• l3true2u l3true2u
    August 23, 2009
    Enbral, Humari, or Remicade: which to choose
    l3true2u l3true2u
    August 23, 2009

    My doctor wants me to decided which one to take : Enbrel, humira, or remicade. my insurance will cover all three. And the cost is about the same for all of them. I really am unsure of which to one to choose. Any suggestions from you other RA sufferers?

     

    Thanks!

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY

  • ENTCAKEMAN September 03, 2009
    ENTCAKEMAN
    September 03, 2009
    I had Remicade infusions for about 2 years. The only problems I ever had was with the nurses finding a good place for the needles. Some were very good and others not so... And you have to go a a location and sit for several hours which could be very uncomfortable for someone with arthritis. I now do Humira injections weekly in the privacy of my own home, when and where I want. I find this MUCH easier and it takes no time to do and it works just as well as the Remicade did. I hope this helps you and good luck! READ MORE
  • PLUGGING ALONG August 31, 2009
    PLUGGING ALONG
    August 31, 2009

    START WITH THE ENBREL, GET GET HELP WITH THE INJECTIONS, USE INSULIN SYRINGES IF NEEDED.  IT IS EASY!  IF YOU HAVE MS, TRY SOMETHING ELSE. KB

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  • Emily August 27, 2009
    Emily
    August 27, 2009

    I started on Humira but it didn't work as well as what my dr had hoped. I switched to Enbrel almost two years ago and am almost back to normal (before RA). I do my injections once a week and even though I'm afraid of needles I don't have a problem doing the shots by myself anymore.

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  • gigapet August 28, 2009
    gigapet
    August 28, 2009

    Some of your decision should be based on your lifestyle.  All 3 medication are proven.  Remicade is administered by infusion.  Depending on your dosing schedule, it can be inconvenient to sit in your drs office or an infusion center for as much as 3 hours.  Personally, it worked great for me until my insurance started hasseling me about the cost; it's VERY expensive.  My dr switched me to Humira, which is self injected.  It took some getting used to but you can get the pen style which is much easier than the syringe.  Also, my out-of-pocket expense went from $500/month to $65 eery 3 months, so it wouldf be a good dea to double-check your insurance coverage too. Enbrel is also injected but, again, you have to schlep into the drs office every 2 weeks.  I would suggest you start with whichever one best fits your lifestyle.  It's easy enough to switch to another if one doesn't work for you.  Hope I've helped.

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  • tom lee August 27, 2009
    tom lee
    August 27, 2009

    Can we assume your doctor talked about all the ramifications of all the meds - side effects, administration, is/her experience with them? If not - doesn't sound encouraging.

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  • jane August 27, 2009
    jane
    August 27, 2009

    I first took humira, then enbrel and now I am on remicade. They all basically target the same cells so really, it's your call. Most people with RA tend to try the injectables first because you can do them yourself at home and so many people have gotten good results from them. When I was give the same choice as you, I chose to use an injectable.  It's time consuming to have to go to an infusion center and sit for hours while remicade drips into your vein if you have a job.  You can just inject yourself with enbrel or humira. Best of luck to you.  Jane

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  • Eli L. August 27, 2009
    Eli L.
    August 27, 2009

    I've been on Remicade Infusions for almost 5 years .And I feel as though it saved my life.I've had no reaction what so ever.I take methotrexate once a week as well.I believe now its wearing off and rely more on pain meds.However,I think it was an excellent choice for me.

     

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  • Sophia Chambers August 24, 2009
    Sophia Chambers
    August 24, 2009

    I started  taking enbrel in 2007.  At that time, I could hardly walk due to RA.  Now I am walking up to 4 miles, 5 times a week.  I do my own injection once a week.  Your doctor will show you and I received a kit that take you step by step.  The day after I take it I do feel tried or I have a slight headache, but I deal with it.  Find out the pros and cons of all of them and make your decision, but for me I like enbrel. Good Luck
    Sophia

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  • its irma August 23, 2009
    its irma
    August 23, 2009

    hello...

    am taking remicade now. first time i took was on late June then July and then last time its August.

    its been my third injection last sat.

    but my last injection didnt went well, coz i was suffocate, then "blank" for a few mins i tink...coz i cant remember wat happen. it was bit scary though...

    on my second injection, i experienced  the "hard to breath" but then i manage to breath again. But not wid the last injection.

     

    The remicade is taking by infussion.

