Infusion reaction or building up antibodies?

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PV
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 8/12/2009 3:57 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband takes remicade every 8 weeks. At first, he was taking remicade with high doses of steroids, and he had no infusions reactions at all. Once he dropped to 10mgs of prednisone, he complained of fever and body ache, and after 2 infusions feeling really really crappy for about 2 days thereafter, we talked to the doc.

The doc said that those could be managed with pre-medication - so before the infusion he now gets 40mgs of solumedrol, and benedryl (earlier he only got the benedryl). It's my recollection that the first time they did this, all he had was a headache and mild body ache. But it's been a few infusions thereafter, and he's back to the fevers and body aches, even with the solumedrol, and tylenol barely touches the fever.

Is this still an infusion reaction, or is this because his body is building antibodies? Will this just continue to get worse? Do we need to talk to his doctor, and talk about maybe switching to Humira?

Advice please?

Thanks,
PV
Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff, hospitalized 45 days
Canasa, Lialda, Remicade, VSL#3, Florastor
In Remission since June 2008
Stopped vancomycin for c-diff Jan 1 2009
C-diff free, and in crohn's remission, knock on wood


CrohnsPatient
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 8/12/2009 4:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thats funny I was going to tell you about the pre-medication but looks like you know. How long has this been going on? How many infusions? I think it might be to soon, Especially to choose humira already. And Im not sure if its anti-bodies if it only last him for 2 days, I would think that the symptoms would last longer, but I honestly do not know I have no experience in that area. Remicade can be a great drug though, its a miracle drug for a lot of people even. stay strong and talk to the doctor about this is What I'd do, and probably before I got another infusion.

CrohnsPatient
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 8/12/2009 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Thats funny I was going to tell you about the pre-medication but looks like you know. How long has this been going on? How many infusions? I think it might be to soon, Especially to choose humira already. And Im not sure if its anti-bodies if it only last him for 2 days, I would think that the symptoms would last longer, but I honestly do not know I have no experience in that area. Remicade can be a great drug though, its a miracle drug for a lot of people even. stay strong and talk to the doctor about this is What I'd do, and probably before I got another infusion.

CrohnsPatient
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 8/12/2009 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thats funny I was going to tell you about the pre-medication but looks like you know. How long has this been going on? How many infusions? I think it might be to soon, Especially to choose humira already. And Im not sure if its anti-bodies if it only last him for 2 days, I would think that the symptoms would last longer, but I honestly do not know I have no experience in that area. Remicade can be a great drug though, its a miracle drug for a lot of people even. stay strong and talk to the doctor about this is What I'd do, and probably before I got another infusion.

PV
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 8/12/2009 5:10 PM (GMT -7)   
He started Remicade in April 2008 - so it's now been about 1.5 years that he's been on remicade. I think the worsening infusion reaction (fevers) mean that his immune system is building antibodies - it's not bad enough that his body is completely rejecting it, but I suspect that's what we should expect sometime in the future. I'd like to delay that as much as possible, since remicade got him out of the hospital facing surgery, and back to normal. It really was his miracle drug.

I am wondering if perhaps it's advisable to take some oral steroids for 2 days, then go get the infusion along with iv solumedrol, to try to dampen down his immune system so that it'll develop antibodies more slowly. What do you folks think? I'm going to ask his doc whether this is a crazy idea or not.

Tell me if you have other ideas to reduce his remicade reactions.

Thanks,
PV
Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff, hospitalized 45 days
Canasa, Lialda, Remicade, VSL#3, Florastor
In Remission since June 2008
Stopped vancomycin for c-diff Jan 1 2009
C-diff free, and in crohn's remission, knock on wood


CrohnsPatient
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 8/12/2009 6:05 PM (GMT -7)   
You can ask your dr, but honestly those pre-medications are large large doses, usually they'll do something like 60mg 2 days before, 80 the day before, and ilke 120 the day of or so and like 60 the day after, might not be exact but its high like that, so I wouldnt be taking more unless your dr knows because thats a whole lot to be taking and you dont know what just even a tiny bit more will do to you.

I think if remicade did work for him and he DID have to stop which I dont think is necessarily the case, then he'd probably work well with other biologics, like Humira, or Imuran, 6mp, Cizmia, Enbrel, Methotrexate, Me myself I take Methotrexate and Humira, works well for me for right now. but I did have Remicade for quite a while years back when, before it was being pushed a lot, it was a new medication.
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