Allergic To Myself

A place for the autoimmune afflicted

Medication of the Week: Remicade

This week i thought I would share the medicine that has been a great blessing in my life, with ya’ll. The medication that has put me in remission for over a year is Remicade (infliximab). It is administered intravenously every 6-8 weeks, for me 6, and works by binding on and killing immune cells that cause inflammation and that attack the intestinal walls causing ulcers, in the case of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. This drug would be ideal for many different kinds of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid, but one of the major problems is that it is VERY expensive. Remicade can cost a patient up to 22,000 a year without medical insurance. Also, Remicade severely lowers the immune response, making infections far more serious and threatening, you should NOT get Remicade before getting tested for tuberculosis. This website by the government explains Remicade in more detail. So far this drug works, although it knocks me on my but for the first couple of days following the infusion. The questions is if I didn’t have medical insurance, what would I do? Do the benefits from this drug outweigh the potential risks? All I know is that it has allowed me to live a mostly normal life, and for that I am grateful.

September 28, 2010 - Posted by | Autoimmune Disease, Crohn's Disease, Medicines

14 Comments »

  1. Hi Eric!

    What a great blog and mission you have here! I really feel like the most mentally healthy way of living with these diseases is to be honest and open about them and find a community that supports you.

    I don’t have crohn’s, but i have a very complicated autoinflammatory/ autoimmune disease that has cronh’s features. Having such severe stomach problems fully sucks. I’m really glad remicade works for you! Because of my other conditions, I take something called kineret and its blackboxed against other biologics, but I feel the way about kineret you feel about remicade. It changed and saved my life.

    I write this comic about my life with autoimmune disease – http://acomiclifeindeed.wordpress.com – and I hope you’ll get it out and get a laugh.

    Stay well!

    – Miss Waxie

    Comment by misswaxie | October 2, 2010 | Reply

    • I like your blog, I will post a link to it here under my blogroll ­čÖé

      Comment by eric | October 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. So, have you heard from other people who have felt the same way about Remicade as you have? Are there other products out there that might be cheaper and have a similar effect?

    Comment by ellesloan | October 2, 2010 | Reply

    • I haven’t met anyone else who takes Remicade yet, but there are other options. I am going to post about one of the others called Humira this week.

      Comment by eric | October 7, 2010 | Reply

  3. I’m glad to hear this drug has helped you! What other side-effect does it potentially present?

    Comment by whitneygrace | November 1, 2010 | Reply

    • it makes the body especially vulnerable to infections, can weaken the body’s resistance to cancer and lead to infertility.

      Comment by eric | November 16, 2010 | Reply

  4. the question that you bring up is a hard one. I don’t think you can place a price on the comfort and daily function of a person. Maybe we could place a higher tax on my comedic surgeries like liposuction to help pay for those who don’t have insurance.

    Comment by axctaylor | November 7, 2010 | Reply

  5. So, is the drug given through an IV? I can’t believe how much money it costs. I’m not sure about how you feel about the healthcare bill, but at least with it you can’t be denied insurance coverage to be able to have something that will cover the cost. In your case, it sounds like insurance would be cheaper than the cost of the drug.

    Comment by kimmiecowgill | November 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Yes i get the drug through an IV every six weeks for 3 hours at the hospital. Luckily, my insurance covers 95% of the cost for me..yah I am VERY fortunate.

      Comment by eric | November 16, 2010 | Reply

  6. I know a lot of people who take Remicade beacuse of Crohn’s. It really is a miracle medication for some, and a burden to others. It would be nice to have a drug that helped everyone and worked! Maybe someday.

    Comment by kimanderson332 | November 28, 2010 | Reply

  7. Thanks for sharing your personal experience with this drug. My father in law has Crohn’s disease and I plan to ask him if he has taken Remicade or has heard anything about it.

    Comment by mediahlth09 | November 29, 2010 | Reply

  8. I would agree with many of the comments made already. I know someone who has been greatly blessed my Remicade, but yes, it can be quite a burden financially. I wish there was an easy fix to this problem of expensive but very necessary drugs that so many people face.

    Comment by trmptmvn | December 2, 2010 | Reply

  9. Is there a generic brand or anything that is cheaper for those that cant afford it?

    Comment by daydremanwill | December 3, 2010 | Reply

  10. Considering $22,000 is more than most college students make in a year, if a college student didn’t have insurance, that would likely be a prohibitive factor. I am left wondering how much of that cost is solely the medication, or the cost of going to get the infusion…

    Comment by DanCummings | December 7, 2010 | Reply


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