other drugs fail. I am worried they are putting the cart before the horse. I would love hearing your opinion on this matter. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Pretzelady
    susyqwerky responded:
    My experience with Actemra is mixed. The first two infusions, as per FDA recommendations, did nothing, as half doses generally go. The third and full dose seemed to work great. It lasted about 17 days before gradually disappearing altogether. The 4th dose (a week ago) has does nothing. Only the side effects are working. For me, that's a nice rash all over my arms with redness, heat, and itching. Albeit this specific side effect does go away in a couple days after the infusion, I am wondering if it's worth to suffer for absolutely no benefit.
    So far neither Remicade or Enbrel produced successful results.
    Probably more testing needs to be done with Actemra.
    Pretzelady replied to susyqwerky's response:
    I don't know for sure how much of a dosage I received. I seem to be in less pain in my arm, which had been bothering me for months. My main concern is, this is the first biologic drug I received, and according to the mfg. instructions, it should only be used if the other biologics don;t work, so I am on the fence as to continue it or not. I am in a study group, so it is free. I have no idea what the prescriptions cost. Maybe the side effects will only last for a couple infusions, till your body gets used to it. If you are usually in a lot of pain without the drug, I would continue using it. How long were you on the other two drugs?
    I appreciate you responding to me. It is nice to know someone is on the same drug, especially when it is new on the market. I go again for another infusion on June 27th. I am anxious to see how it will turn out. I am also going to talk with my rheumy about my concerns. Will post again when I know more. Pretzelady
    Pretzelady replied to Pretzelady's response:
    I have been on Actemra since May 30th. It is now July 14th and I feel great. NO side effects as yet, and no pain. I had 2 infusions so far. I go for my 3rd one on July 27th. I hope it will go well. I haven't felt this good for a very long time. I only hope it will continue to agree with my body. Until it acts differently, I will stay on it. It is the 1st biologic drug I ever took. I also take mtx and steroids with it. I was afraid to go on it, but thank God I did. I would like to hear if anyone else is on it and how you liked it. Pretzelady

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