Hi - my story is this: I started Enbrel in 2005. I had never had asthma, though I did grow up with a lot of second-hand smoke and I did have pneumonia at one year old, and also around 2002.
I was diagnosed with RA in 2004. I tried 2 infusions of Remicade before I quit (crazy itching/tingling under the skin all over my body - would go away in 10 min with Benadryl, but taking Benadryl during the day is not great. So I quit.
I started Enbrel in March of 2005. I did my first shot in the doctor's office - no problem. I did my second at home without difficulty, but almost immediately had a panic attack (but no breathing problems) for about 2 hours. I thought I'd never take it again, but 3 days later, I wanted to (go figure?). I had occasional flashbacks of emotional stuff but just figured I had to deal with it and got by ok.
A year and a half ago (April 2011, I think?), I got a very bad upper resp. infection, I think it actually was whooping cough - terrible! Then after seeming to get over that, I had so much fluid in my throat, I thought I might gag and drown, it was scary breathing/gurgling through that! I went to my doctor a couple of days later and he confirmed that I was wheezing and probably had post-infectious asthma - he gave me a 2-wk Rx for Advair and said hopefully that would take care of it, but the look on his face, said maybe not. I was able to cut down to 1/day for a while, but then I would get VERY TIRED, and finally decided it was not worth it, stick to twice a day. I did gain about 10 pounds which I have now shrunk to 8. I gave up my exercise bike for a while, because I got scared off once when I exercised and got worse. But I am back exercising - not for long periods, but 10 min/day a couple days a week is better than nothing!
My PCP doctor is puzzled by the asthma because I didn't have any trouble as a child.
My rheumatologist had said (because I have a tendency to sinus infections, ESPECIALLY with the Enbrel) try to keep it to once a week or as little Enbrel as I can get away with.
Yesterday, after waiting 10 days since the last shot (because I had an emotional meltdown almost as soon as I did the shot, and it lasted all day), I did a shot. I thought it would be safe. But I needed my rescue inhaler at lunch 1 pm (thank you Lene and others for encouraging me to ASK for the rescue inhaler last winter!) and then AGAIN driving home from work 4 hours later (5 pm - right on schedule). So I used the rescue again, but was beginning to feel panicky - so I took a Benadryl, which I try and keep some in my purse for just such an emergency. I hadn't used it in at least a year, even for sleep!
Today at lunch, I felt the same way and used it again, but added 1/2 Benadryl in hopes of thwarting a later attack (allergy, asthma or both?)
I called both my PCP and rheumy's office and left messages...i think this has to STOP. Anyone else have a similar experience?
Published On: October 03, 2012