    My doc said the Enbrel is only taking by injection. He suggested Enbrel after i experienced tat.

    But u hav to take Enbrel every week. then once in two weeks...once in three weeks..and so on, depends on ur remission.

     

    i tink its safer to use Enbrel but u juz hav to go to the doc, evry week.

     

    hope it helps.

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    • l3true2u
      August 24, 2009
      l3true2u
      August 24, 2009

      thanks for letting me know what you went threw. any input is good.

       

      Thanks!

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    • Geeda
      August 27, 2009
      Geeda
      August 27, 2009

      I had the same reaction from remicade, switched to enbral than humera.   I live alone and my hands are so bad I can't give myself the injections.  I don't want to go to the doctor every week, I try to keep as full a life as I can.  I'm now on Rituxin without methotrexate.  In November I was diagnosed with "interstitial lung disease".  After much research by my pulmonologist, he said it's from the methotrexate.  I don't feel as good as when I was on the methotrexate, my lungs feel better and that's important, too.

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  • Nancy September 13, 2009
    Nancy
    September 13, 2009

    I have been on all the above medicines, and then Kineret (a daily injection) for the last 2 years.  In June I switched to Orencia.  I have had severe RA for 18 years.  Each of the meds worked for a time, from 8 months to 2 years.  Remicade I was on the longest, but i reacted (breathing problems) and the benefits were diminishing as time went on.  Benadryl and Tylenol before infusions helped.

    Orencia is a monthly infusion, only takes a bout 1/2 hour, I'm in and out of the infusion center within an hour.  So far the worst of it is headaches and a little nausea for a day or two  afterwards.  Both bearable. 

    Most of these medications are offering co-pay help for about 6 months for people with private insurance, worth investigating if it applies to you.

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  • Sharon817 September 06, 2009
    Sharon817
    September 06, 2009

    I personally think your doctor should choose.  In fact I wouldn't feel comfortable with a doctor that asked me to choose.  He knows best what your situation is and what medication he thinks you will react best to.  Hopefully he has now done that for you.  Good luck

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  • RAh-RAh September 04, 2009
    RAh-RAh
    September 04, 2009

    Hopefully your doc explained the side effects, risks/benefits, etc., of the three biologics.  I went to a noted rheumatologist who recommended only Humira, though it was almost brand-new at the time and I was worried whether enough was known about it.  He said Humira was a human-cloned drug (or something to that effect), versus a mouse-cloned drug (Enbrel).  Enbrel had been on the mkt. for a number of years, so its pros/cons were better known, but this doc wouldn't prescribe any biologic but Humira.  A month later, I read an ad in the newspaper:  my rheumatologist was giving a talk about arthritis, sponsored by the lab that makes Humira.  I did not go back to this doc, b/c I felt his advice was biased.  I believe it's helpful to do your own research before starting any drug and see if the risks are ones you can "live" with.  As long as your doc gives you the advice and information you need to make an informed decision, you're better off than just being blindly ordered to take a specific drug b/c your doc is being paid by the pharma co.

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    • kiwee
      September 05, 2009
      kiwee
      September 05, 2009

      I have read your article, but would like to know more about humari, my RA doctor wants me to take that, however some of the side effects from that drug I already have would that not worsen them by adding another drug as I now take methrotexrate also the immune system is suppressed woud that not enhance that as well, this is a scary decision to make and I have to make it by Tuesday of next week, can you tell me about when you first took humari and its side effects you experienced, thank you so much kiwee

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  • PLUGGING ALONG August 31, 2009
    PLUGGING ALONG
    August 31, 2009

    START WITH THE ENBREL, GET GET HELP WITH THE INJECTIONS, USE INSULIN SYRINGES IF NEEDED.  IT IS EASY!  IF YOU HAVE MS, TRY SOMETHING ELSE. KB

    READ MORE
    • l3true2u
      August 31, 2009
      l3true2u
      August 31, 2009

      Thanks! spoke to the doctor the other day, and decided on the enbrel. I shouldn't need to much help with the self injections, im going to school for nursing so that stuff doesn't really bother me to much. Lets hope this enbral works. and that i can get off these stupid steriods . Thanks every one for ur input!!!

