Hi Amy...will be glad to try to help you. The Enbrel and Humira are shots or injections, same thing, that you give to yourself, or your hubby or someone else can give, but they like for you to learn to do it yourself. You do alternate thighs with them or you can do them in your stomach. I do mine in my thighs, have not been brave enough to try the stomach, but they are supposed to be less painful. It is really not hard to give in the thigh, it is a very small needle and it just has to go in under the skin, not a muscle. it is called subcutaneous. Once you do the first one it is not that bad. A little stick and then the medicine does burn as it goes in so I inject a little med and wait and then do some more and that helps. Also these meds have to be refrigerated and it helps to take the injection out of fridge abt. 30 min. before you take it. The new pens I talked abt. are really cool. they look like a big fat fountain pen. You remove the top and bottom covers, place against the skin firmly and then push the button on top and hold till a little yellow flag comes up in the window on the side of the pen. I have just started using them instead of the syringe and I really like it, much quicker and less burning.
The Remicade and Orencia have to be done in the Dr. office by IV infusion. The nurse will place an iv needle in the inside of your arm, or rather inside of your elbow. Then hook you up to an iv bag and let the medicine drip in like any other iv. I think it takes a couple of hours. It is alot more expensive and my insurance will only pay a portion of the office charge for administering it.
It would still be a good chunk out of my pocket. I do have excellent prescription coverage, Praise God, and it pays almost all of the cost for my Humira, so that is why I choose to give myself the shots.
As I said, the Humira was like a miracle at first, I felt wonderful and had almost no pain at all, no more big flareups and so far have had no side effects. From what I have read and heard these meds just quit working as well after a couple of years and I have been on Humira for 2 yrs. this past May. So I guess it has run its course. But I have confidence that the Enbrel will work well too. My daughter also has Rheumatoid Arthritis and she takes the Enbrel and it has worked wonders for her. When the Enbrel doesnt work for her anymore she will probably try the Humira.
I hope you have a good Rheumatologist and he will explain all of this to you too. I also take 25 mg. of methotrexate once a week and Celebrex and folic acid. Hope this helps some. I dont mind a bit and will answer your questions if I can.
I have had RA almost 4 yrs and mine is the moderate to severe type.
Look forward to hearing from you...Marcia