Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Med Switch - Take 5

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!



Rick Phillips said...

Terry, I was on on Acterma about 15 months as well. Since it si a JAK inhibitor it is less like the other TNF inhibitors. I hope Cimza works well for you.

Merry Christmas to you as well.

Terry said...

Thank you Rick. I know everyone responds differently to different meds and what works for you may not work for me but that's pretty wild that Actemra had run it's course for both of us at 15 months. I've given up hope on a miracle drug to come along and fix me but I would like to find one that just makes me feel a little better and up to doing a few things again. I don't feel sorry for myself or want any sympathy ... just want to feel a little better.

Anonymous said...

I felt like Actemra was working until I had a bad reaction to it during the infusion.
Cimzia came with these ergonomic syringes that were easy to use and had no side effects, but did not seem to stop my flares.
You never can tell, still you have to keep going.
Mostly I just wanted to wish you a great Christmas and New years holiday.
I hope you get some down time and see some friends and family.
The deer season is over here and the ice fishing has started in some places.
I went out to our local archery league tonight and my shooting was terrible, but I had a good time and that's all that counts.
Take care
Phil - Syr

mary said...

Hi Terry, Long time no hear. I hope the new meds work for you. I'm kind of I
in the same boat. Headed to the doc in a few weeks and am looking for a med change. After 30 yrs I kind of feel like I am running out of options but we must move forward. I had the vecta blood test done a few months ago and I'm just not getting things under control. I am hoping that 2017 will bring all of us relief and we can get on with doing what we all love.

So sorry you had to sell one of your bikes. If the 1000 mile you rode last year were joyful then they were a gift. Remember how you felt when first diagnosed? Way back when did you ever think you would ride 1000 miles again? I hope the new meds work. All we can do is keep trying. I'm interested to see what your news blog will be.
Enjoy the holidays!!

Terry said...

Phil, I'm hoping that cimzia will improve my current state just a little. I'm not looking, or expecting, a miracle ... real life isn't like the commercials for these drugs. Your aim may have been off but as you said, it's all about enjoying yourself! Keep doing what you love. Happy New Year.

Terry said...

Mary, it sucks when you keep changing meds and start to feel you're running out of options. I'm into this thing 14 years now, nowhere near as long as you and I'm already starting to wonder, what's next? I like how you put it into perspective about after I was diagnosed did I ever think I'd ride 1000 miles again. Good point. My bike is up for sale but haven't had any offers yet. If I do get better, hopefully it's before I sell it! Happy New Year!

Uma Sri said...

Happy new year and hope you're doing well!

My name is Uma and I work for a company called Pack Health based out of Birmingham, AL. We have provided personalized support to over 4,000 patients dealing with chronic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, RA, Asthma, Hepatitis C, and more.

The basic overview is anyone who joins the program gets specialized tools and personal support for a year from a Health Advisor at no cost. This Health Advisor does not provide medical advice, but helps with understanding costs, healthy lifestyle, motivation, and setting small goals for exercising. It's accountability and encouragement. We've seen great results thus far. Feel free to visit us at: packhealth.com

We've received a grant that has given us the opportunity to offer this personalized support/caregiving service to 500 individuals interested in receiving RA support at no cost to them. We are looking for ways to let folks who could use help to know that this is available to them.

I was hoping to collaborate with you so that you could. Would love to set up a time to chat and talk about details!

Thanks and have a great day,

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