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Biologics and URI's

  • By kayjaybee13

    I am now on my 3rd injectable biologic treatment. I’ve tried Enbril, Humira and now Simponi. I’m at a crossroads here. Each of these drugs ended up giving me some serious upper respiratory infections, to the point where I had to take off work. The infections are understandable. After all we’re talking very strong immunosuppressants here. It’s to the point now where I have to decide, stay on a moderate dose of prednisone ( the only thing that seems to work to control my stiff joints) and “enjoy” it’s long term side effects or continue with coughing, wheezing and losing time and money from sick days.. I’ve been taking prednisone ( between 4 – 20 MG daily) for at least 10 years now. I dream of someday getting off prednisone but that just does not seem likely. I don’t know if I’m looking for answers, advice or just an ear.

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  • By Kelly Dabel Moderator

    Thank you for sharing kayjaybee13. We’re here anytime you need a listening ear. You are not alone here. So sorry that you are dealing with respiratory infections and having to miss work. I hope that you and your doctor can’t find some strategies for you to manage your symptoms and maintain your quality of life. In addition to speaking with your doctor about your options, this article on Switching RA Meds may be helpful to you: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/switching-ra-medicines-dont-wait-long-try-many/. Wishing you some relief soon. Thank you for being part of our community! Kelly, Rheumatoidarthritis.net Team member

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  • By Richard Faust Moderator

    Hi kayjaybe13. Sorry to hear that you are having difficulties finding a treatment regimen. Have you looked into combination therapies? A Biologic combined with a DMARD have shown higher rates of effectiveness in some studies and also allow for lower dosage of each particular drug, with the hope of reducing the likelihood of some of the side-effects. This article from our editorial team looks at combination therapy: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/treatment/combinations-of-conventional-and-biologic-dmards/. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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  • By kayjaybee13

    Well, I seem to have overcome my tendency towards URI’s, knock on wood. Trouble is the Simponi , though it works well, only gives me relief for 2 weeks or so. My rheumatologist now wants me to start infusion therapy ( still Simponi). I’m just looking for some advice, experiences with infusion therapy.
    What is the process?
    Is it a stronger dose?
    Any relateable experiences with infusion therapy, simponi et. al would be appreciated. I’m always a little hesitant or apprehensive before beginning any new treaatment or therapy.

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  • By Kelly Dabel Moderator

    Hi kayjaybee13, Thanks for taking the time to send us an update on how you’re doing! So glad to hear that your respiratory symptoms are improved. Wishing you some increased relief with the switch to your treatment plan. In addition to speaking with your doctor, these articles may be helpful:
    Getting Ready For Infusion Day Tips: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/getting-ready-infusion-day/
    Info on Simponi Infusions: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/treatment/simponi-reviews-how-well-it-works/

    Best, Kelly, Rheumatoidarthritis.net Team Member

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