Switching Biologics (Again)
Last updated: February 2023
I have once again switched my biologic medication! I’ve been on Inflectra, Humira, Cosentyx, and now, drumroll, please...Remicade!
Remicade is chemically very similar to Inflectra, which is actually a biosimilar of Remicade. This is my fourth drug in 5 years of being diagnosed with AS.
Why I switched
Once again, I found myself in a position where I was starting to feel worse. I was feeling increased pain for months, as well as increased fatigue. My last dose of Cosentyx was on Halloween, and all throughout November, it hadn’t helped me one bit.
In addition to the increased symptoms, I was diagnosed with microscopic colitis in August, and there were no findings of Cosentyx helping Colitis at all. Remicade helps with ulcerative colitis, so we decided to switch and give it a try for my MC.
I had an appointment with my Rheumatologist in early November where we discussed everything that was going on with both my AS and my MC and landed on Remicade as the next step in my treatment process.
I really only waited 30 days for my new treatment to begin, but let me tell you, that 30 days felt like an eternity. With the increasing pain and fatigue, I was less able to do things as the days went on.
I got a call relatively soon after my appointment and things were being set up for me with my new treatment, which I was so excited about. Does anyone else get overly excited to start new medications? I know I shouldn’t put so much hope into one medication, but I’ve lived with AS and been on treatment long enough to know that if one treatment doesn’t work, there are others out there for me to try.
Then, November 30th came! The day I got to start Remicade!
If you haven’t had an infusion before, I’ve written about it when I was on Inflectra, but I will give you a little rundown! I showed up at the infusions clinic bright and early and was unable to sleep the entire night due to anxiety and excitement.
I sat in the chair and waited while the nurses prepared my medications. I was excited to start my new drug, and hopefully get the process of feeling better started! I took my pre-meds of Tylenol and Benadryl as well.
I usually don’t do well with needles in my veins, so I know now to take deep breaths and look away. That’s just about the best I can do to prepare myself for the IV.
The nurse put the IV in with some saline and soon after started my Remicade infusion. It lasted 2 hours, with an additional hour afterward to monitor me for a reaction (which I didn’t have, woohoo!).
It was a very simple and peaceful process. I brought my laptop and watched podcasts and streams on Twitch until it was over, which felt like it was over in the blink of an eye!
How I’m feeling now
A week after the first infusion, I’m still feeling incredibly fatigued. I know this is possible with starting new meds, so I’m trying not to be too upset about it, but the fatigue is very overwhelming.
I have my next infusion a week from now. I’m still on the loading doses and will be until mid-January, and hopefully, things will look up from there!
Has changing your diet helped manage your pain and flares?