My Experiences With Switching Biologics
Over my 5 years of having AS, I’ve now been on 3 different biologics. I’ve tried Inflectra (Remicade), Humira, and I’m currently on Cosentyx.
I want to say that biologics have been so good to me. Before starting them, I experienced flares way more often, and for longer. I had more daily pain and stiffness as well. I am so glad that I’m on biologics and have been for 4 years.
My experience with Inflectra (Remicade)
My first biologics after diagnosis was Inflectra. It’s a biosimilar of Remicade, and it’s administered through an IV. Initially, this absolutely freaked me out. I was never great with needles. I can get a shot no problem, but anything to do with veins was terrifying to me.
The first few times I got Inflectra was tough. They would do blood work at the same time as they put the IV in, so all of it was hard for me to go through. I would get really lightheaded and I learned to always bring apple juice to my appointments and chug it as they put the IV in. The first time I didn’t, and I almost blacked out.
Inflectra was amazing to me for about 2 years. The first year on it was great. It was almost like I wasn’t sick anymore. I was able to go out and do some of the things I was able to do before! I felt like I was back to being a 22 year old.
After the year mark, I started to feel a little more pain and fatigue but stayed on it for another year until I decided that I wanted to switch. We had increased my dosage and it didn’t seem to be helping anymore.
My experience with Humira
In April of 2020, my rheumatologist and I decided to switch me over to Humira. Humira is a drug that is administered through an auto-injector pen, which at the time also freaked me out. This was also at the start of the pandemic, so I wasn’t able to get a nurse to teach me how to give the shot to myself. I ended up doing it with a pharmacist over FaceTime.
It was fine, but I wish I had someone physically with me. The injection wasn’t that bad! What helps me is that you never actually see the needle, it’s hidden inside the injector. The pain wasn’t too bad either.
Ultimately, after 10 months of Humira, it wasn’t really helping me. I talked to my rheumatologist and he switched me to Cosentyx, which took a few months of processing to actually get.
My experience with Cosentyx
Cosentyx has been a good drug to me. Much like Humira, it’s administered through an auto-injector pen, and you never see the needle.
I’ve been on Cosentyx for a year now, and it’s helped tame my AS symptoms. At my last MRI a few months ago, my AS wasn’t very active! I’m going to be staying on Cosentyx for the foreseeable future, and hopefully, this is the drug for me!