I hope everyone is having a good day and enjoying their weekend. Humira didn't help me and my new rheumy prescribed remicade to start next Wednesday. Should I consider Enbrel instead? Thoughts? Any downside to starting with Remicade vs. Enbrel?
As always, I appreciate your comments and suggestions.
As far as efficiency goes most of the Biological meds have similar success rates. So the question is which one suites YOUR individual needs best. Remicade is less hassle I suppose. You only go once every 4 weeks for your infusion where as Enbrel must be injected every week. BUT, if you work a 9-5 Mon-Fri type of job, then Remicade can be a hassle too. Having to get off work and so on. Another factor would be cost. If you have to pay for any of this, Remicade is likely to be far more expensive. The costs of these meds seem to be different from supplier to supplier, state to state and so on. But for me personally, Remicade cost almost twice as much as Enbrel. Did your Rheumy say why he prefers Remicade over Enbrel? If his reasoning seems sounds to you, then it's always best to follow your doctors recommendation I suppose.
Chris summed it up really well.
Another thing to consider is you may be one of those people who needs a slow infusion...it can take twice as long as usual. So the 4 hr infusion becomes 8 hrs.
I personally prefer inject at home over an infusion any day, mostly because I can't stand sitting in a medical setting for a whole day. (I was only on Remicade after failing the other inject at home meds).
Frances from what I have read they have about the same rate of success. I would base the decision on which is better for you. If you don't mind the medical setting and hate giving yourself injections then a Remicade infusion might be right for you. I don't mind giving myself injections (though I would prefer sticking some one else!) but have failed Humiria, Enbrel and Simponi so I am doing Remicade now. I get it every 8 weeks for 4 hours at a time so not a big problem.I have just started it so they may increase the interval or not. Hope this helps!
Thanks all comments are helpful.
Hope you are starting to perk up a little from your cold. I did send you some happy thoughts
I am up for whatever works as far as drug therapy goes. I have looked into this a little and it seems that one is not “better” than the other (as others have already mentioned). It’s more of finding which one works for you in particular. For me, I would prefer to self inject at home over going to the infusion center, but this is really a minor consideration. If I had to sit there for 10 hours to get a medication that would allow me to live my life, I am all in.
I am guessing that the insurance approval is done for Remicade and that you are all set. If you were to change your mind now, at least make sure that it won’t delay the beginning of treatment. I only add that last part because it’s been a rough time for you lately, and I’m sure you are anxious to get started on a new biologic.
The other thing that might affect your decision is how long it takes the drug to work in the average patient. We know that it is typically between 2-6 months for Remicade. I am not as familiar with how long it takes before Enbrel becomes therapeutic, but I have read on several sites that it’s 2-6 months.
So, say you have finished the loading doses and have your first full infusion. Two weeks later you notice a little change and it think that the dose should be increased and report this to the doc. He increases the dose for your next infusion, but that is still another 4 weeks away. Conversely, if you are taking enbrel every 2 weeks and you notice that it’s working but that the dose should increase, you can call the doc and have your doses increased to weekly. Then you are only waiting one week to increase that drug.
Those are my thoughts. I am hanging tough with the remicade and I think I am actually starting to see some relief. We shall see!
Thanks GrumpyCat - my cold is fading and I have a lot more energy. Victory finally ! So, I'm feeling good that I can start my med next week. Thanks for all the good thoughts !