When do you know it’s time to change your biologic?


Community Answers
  • ldonaldson
    3 months ago

    Such a difficult question @KerryW, and I asked my rheumy the same question. Her guidelines look at the question kind of related to flares and morning/evening stiffness. For example, if I experience 1-2 flares between doses or in morning and evening joint stiffness lasts more than an hour, we will start to look at other options. But I am often reminded that it can take up to 6 months (depending on the treatment) to even know if it is working at all. So that is also something to keep in mind.
    I would also suggest speaking with your rheumy as your body might have different “signs” that a med is working or not. They should be able to give you a more specific answer.
    I know it can be really frustrating and there is a lot to consider when it comes to switching meds. Unfortunately, what it seems to come down to is everyone’s best “guess.”
    Hoping you have a few pain free days coming up! -Leanne, Community Moderator

  • Richard Faust moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi KerryW. How to know know when it is time to change a biologic is an excellent and difficult question. The answer may depend on individual circumstances, such as how you feel, blood work, previous history, etc… Some of our contributors have written on this subject. Here Carla looks at exactly this question and questions you may want to consider: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/changing-course/. In this article Andrew also looks at how to know when to change: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/time-to-change-your-treatment/ and in this one he writes about not waiting too long or changing too often: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/switching-ra-medicines-dont-wait-long-try-many/. Here is another take on switching from our contributor Kelly: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/switching-biologics/. Hope these perspectives are helpful. Wishing you the best. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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