Stelara - Dosing, Insurance, Effectiveness?

Hi Everyone,

I've noticed that some of you are on Stelara. I wondered what difficulties you faced (if any) with getting insurance to cover it. I've finally reach a resolution with them and they've agreed to a dosage that is prescribed in the information packet, not what my rheum wanted. Although, my rheum told me I'm his "test case" since he's not used this drug before with his patients. If you're on Stelara, what dosage? And is it helping your PsA at all? Honestly, while I don't like the psoriasis, mine is mild enough that I can live with it. It's the PsA that is draining my life...

I have cardiomyopathy, and Stelara is the only biologic that doesn't include a warning about worsening heart disease or heart failure, which is why my rheum agreed to try it (right now he's not willing to touch Enbrel or Humira).

Can I get my hopes up that Stelara will work for my PsA? Or should I prepare myself for disappointment? I don't think I'm a pessimist, but this disease has left me almost believing that my condition (including the way I'm feeling right now) is a permanent life-changer. I've been in "the gap" for a while now.

I received an override from my insurance today for it. I don't know what the dose is yet. It will be my 6th biologic. I get about a year out of each one though my last dose of Remicade was the end of January so I am widening the gap right now!

I'd appreciate hearing how it's working for you, Michael. I haven't started it yet. They said they will ship it to my home. It will be your 6th biologic?? Oh my. How quickly do they start to work for you?

Hi again Niel. I had my first dose of Stelara May 12 by the 15th I felt a slight lift in energy and fatigue. I will have the second loading dose 30 days later than the next dose will be 3 months after that. Usually the biologics help me feel better by 3 months but it is usually a slow climb to it. The Stelara I take is 48 mg. The other dose (I think it was 90 mg) is for people over 200 lbs. It took my insurance quite a while to ok it. But I do not know if my Rheumatologists office may have caused some of the delay.

Have you started it yet? Let me know how it works for you.

I have been on it for well over a year. The dosage depends on weight, but in the end it doesn’t matter. People who weight more respond quicker to the 90 than the 45. However, the results are similar for both doses. It took about a year to see much improvement on the PsA side and. My psoriasis took about 7 months to see any meaningful results. I am psoriasis free except for my inverse. My hands and feet made decent improvements in regards to PsA but my back and knees still show active disease.