This time last year, I felt great.  It was wonderful to finally feel good again. 

Things fell apart when I tried to reduce my number of meds.  Discontinuing ssz was a huge mistake, so I added it back in.  Next I discontinued the hcq.  The difference wasn’t as dramatic as it had been with ssz, but it definitely made a difference.  Sometimes I wonder if we should have just added it back instead of switching to biologic #2.

After a year spent singing the praises of Enbrel, I’ve been fairly silent about my second biologic.  Reason being, it didn’t work.  It’s a med that works very well for many people, so I don’t want to denigrate it unfairly.  In my treatment plan, though, it’s history.

Given my druthers, my rheumatologist would have written prescriptions to return to what was working a year ago.  She, obviously, knows all sorts of things I don’t, and thought it better to try a different biologic (maybe because just a couple months ago she had to argue with my insurer that biologic #1 wasn’t working).

I’ve now received my first dose of Cimzia of the cool looking syringe.  I’ll post a picture if my insurance company ever gets around to processing my pre-auth.  They took their own sweet time with the last one, and it drives me crazy that think they know better than my doctor what treatment is appropriate. (/rant)

I feel better already — likely due to the 20mg prednisone that I’ll have the pleasure of tapering off in a couple months.  On the plus side, there’s no need to finance a steroid injection in my shoulder.  The pred has already helped dramatically.

I have no desire to work my way through every single biologic on the market.  Let’s hope this one works better than the last.

8 thoughts on “Next!

  1. Glad AND Sad to hear that the prednisone is helping so much already. I’ve been on it for a dozen or so years with only a couple of times off of it – for only a few months at a time. It sure is a lot cheaper than a biologic though, eh?

    Sheesh, you might have to change insurance co’s if you decide you want to try Enbrel again. That or find some possibly non-existent case studies of some who have gone back with success.

    I think we all get sick of these meds and understandably try to get off of them when we seem to have a brief respite that we are hoping is REMISSION! What I’m seeing is that for many of us though, it is just “chemical induced remission” (that’s what I call it). And it’s sad that we feel like we have to try stopping or lowering meds just to see if it might be the real thing – only to find that it’s not – and then having to go back on the meds, or try new ones, and often not getting quite the same level of effect that we had before. This is something that I think docs need to bring up with their patients very early on. It may or may not stop us from trying, but it would be nice to know before hand that such might occur.

    • Reducing meds wasn’t my choice. Much as I dislike taking zillions of pills, I’m partial to being able to walk. My motto is “If it aint broke, don’t fix it” but rheumy said that once the Enbrel proved effective, I should be able to reduce to just it plus mtx, so we tried. When I get to feeling good again, we’ll leave well enough alone and not make any unnecessary drug changes. I hope.
      Have a great weekend.

  2. I will be very interested to see how the Cimzia works for you. I will be starting it this week as well. Was on Orencia for the past year and just didn’t get the results I had hoped for. Remicade did the best job for me but then just fizzled out, didn’t have much luck with Humira or Enbrel either. So hoping it will be for both of us a great new start! I will be anxious to hear your comments.

  3. Socks, the Cimzia injections are certainly a little more challenging than the autoinjector pens of Enbrel and Humira. When I was on it, I found that a quick jabbing motion did the trick. They are well designed syringes and easy to handle and it’s only once a month. I hope and pray that Cimzia does the trick for you.

    • It’s definitely a different look. The syringe doesn’t bother me, since that’s what I used with the Enbrel & Humira (I don’t like the auto-injector pens). My rx is for every-other-week, rather than monthly. That part surprised me, since I’d read this one was monthly.

      Hope you are doing well.

  4. Helen: Thank you.

    Carla: Let us know how it goes at your appt, too.

    OFG: I’m interested to hear how it works for you. I just don’t hear of as many people taking this as some of the others. Best of luck!

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