Typical Imuran, Remicade Treatments?

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GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 6/6/2009 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   
My GE and I have begun discussing stepping up to Imuran and/or Remicade if prednisone doesn't do the trick. I'm curious what treatments with these drugs are like. Are they perpetual or used only to repress flares? I see Imuran comes in 50mg pills--how many are taken and how often? Are Remicade treatments similar to giving blood plasma (I've heard they take about 2 hours)? One GE told me that Remicade treatments start at about four-week intervals then gradually step up to two-month intervals. Over two years ago, my GE told me that Remicade was perpetual (once you're on it, you can't stop), but now that appears to have changed and people can go off it.

Thanks for any info!

Peace08
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 6/6/2009 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi GDen, I was taking imuran last year, they put me on a dose according to my weight. I was told I will be on it for the rest of my life, but unfortunately it didnt work out for me, so they had to stop it. I was taking 50mg daily.

jhicks
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 6/6/2009 12:07 PM (GMT -7)   
My GI wants to put me on Remicade. He told me that if it works, you're usually on it at least 5 years, at which point he says it typically has a washout on effectiveness. Apparently, you can't start and stop it and then start again bc you'll build antibodies to it, so he's instead suggested we go with Imuran. Apparently on Imuran I could start it and use it for a few months or a year or so and go off it a while to see how I'm doing and then go back on it. Not so with Remicade. Remicade is also extraordinarily expensive, somewhere b/w $5,000 and $6,000 per infusion. My out-of-pocket expense would be 20 percent or $1,000-$1,200 per infusion. As of now, I'm trying alternative treatments to try and avoid both drugs, the expense and side effects. Best of luck!

GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 6/6/2009 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Right--I've been told Remicade is about $15,000-20,000 per year. I've also learned that it's categorized as a "biologic" which could exclude it from ever becoming generic. GE's have told me that Humira and Cimzia are backups if Remicade isn't effective.

At a local support group they said an enzyme test is required before taking Imuran. It determines whether Imuran will be toxic, which it will be for about 1 out of 100 people.

littlemissmuffet
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 269
   Posted 6/6/2009 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I have taken imuran (n/a azathiroprine here in the UK). Worked for me for a while then I became allergic to it.

Im now on Remicade (infliximab in UK). The 1st infusion took 2 hours and then a 2 hour wait afterwards. The 2nd infusion is 2 weeks after that, then 4 weeks then every 8 weeks. If you go more than 12 weeks without an infusion you may build anti bodies to it.

Both drugs worked for me
Diagnosed 2005.
 
Current medication  -  infliximab infusions, ranitidine, ferrous sulphate, Vitamin B12 injections, asacol


omigrandma
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 6/7/2009 5:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Has anyone ever done Remicade and Imuran together? I just read a brand new study somewhere that said that the results of the 2 drugs together were getting outstanding results. I have been on Remicade for several months and my Crohn's is improving somewhat but I also have Collagenous Colitis as well. I am anxious to see my GI on Tuesday and ask her what she thinks about combining the 2. Remicade is the first drug that has shown any improvement for me in 30 years with these diseases. I actually look forward to every 4th Monday when I can go to the hospital for my infusion. I am blessed with wonderful insurance that pays for the entire cost and I don't even have a copay. I take so many meds. and have so many other issues from the Crohn's, as we all do, such as the Crohn's Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, etc. that I am constantly looking for suggestions to offer my GI. even though she as already heard of them.
Darilyn

GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 6/7/2009 5:30 AM (GMT -7)   
That would be the SONIC study--testing Remicade and Imuran together. I've been seeing quite a few articles about it recently as well. Looks like it ran from March 2005 thru November 2008. My doctor told me about it back in early 2007 when I was diagnosed and said the drugs during the study were free.

clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00094458
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