       

      Kim

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  • Que dodieu August 30, 2009
    Que dodieu
    August 30, 2009

     Enbrel,Humira,Remicade .Despite the Doctor wants me to decided which one to take,i can't assume which one is better for me because of its side effects,and  patient's intolerance are not similar from patient to patient ,which just only the Doctor has been known .I have been on Enbrel but it doesn't work as well as what the advertisement had said and then i had been on Remicade plus methotrexate ,the combination seems switched immediately almost symptoms.This is my option,It can't substitude the medical advices.Ask your physician in order to gain the appropriate and suitable prescription with each case.

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  • I had side effects from Humera. (Large, painful red spots on my legs). I had no help whatsoever after taking months of injections of Enbrel. I know my doctor will next want me to try remicade but I am hesitant taking the time and money as nothing seems to work for me. RA is definitley no fun to deal with.Frown

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  • 01titansfan August 29, 2009
    01titansfan
    August 29, 2009

     As a rheumology nurse, We also gave the patient their choice to choose which meds they wanted to be on. This was only after explaining each med in depth & giving the pt. info to take home to choose. I think its important for the pt to have a voice in their own treatment. Some people can't take off work for infusions or some people can not give them selves shots for different reasons, ie...deformities, fears, etc...

     Also, you may have to change meds after you decide. All the meds are different & work different on each person. Humira worked best for me but Enbrel worked best for my sister & we each tried both of them. I personally would only take remicade as a last resort. I know that it works great for some people but we had more problems from remicade with our pt's. Several heart failures, heart attacks, breathing{lung} problems, etc...Maybe they would have happened anyway but I think the remicade played a part. One of my duties was reporting health problems of the people on these drugs to each company. All doctors have to report all health problems to the biologic companies & of course, some of the problems people have, have nothing to do with these meds. However, we noticed there were more health problems with our pt's on remicade. Obviously not enough problems to cause alarm to the companies or cause concern to do an investigation but it was enough for me and the doctor to want to put pt's on the shots first if they could through their insurance etc...Don't get me wrong, we still used remicade with great results, & most people never had a problem @ all. But the doc I worked for quit using it in known heart pt;s. So knowing all that, I personally would not use it unless the others didn't work just in case we were on to something. It would be my luck to have some heart problem that I didn't know about and years later they decide that you shouldn't take it. I know the doc did this just to cover his butt, but I want to cover mine too, so I would take remicade but only if the others didn't work and I had a job that I could take off to get infusions every 8 weeks. Thats hard to find since most RA pt's have to miss work with pain & fatigue days too.

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    • l3true2u
      August 29, 2009
      l3true2u
      August 29, 2009

      thank you so much for this response. being that you work around it and see more what the meds do side effect wise, its helps to give me a better understanding. I was already leaning more towards enbral, and i offically have decided to take that instead of the humaira or remicade. the other reason for not wanted to do remicade, is i think id feel toomuch like a cancer patient having to sit in a doctors office geting the iv.

      thanks again!!!!

       

      Kim

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    • 01titansfan
      August 29, 2009
      01titansfan
      August 29, 2009

      Glad I could help. I started thinking {after I wrote the 1st reply}That I hope I didn't scare you or anyone else from using remicade if it helps them. That was strictly just a personal observation of what I personally experienced & why I would or would not use a certain drug based on my opinion alone.

       Now that I have gotten that out of the way, Make sure you get the nurse to train you how to give yourself the shot, and don't leave the office until you feel VERY comfortable doing it. I use to ask the pt's to wait until they got there meds delivered to them before they came in to learn. That way they could give their 1st shot to themselves in front of me after instructions. Also, once they got home they could watch their videos from the drug companies if they forgot any of my instructions. Most people would because they were nervous learning how to give  themselves shots for the 1st time. So make sure the nurse shows you and doesn't just give you the video. Make them take the time to make you comfortable! Also, make sure you sign up for the free patient support programs. Both companies have them & they provide good info, free needle boxes, etc... If you don't see a BIG difference in the way you feel with pain & fatigue in 2-3 months, change to the other medicine. For some reason, one always works best for different people. I could tell a difference with the 1st shot but the 2nd one was when I really knew that I had struck gold. Almost all of our pt's knew within 6 weeks. So don't be afraid to tell the doctor that you want to change meds. They are too  expensive even with insurance, to be on something that doesn't make a "BIG" difference! And fair warning: the Enbrel burns like a hot poker! My train of thought was, " I can take the burn to give me my life back"  Unfortunatly, the Enbrel didn't work as well for me so I had the burn for nothing. The Humira didn't burn that bad and worked better for me but at the time my insurace wouldn't pay as much as they would on Humira.  Another thing you might consider is that each company usually has a co-pay  assistance card for new users. This card will pay for all or almost all of your co-pay the 1st 6 months and then 1/2 of it the last 6 months. If one of the drugs is offering that when you see your doctor next, you might want to make your decision that way. Every penny you can save is worth it now a days! Before you decide, Call both companies & see if they are doing this right now & of course ask your doctor if he has any of the cards. Sometimes if the doctors office is out of them, you can get one from the drug companies. I hope this helps you, GOOD LUCK!

