Allergic To Myself

A place for the autoimmune afflicted

Medication of the Week: Humira

I was asked last week if there is another alternative to Remicade because it is so expensive and the answer is yes, there are a couple other options. The medication I took before Remicade was a drug called Humira. Humira works similarly to Remicade but it is cheaper and can be done in the home through self-injections. Humira worked well for me, but I am very disturbed by needles, so giving myself the injections every 2 weeks quickly became quite the phobic ordeal. For me, I decided that one infusion/IV of Remicade every 6 weeks for 3 hours was preferable to the panic of 2 shots every 2 weeks of Humira. However, the side effects of both Humira and Remicade are different for everyone. A family member of mine currently takes Humira for Rheumatoid Arthritis(Which I will cover in my post next week), and while it helps with their RA, it really makes them tired to a great extent. I feel like it is a matter of preference, choosing between the two and not everyone is afraid by needles like I am. So now I have a question for you…

If you had to take one of these drugs, which would you take? Remicade: distributed intravenously once every 6-8 weeks for 3 hours or Humira: self-injected every 2 weeks?

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Autoimmune Disease, Crohn's Disease, Medicines | 9 Comments

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