Decision to take a Biologic

I've lived with mild psoriasis for close to 25 years and mild/moderate PsA for 12. I'm active and otherwise healthy with no real quality of life issues as of yet that can't be addressed with popping a few Advil/Areva.

I've controlled my psoriasis with a topical steriod cream. For PsA, NSAIDs as needed, intermittent MTX and a few cortisone injections in a few PIP/DIPs, however, I have certainly seen a progression of the disease over the years. So, at the end of the day, and with some of the recent soft tissue and joint afflictions as of late that are nagging at me, the time has finally come to make a decision. I'm not one for taking drugs, but I've accepted the fact that I will probably need to go on a biologic to control existing and hopefully future affliction. My Rheumy is recommending that I go on a biologic as he says I'm a perfect candidate (especially considering MTX 20mg/wk orally, is not doing anything to address my current problems - both achilles and one heel just starting).

I'm tending towards Humira.

My main concerns are (for any biologic):

1) Real side effects and degree thereof (not the generic stuff you read on the manufacturers and other medical websites), how you physically feel the day/s after the dose and susceptiblity to colds, flus, infections, etc.

2) Triggering of other (autoimmune) diseases - that's scares me to death

3) Flaring if I decide to go off meds. My plan is that if I see good results (ie. resolution of several my existing problem areas), I want to wean myself off the drug or at the very least, reduce frequency.

I'd appreciate any and all comments.


1. Real side effects: not many, you may get itchy at the injection site.

2. Triggering other auto immunes: I think in rare cases it can give you the symptoms of MS or Lupus, but once you get off the meds I think the symptoms clear up.

3. Flaring up when you go off the meds, I don't think so. I think people just revert back to where they were after several months. Of course people can get worse anyway having nothing to do with having been on the med.

Go to google on Humira to get their website. Then look up the prescribing information. Section 6.2 tells you the "real" side effects. Somewhere else, I'm not sure where, it will tell you what happened when people went off of Humira for a time.

You can find the information about Enbrel at and the others have similar websites.