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    • 01titansfan
      August 29, 2009
      01titansfan
      August 29, 2009

       I just want to clarify that I in no way want to discourage the use of  Remicade. I think it has been a wonderful drug for some people & made the difference whether some people have become  wheel-chair or bedbound or not. Also, I am not a doctor, just a nurse who made a personal judgement based on what I saw in our rheumatology office. What I said in the above statement is purely a personal opinion. We all know what opinions are like... We all have them!

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  • Shep August 28, 2009
    Shep
    August 28, 2009

    I did the Enbrel injections for six months.  They are at-home injections, not in a doctor's office.  After six months, I had developed neuropathy in my right foot.  ...not sure if the Enbrel caused it.  I am now on Humira (2 years now).  I was giving myself the injection every other week, but this summer, I have started it weekly.  I think it has worked better for me than the Enbrel, but neither has done wonders.  I have psoriatic arthritis.  

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  • Shep August 28, 2009
    Shep
    August 28, 2009

    I did the Enbrel injections for six months.  They are at-home injections, not in a doctor's office.  After six months, I had developed neuropathy in my right foot.  ...not sure if the Enbrel caused it.  I am now on Humira (2 years now).  I was giving myself the injection every other week, but this summer, I have started it weekly.  I think it has worked better for me than the Enbrel, but neither has done wonders.  I have psoriatic arthritis.  

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  • Jennifer August 27, 2009
    Jennifer
    August 27, 2009

    I was diagnosed with RA last October when it hit me like a freight train.  Since then I have been on Methotrexate, Predinsone and Enbrel.  I took Enbrel for 13 weeks with some noticable improvement, but still had many difficulties with RA.  I am not one that enjoys self injecting, so that made the weekly Enbrel shot difficult and nerve wracking, but I WAS able to do it.  My doctor suggested I try Remicade b/c she felt I would see faster results (I would still like to have another child and need to get off of the methotrexate.)  After my second infusion of Remicade I was a new person and thought, ok - this is how I should feel.  After the second infusion of Remicade I was able to go off of the Prednisone.  I go every 6-8 weeks for an infusion that takes anywhere from 2.5 - 3.5 hrs.  They give me two tylenol and a benadryl before the infusion to decrease the chances of any allergic reaction or side effects.  I've had no problems with Remicade and I'm thankful for it.  I am still a person with RA and feel it everyday, but Remicade has given me hope.  Everyone reacts differently to these drugs, so you may just have to see what works best for you over time. 

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  • Midwest  Modification August 27, 2009
    Midwest  Modification
    August 27, 2009

    Hi.... I was surprised to read that your Dr. is making it YOUR choice. I thought that is why we go to a Dr. because we want HIM to guide us as to what treatment is best. I hope he explained all of the pros and cons of each drug.

    I do have to admit though, that I guess different people react differently to different meds, but then again that is all the more reason for the Dr. to make the call based on his knowledge of your condition and the benefits of the drug(for you).

    I started out with ibuprofen  and I have been on Methotrexate and Tramadol for many years, and we have added Celebrex. Now I  inject HUMIRA , every other week as well.  I don't think I will ever be totally pain free, but I actually FEEL ALIVE AGAIN SINCE TAKING THE HUMIRA. Before Humira I was so exhausted all the time, so fatigued it was unbearable. I have had NO PROBLEMS WITH the HUMIRA. I actually wonder what I would do if it ever went off the market...lol

    I feel more like my self again. It is amazing. I do still have pain since my Dr. reduced my Methotrexate, but I FEEL ALIVE AGAIN. It did take a little while to fully feel the affects though. Hang in there!

    P.S. Does anyone else feel the same about WHOSE decision it should be?

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    • l3true2u
      August 27, 2009
      l3true2u
      August 27, 2009

      Thanks for your response. The doc went over all the pros and cons with me. forr my situation they are all basically the same. thats why he said it is up to me.

