Discussions that mention enbrel

Arthritis board


Hi there,
Very sorry to hear about your mother, RA is not a disease anyone likes to welcome. My dad was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis eight years ago. He was 40 at the time. He is a strong man and a hard worker. He has suffered with the pain and bobbled around with different meds for years. He is a huge business man and as a result is constantly on the run flying to different areas around the world. Doctor finally told him that the excessive flying and working is what is really activating the disease. Also he was told that he needs to remain very active. My dad is the type that is up at 3:30a working out before he heads to work at 6:00a and the doctor says this is the reason he is doing so well with the disease. Everything was wonderful with his diagnosis (as wonderful as RA can go) until he started having increasingly more pain. As a result, four years ago doctor put him on Humira (this is the kind that you give yourself a shot every other week I believe), he had a near fatal allergic reaction and after being rushed to Mayo Clinic luckily everything got straightened out. Since that point he has been on Orava (sp?), which has worked like a charm until we have found out years later it has now strongly affected his liver. After going in for his routine check-up he has found that his RA has also affected his heart. Something VERY rare, in fact there hasn't been another case of RA affecting the heart since the 70s. It has damaged his aortic valve, and it is just a matter of time before he needs to have heart surgery to have it replaced. Anyways... since the Humira is not an option for pain and joint detioration and Orava is now out as well, he is now trying Enbrel. Enbrel is another shot, similar to Humira however we are hoping it does not cause the same allergic reaction, he administers this to himself in either the stomach or the thigh once a week. Since he has started this until a week ago, we are still waiting to see results. There are IV treatments such as Orencia and Remicade however, the downer with these are that if your mother has suffered with an allergic reaction with Humira or other RA meds, there is a strong chance she could suffer an allergic reaction with one of these IV meds. The problem being... these IV meds stay into your system for months at a tiime (making an allergic reaction extra long). I believe Orencia is administered in the hospital every three weeks. And Remicade once a month? Not exactly sure with those time frames. I am also aware there are other drugs used to treat RA for pain and joints... not all are as strong as the ones I listed above so I would check with her rheumatoidologist (sp?) about those as well.

It is my opinion, that the correct drug, activity, a positive attitude, and, often check-ups are key for success with RA. My dad is a very positive man and I know that this has been what has gotten him through this. He takes close to 13 meds in the morning and another 13 at night, but you will never hear a single complaint out of him.

I really wish your mom all the best, and hope she can get some relief sometime soon. She sounds like she has been through sooo much and I can't even imagine what you must be going through trying to help her deal with this all. Please contact me if you have any other questions... I am no doctor but I have lived through a lot of it, and I am also a college student studying medicine. RA has kind of been my point of interest in research ever since my dad's diagnosis.

Best of luck and warm wishes!
Imuran is an older drug and one I resisted taking for 2 years. My current rheum managed to talk me into trying it and I am so glad she did. It doesn't make me sick, has a generic, comes in a pill form and IS WORKING! The trick to taking it is take the entire dose at night and go to bed. You sleep through the nausea.

amberwalsh, if your dad had a bad reaction to Humira, he probably should not take Enbrel. TNF inhibitors all work in the same way.
Hey there teachergirl-
As far as the similarities between Enbrel and Humira, for some reason it is working. He had the bad reaction to Humira, but has been on Enbrel and is good so far. (knock on wood). Since his bad reaction to Humira he is now seeing the top rheumatoidologist at Mayo Clinic... he believes the Enbrel shall be safe, even with the reaction to Humira. Can't remember the reasoning... but it's there. Thanks for the concern though, I appreciate it!