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Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Remicade, Simponi, or Cimzia


#1

For a variety of reasons, I am at the stage of thinking it is time that I tried switching my biologic. I’ve been on Humira pretty successfully for nearly 5 years - but although things are not like they were before Humira, it just doesn’t seem quite like it is keeping up any more (and it seems I’ve had a slow decline for about the last year and a half…).

My Rheumatologist does not seem to believe that the fatigue and other symptoms I’m having are part of my PsA (or the mild IBD that I seem to have as a cross-over autoimmune disease), so I’m really not sure he is going to be terribly engaged in a conversation about which would be best to switch to. On the other hand, he is unlikely to stop me if I flat out request it, as the cost to the government is similar regardless, and the risks are also similar to Humira.

So, the three I am looking at are Remicade, Simponi, and Cimiza, because they all appear to have effectiveness for both PsA and Crohn’s, are approved medications in my case, and seem reasonably well known.

Other than the IV vs subcut injection comparisons, does anyone else have any knowledge, experience, or pointers about which one I should try? Or should I just find a 3-sided coin and jump right in?


#2

A decline for that long does force you to take note and think seriously about a change in biologics. I’ve had times when I thought Enbrel was slowly losing effectiveness, but only short-lived, thankfully. Sorry this is happening and you need to make a change!

Sorry, too, I don’t have experience with the other biologics you mentioned. I’m sure you’ve taken some of the other ones, like Enbrel, or you’d be considering it, too.

Good luck—these decisions aren’t easy…I’m sure there are discussions about the other biologics you mentioned to help you choose what’s next.


#3

My 3 sides coin cane up on Cimiza, so I’ll post an update in a few months once I’ve got a hold of it and had the chance to see what’s what :blush:


#4

The very best of luck Jen.


#5

Thanks very much Grandma J and Poo. I know us “oldies” here sometimes seem like we’ve got it together (more or less…) but I must admit I was just short of tears and had the wavering voice in my last appointment, so I am very hopeful Cimiza will be the change I need :smile:


#6

Lots of cyber hugs Jen. Just lots of them.


#7

Simponi couple of years and has been very good it keeps the swelling down for at least two to three weeks


#8

Honestly, I think it is a crap shoot. Since our makeup is unique to us individually, who knows how each will respond to you. Enbrel did wonders for GrandmaJ (:clap:t5 ) but did nothing for me, neither did Symponi. But I’m on a new one and if this one doesn’t work then it’s on to the next.
From the little I really know about these drugs I’ve read that irritable bowel syndrome can be a side effect. Could that be linked to Crohns?
Regardless of our differences it is always good to hear of your experiences, good and bad! I hope you share your journey with us. Cyber hugs!


#9

Thanks DrGatorGirl, I will let you know how it goes :grinning:

IBD in my case is associated with the disease - Humira actually treats it. It was around well before the arthritis part, but apart from one surgery when I was young, I self-managed it.

I know IBS can be associated with stress - it stands to reason many with PsA would be more susceptible for that reason alone!


#10

Hi all, just to update you that I took my first loading dose (two syringes) of Cimzia today. Have been on a medication break due to an infection (unrelated to the biologics), and boy was I really starting to feel it, so hopefully it will kick in soon!

On a rather odd question for those of you who use the syringes, have you ever had the effect of what looks like the solution pooling under the skin? (a slightly raised part of the skin but with no redness, tenderness or itchiness - about the size of a mosquito bite but not as well defined). If so does it just eventually go away as the medication slowly goes into your body? I was supervised by a nurse when I did the injection and she was really happy with it, so I don’t think I did anything wrong… but it is a little odd.


#11

Ok, it’s on the other injection site now too - must be a low-fuss version of a site reaction to a new med. First world problems! :joy:


#12

Let’s hope this is the worst side effect you will get and that it works great and really soon!! Good luck!


#13

Hi Cynthia, thanks so much :blush: I’m pleased to report that was indeed the only (extraordinarily minor) side effect to date, and its already got the stiffness and nighttime pain 90% under control!

I have to go off it again now for a very minor procedure (only for a week to ten days), but it’s a big sigh of relief to know it looks like it will work for me :+1:


#14

So glad it’s looking like it’s working @Jen75. Sorry about the week to 10 days break though.


#15

Thanks Poo :blush:


#16

Everyone is so different ! It’s a guessing game for all of us. I have been on Remicade infusions for 9 years and it has been a great biologic. Still have flare ups of psoriasis but very infrequent. Recently having a bad reaction to Remicade developing what they say is Remicade Infused Lupus. It is quite rare but something to ask your Rhematologist about. I have been on Gold Injections, Enbrel, and Humira with MTX. They all worked well, for years. Sadly this is the hand, we with this disease, were dealt. We coast along for years, sort of, and then, another set back. It sucks for sure.


#17

Just a quick update on this to let everyone know Cimzia is great for me. It doesn’t provide as long, consistent coverage as Humira (yet), but I’m unclear if it’s a characteristic of the drug, or because I kept getting interrupted, both in the changeover and a month or two after, due to infections that didn’t appear to have anything to do with the biologic itself. I note that I mean that it covers fully for the prescribed time, but if I have to delay it, I start feeling lousy quickly.

When it’s working - boy, does it work! For me, even better than Humira. I’m even going to have to seriously change my diet to stop gaining weight :joy::joy: (I was on the almost-controlled IBD diet for years - eat whatever high-calorie food you want, whenever you want, as long as it’s not a flare trigger, and it’s healthy!!!)

Apparently I can’t keep doing this in Remission :blush:.


#18

That’s a great result @Jen75, even with dietary modifications! :laughing: