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Questions for experienced biologic med users (Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, etc.)
An_249259 posted:
I have had RA for eight years now. I have been taking low dose (8-10 mgs per day) and manage pain with ibuprofen, usually 8 mg in the am after breakfast. Rarely do I take more than that one dose. Over the years I have developed increased osteoporosis, Sjogrens Disease, and probably osteoarthritis as well. I also have digestive and stomach issues for which I am treated regularly by a gastroenterologist. I have chronic back pain from fractured vertebrae in my back, and very little stamina and muscle strength. I cannot walk upstairs and cannot get myself off the floor without help.

Several rheumatologists have recommended taking biologics. I have a great fear of them because of the severe and sometimes side effects including MS and lymphomas.

I am looking for those who are or might have been on a biologic and have had positive/negative results. The rheumatologists insist that the side effects are extremely rare.

Thank you to anyone will will take the time to comment.
coolcbd responded:
I neglected to mention it is prednisone I am taking.

Also it is "fatal" side effects I am referring to . . . I left that word out as well.
3collies responded:
I started taking biologics immediately after being diagnosed with RA because I was allergic to Methatrexate. I got terrible rashes from both Enbrel and Humira but have been doing well on Orencia. My dr. told me that it often takes up to 2 years to find the right drug combo that works for you. Yes, there are side effects but if given as an infusion, you are well monitored before, during and after in case there is a reaction. You will also have frequent blood tests to monitor your possible reactions, both good and bad. RA can and does affect your organs as well so you have to carefully weigh the possible drug reaction to the progreaasion of the disease which if not controlled can cause so much inflamation that you are at risk of a heart attack. When I am not on my biologics, I am a wreck. I couldn't live without it and the time spent during trial and error was well worth it.
susanw0611 responded:
I have been on Humira for about 7 years now. In my opinion, it is the reason I am able to still go to work each day. So far, I am not experiencing any side effects from this medication. I do the injection myself each two weeks. At worst, I sometimes get a little bruise at the injection point, but even that is rare. I am taking Humira along with a weekly dose of Methotrexate. This seems to be a good combination for me right now.

Good Luck!!!
Pretzelady replied to susanw0611's response:
I started a new biologic drug in May of 2012. It is the first biologic drug I ever took..It has only been on the market for two years. It is the best choice I ever made. The drug is called ACTEMRA and it is given by infusion once a month. It took just about a month for me to see great results. I have not had any pain since. I still take 3 metho once a week.

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