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I have just started taking Remicade

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Old 10-07-2006, 04:04 PM   #1
Lady Olivia
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 95
Lady Olivia HB User
Re: remicade, humira, embrel or orencia

Hi everyone,

I have just started taking Remicade am up to my sixth dose. I have AS in a very severe form. I would rather take one day out every six weeks for an infusion than inject myself once a week or for some it is twice a week. I have found the remicade to be wonderful. My knees are no longer swollen I dont need to have them drained anymore my back is straighter and I have alot more movement. The only thing that I have found is that when I get to the fifth week the stiffness is there. I have my infusion at the local hospital in a big comfy armchair with a personal TV and I get to talk to other people that are on the medication and have found a really lovely new friend. The fatigue is still the same but then I dont sleep well and havent for years. The specialist is talking about me starting Enbrel after christmas but I really am not looking forward to that. The methx was horrible for me made me very ill and I lost a great deal of weight from it as I couldn't eat. Now I pretty much am normal again. I have bad days but they aren't as bad as they used to be. I wish you all the best of luck and truly is trial and error. You have to find what suits you the most what gives you the best quality of life.
Good luck

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Old 10-13-2006, 10:58 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Jacksonville, Tx. U.S.A.
Posts: 39
mc1982 HB User
Re: remicade, humira, embrel or orencia

Hi Mary...the previous post is right, one may work better for one person than another. At this time I am on Humira shots, one every two weeks and I inject myself. It was like a miracle drug at first, I had almost no flareups and my energy was back. It lasted for about 2 years. My rheumatologist feels that it is trying to stop working and I do too. My next visit is in December and he said if my ESR is still up he will switch me to Enbrel. My CRP is normal but the ESR has been to high the last 6 months and I am getting very fatigued and having more flareups. Either one would be fine for you to start out on and take until it no longer works. The Remicade and Orencia both have to be IV infused in the Dr. office and my insurance will not pay the full cost, it would cost me alot out of pocket to take them. Plus, I live abt. 45 miles from my rheumatologist. One thing to consider is that Humira and Enbrel both have just come out with a new injection system that is much easier to use than the regular syringes. Humira's is called a Pen and Enbrels is called Sure Click and they are the same price as the syringe. I do still have to take methotrexate and from what I understand all of these meds work better when taking the methotrexate is continued. Good luck on whatever method you choose. Hugs, Marcia

Old 10-14-2006, 12:54 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: port huron mi
Posts: 20
ajtesto3 HB User
Re: remicade, humira, embrel or orencia

i have a question about all of these, im new to ra and just found out i have it. im in soo much pain in my knees that i barely can walk. so im pretty sure my new rheumy will prolly put me on one of those. now the shots, where do you give the shot at? (which part of the body) and the injections or fusions what do they do for that? i just want to know what they do, so i know in advance what to expect. thanks-amy

Old 10-14-2006, 02:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Jacksonville, Tx. U.S.A.
Posts: 39
mc1982 HB User
Re: remicade, humira, embrel or orencia

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

Last edited by moderator2; 10-14-2006 at 04:17 PM. Reason: posted contact info

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