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How Long Did It Take to Find a Treatment that Works?

I was diagnosed three years ago. I haven't found a viable treatment yet. Is it normal to go through multiple treatment options and have them all fail? I'm about to start another one and I'm doing my best to be hopeful, again. But I've got a lot of emotions going on. Scared about this one in particular (Humira), scared about what all these different medications are doing to my body, scared that there isn't a treatment out there that will work. How many treatments do people go through, on average, before they find 'the one', at least for a year or two?

  1. Hi there @Knitluv, thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, many people here go through a long journey before finding a treatment that really helps them- you're definitely not alone. Each person is very unique in the ways that their bodies/minds react to certain medications, which often leads to a lot of trial and error. We know that this can be exhausting and frustrating because there really is no way of knowing how your own body will react until you try. Our team member, Michael, wrote a couple articles going into further detail about RA treatment fails and his experiences with them that I thought might be helpful here: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/when-ra-treatments-fail-to-work/ https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/already-shot/ We hope that you can find some well deserved success with Humira, and please feel free to keep us updated. Best, Ashley (Team Member)

    1. Thank you for pointing me to these articles, ashleyf! It does give me some hope, both to know that I’m not alone, and that there are so many treatments I haven’t tried yet. I do feel like my rheumatologist is my ally, which, to me, is an important part of the fight. So one battle won, I guess. I do hope I can drop out of the refractory club with Humira, though, at least for a little while.

    2. Having a Rheumatologist that truly listens to you and wants to help you find the relief you deserve is so important @Knitluv- we're really glad to hear that you have that! Even though it can often be an exhausting process, it's always worth fighting for yourself. Fingers crossed for you! Gently, Ashley (Team Member)

  2. Knitluv, I was diagnosed a little over 3 years ago also. I have gone through multiple treatments. While I am not where I want to be, I do know I am better off than pre-diagnosis and treatment. It’s possible my newest biologic is starting to work. I’ve done some soul searching and wonder just what my expectations should be. When I speak with my Rheum he assures me that we will find the right treatment. I am glad your Rheum is your ally and that they are continuing to fight with you for appropriate treatment. It’s tough at times, but let’s keep believing and trying!

    1. Thanks, Jo J! Just knowing I’m not alone helps so much. I’m glad you have a good rheumy, too. I really hope you’re latest treatment is the one. I start mine tomorrow. I’ll keep my fingers (very gently) crossed for both of us!

  3. diagnosed 2 years ago. The initial MTX and HCQ and folic acid helped alot but took some tweaking...then my Rheumatologist put me on Humira (2 times a month)...could tell a BIG difference right away then she put me on it every week...very good results. Changed because of copay issues, to Enbrel (weekly)...not as happy with this...having an increase in flares...overall body aches and swelling...added gabapentin which gave a little relief...have an appt coming up in March...more testing in my future! yay!

    1. I have had RA.for about 30 years. I’ve been on many biologics Humira was the 4th. What works for one person may not work for you After a year and no improvement move on I hope you don’t have to. I’m on actemra and it started working right away they usually take 3 months before they start. I wish you the best of luck

      1. ty

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