After a long heart to heart with doc yesterday, he did an exam then checked the markers on my blood work and slipped into his office for about 5 minutes. Upon his return suggested that, after comparing my blood work, swelling, CRP, etc, that we try Cimzia. I had started my visit with inquiring about switching to Actemra injections. He said that if I was dead set on them that we could go that way but if the Actemra infusions weren't working well that he was reluctant to go with Actemra injections. I understood his logic, besides ... he is the doctor.
So I started off with a double injection yesterday at the rheumatologist office and they sent my prescription off to my drug provider with my health insurance. I checked and Cimzia is on the specialty drug list so there won't be any complications there. I was disappointed that Cimzia does not come in a pen kit, just a syringe. I was quite pleased with the fact that Cimzia does not sting nearly as bad as Humira when injected. Cimzia is a Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blocker used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Of course it comes with the proverbial kitchen sink full of side effects.
I can now add another face to the totem pole of failures for me with my 14 years of living with RA. Add Actemra to the list with Enbrel, Orencia and Humira as no longer effective for me. One thing that is stuck in the back of my mind though is I was only on Actemra for 15 months. I hope that doesn't indicate that my body is getting better at defending itself against RA drugs. I guess all I can do is ride this new train as far as it will take me.
I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy (and pain free) New Year!