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    • Susan Coughlin
      August 28, 2009
      Susan Coughlin
      August 28, 2009

      I agree with you 100% You could not be more right in what your saying, The Doc. should do what he feels is the best not make you choose. I have been on Humari for many years and I feel very safe with that drug no problems what so ever but, everyone is different. Whats good for me is not always good for someone eles.

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  • Mishapup August 27, 2009
    Mishapup
    August 27, 2009

    I had to make that decision 3 1/2 years ago and I was terrified!!!  I chose Enbrel because it has been around the longest and is considered "generic".  Humera is basically the same drug; different company.  Injections are easy to do.  Remicaide is IV infusion.  I have been pleased overall with the Enbrel.  Good luck with your decision!!!

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  • Karen August 27, 2009
    Karen
    August 27, 2009

    i tried Enbrel first and it was great for one year and then stopped working.  My hands are too deformed to self-inject.  This was back when Enbrel was the only biologic available.  When Remicade became the 2nd one available, my doctor put me on it and it's been great ever since.  That was back in 1999, but i must say i have had more than my fair share of various infections as a result of taking the Remicade.  I'm also diabetic so that has been a major factor also since a lot of the infections were in my feet.  I had my husband give me the injection when i took Enbrel and i must say it might be more convenient but you may just have to try each out to see which does best for you.

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  • DPhillips August 27, 2009
    DPhillips
    August 27, 2009

    On August 19 I had been  on Remidade (w/Methotrexate injuections) for 1 year and like someone else said, it changed my life, almost immediately for me.  I understand it takes few infusions for some. But for me, I felt better that same day.  I went to a reception and was giddy about the fact that i could walk through a ballroom lobby to the restroom without having to leave in order to avoid two trips down the long hall.

     

    I now walk 2 miles everyday, with no pain at all.  Just last week something rolled under my bed. Without even thinking i was on my knees to pick it up and I stopped to laugh outloud!!  Before, I would have been on my backside so I could avoid pressure on my knees.  Plus they wouldn't hardley bend that way. I am grateful to God every single day. I wish you the same results with what ever you choose. That is my prayer for you!

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  • dolphingirl1812 August 27, 2009
    dolphingirl1812
    August 27, 2009

    HI, I HAVE BEEN ON ENBREL AND REMICADE. I WOULD NEVER RECCOMMEND ENBREL. IT IS VERY PAINFUL AND I  HAD NO RELIEF...ON THE OTHER HAND, THE REMICADE DID GREAT!!  I WOULD HIGHLY RECCOMMEND IT. GOOD LUCK!!

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  • Patchman October 03, 2012
    Patchman
    October 03, 2012

     I was diaganosed with severe RA at age 55 and am now 57. I went through the Sulfasalizine and Methotreaxte therapy and ended up on the ole' RA standard of Humira and Methotrexate.  About 6 months into the Humira I came down with SEVERE Psoriasis on my palms and feet. After this my Rheumatologist refered me to a dermatologist,..  the dermi gave me topical steroids which made the psoriasis worse. He wanted me to go on Stellara injections. At this point I desided to try something different and on my own. I am an RN and after much research decided thet the psoriasis (which attacked my finger and toe nails might be a fungal infection?I put myself on Ketonozole for 6 months and the psoriasis is nearly gone and my nails are growing back healthy. (I learned that steroids feed a fungal infection.) In addition I put myself on Quinine 100mg a day and Vitamin D-3 1200 iu perday. I stopped taking the methotrexate 6 months ago. I have nearly zero pain. Only occasional minimal pain in my sholder and elbow,.. hardly zero swelling and only occasionally need to take an nsaid like ibuprophen.   My energy level is much improved. I really have to question the nearly universal Treatments by Rheumatologists e.g the Methotrexate and Biologics. At time of my diagnosis my RA factor was off the charts at >600 and my CPP was also unmeasureable. My first RA doctor said "you have it bad",...

     The Methotrex and Biologics leave you prone to infections (I also got a bad staph infection during this period),... Any infections! I belive that the psoriasis was a fungal infection and that my staph infection were caused by a weakened immune system due to the toxic drugs my doctor prescribed. Perhaps the reverse logic of weakening the immune system versus triing to bring it back into equalibrium is the problem? 

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  • Patchman October 03, 2012
    Patchman
    October 03, 2012

    The biologics are a last resort. Have you been on Sulfasalizine and low dose Methotrexate?

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