May 20, 2020
Was on Enbrel for over 10years. Had to go to a new doctor and he said sometimes at the 10 year mark they see the medication not working any more so he prescribed Xeljanz.
I’m hesitant because of side effects and what I’ve read. I need advice from you all. What should I ask the doctor for a safer alternative? Thank you. I have nobody to talk to so any help and advice will be greatly appreciated.
May 22, 2020
May 25, 2020
Hi soone. As Ashley mentioned, everyone's experience with treatments is individual. The major difference between Enbrel and Xeljanz is that the former is a biologic, while Xeljanz is a JAK inhibitor. They both act on the immune system in a similar manor, but have different mechanisms to do so and the JAK inhibitors do not use living biologic material (this is why they can be in a pill form). It may be worth asking your doctor why they are interested in this particular drug and also to voice your concerns. I can tell you that my wife, Kelly Mack (a contributor here), went from Enbril to Humira to Xeljanz and did not have a positive experience with Xeljanz from either a disease control of side effect perspective (predominantly headaches and gastrointestinal issues). That said, we know others who have used Xeljanz successfully for years. Hoping you get some relief from what ever treatment you chose and please feel free to keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)
Monica Y. Sengupta
May 26, 2020
I second Richard in asking why your doctor is keen on Xeljanz and why he/she does not want to try a different biologic. It is definitely important that you also express your concerns! After all, this medication is going into your body!
Here is a link to the different biologics available in treating RA: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/treatment/biologics-treatment-options-for-ra/
I thought you might find that useful. All the best, Monica
May 27, 2020
Thank you Monica for the link and response. I’ve read through it three time and am still confused as to which one is safer. I don’t understand English very well so I’m struggling to understand how JAX inhibitor and biologic and which is safer. I’m going to read again.