Anyone tried both Humira and Cimzia? Pros/Cons of each?

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Dooger73
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 6/17/2010 10:18 AM (GMT -7)   
As you may have read in another thread or two, I got my results back from my CT Enterography this week and it looks like I'm headed down the Biologics path. My GI doc is open to my choice of either Humira or Cimzia - I'm opting to pass on Remicade at this point. I'm looking for feedback on these 2 drugs so I can make an informed decision next week when I go in. Here's what I've read the last week or so about these two drugs.

Humira:
Pros - schedule - weekly/bi-weekly/monthly; increased energy, reduced joint pain
Cons - painful injections (burning); site rashes; fatigue after injections; weight gain;

Cimzia:
Pros - schedule - biweekly/monthly(?); reduced joint pain
Cons - thick consistency, hard to inject; swollen glands/sore throat; boils

I'll be honest, after reading a bunch of stuff on HW and other sites, I'm not excited about ANY Biologics right now. Unfortunately, I'm stuck going this route as I've tried almost everything else over the years with poor results.

So what am I missing above?
If you have tried both, what are your experiences?
What would you recommend I try and why?

Thanks, all.
Dooger73
(not-so) Successfully In Denial of my Crohn's Disease since 1985!
Resection surgeries 1993 and 2004.
May 2010: Currently on Pentasa and enough Prednisone to revive a dead horse!


*Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.


sr5599
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 6/17/2010 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on both and prefer Cimzia. Not sure if that's the answer for everyone, as there are many pros and cons to weigh.

Humira did not last 2 weeks for me and my insurance would not cover weekly shots (this was back when it was first approved). Cimzia (maybe due to the pegylated formula) seems to last the entire 4 weeks. Neither were going to put me in remission like Remicade did at first (maybe because I've already failed one TNF). But, I think Cimzia is helping enough to keep me out of the hospital. I take it along with mtx.

I've been having a home health nurse come to inject, so I haven't injected it myself Next month I will start that. But, I also know that if I don't like to do the injections (due to how thick the med is), I can just drop in my doctor's office and have the nurses inject me. (I inject myself daily for one med and weekly for mtx, so it's not the injection, though Zena told me it's not bad).

Good luck on your decision. Personally I like the biologics... I had a really good experience for a couple of years on Remicade. And, it's nice to not have to take pills every day. I still take vitamins, folic acid, etc., but no Crohn's meds orally to add to the daily pill count!
1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Cimzia, MTX . Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09


cleo35
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 430
   Posted 6/17/2010 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on both also. A few months after starting Humira I developed a lot of joint/muscle/tendon pain. I stuck it out for a while and then switched to Cimzia - everything hasn't disappeared completely but things are MUCH better on Cimzia. A pro to both of these drugs is that you can administer them both yourself at home. No 4 hour infusions!!

ZenaWP
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 6/17/2010 12:32 PM (GMT -7)   

I've been on both.  Humira kept my Crohn's in remission but did not help enough with the joint pain.  My drs said they can't get it approved weekly, although tons of people do, so not sure what the deal with my drs is.  Cimzia does not last the full 4 weeks for me and we've even tried half a dose (one shot - 200 mg) every 2 weeks and that's not working either.  It worked great when I got it on a clinical trial and we got 400 mg every 2 weeks.  Not only is my arthritis still flaring, but I'm having a lot more stomach pain and believe the Crohn's is coming out of remission.  So, I'm in the process of switching back to Humira. 

Both cost about the same with the co-pay assistance programs.  Both have the same side effects for me - injection site whelts and I used to get frequent URIs but the prednisone must be keeping those at bay right now. 

Cimzia also burns but not as badly as Humira.  But, Humira is injected quicker, so it's over faster.  I think the pros/cons pretty much cancel each other out and I consider the two to be extremely comparable. 


Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 


cleo35
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 430
   Posted 6/17/2010 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Dooger: I've never experienced any of the side-affects you listed with Cimzia. It's not hard to inject. You just need to let it sit on the counter for 25 minutes so it comes to room temp. The schedule is every 28 days.

On Humira: injection pain??? Seriously? It lasts all of 10 seconds! I've never suffered from fatigue after the injections and I didn't notice any weight gain either. But I have a question, what if you did gain some weight? So what? If the drug is working and you have a better quality of life and less crohns symptoms you wouldn't trade that for a few pounds?

Becoming undone
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 927
   Posted 6/17/2010 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I've done all three...Remicade, Humira, Cimzia...I personally thought Remidade was the best for the Joint Pain and Fatigue...but that was after I was on twice the dose and at a higher frequency (10mg/Kg every 6wks), which only took about 2 hours, Max...then it became less effective for the chrohn's so then I went on Humira, didn't really do anything, actually got worse...Now I am on Cimzia...I too have a nurse to come and give me injections...they are actually less painful than the Humira pen, those spring loaded pens hurt...probably wouldn't have been as bad if I had used the syringe...

Honestly, I would prefer the biologics to some of the other meds out there which can have wider side effects...like prednisone or Imuran (which gave me pancreatitis) or 6-MP or even Methotrexate (which my sister takes and has a HUGE problem with nausea)...

Oh, I forgot to add, Cimzia is usually a once a month thing, however, I take it 2x/mo...I've never really had any side effects from these meds except muscle fatigue that day or a day or so later...oh, and I am a bit more susceptible to infection, so you just have to remain vigilant, you know, hand-washing, hand sanitizer...avoiding obviously sick people...
Good Luck...
"The earth laughs in flowers"


Dooger73
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 6/17/2010 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, all - this is exactly the type of feedback I was hoping for. It's interesting: my GI office only uses Humira right now, no Cimzia patients. They have nothing against Cimzia and are open to me trying it, they've just had enough success with Humira to not *need* to go there.

cleo - you nailed it on the 4hr infusion comment. I had 2-3 Rem treatments before my last surgery and hated the hassle of going in, spending that much time, and freezing my butt off the whole time! Self-admin is definitely a bonus with these 2 drugs.

As for weight gain, I have no issues carrying extra weight as a tradeoff for health - just listing what I've read/heard as side effects. I've always fought to put weight on, then ballooned on pred a few years back. Now I eat much better, run/exercise 3-5x/week and am in the best shape of my life in my late 30s.

Zena - sorry to hear you're having problems again. I hope your transition back to Humira helps. Will they up the dosage to help with joint pain too?

Undone - Humira didn't do much for you? How is Cimzia working out? Have to say, I like the once a month schedule...
Dooger73
(not-so) Successfully In Denial of my Crohn's Disease since 1985!
Resection surgeries 1993 and 2004.
May 2010: Currently on Pentasa and enough Prednisone to revive a dead horse!


*Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.


Becoming undone
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 927
   Posted 6/17/2010 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Cimzia working VERY well, esp for the gut issues...
"The earth laughs in flowers"


artist guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 6/17/2010 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm starting rem this coming week, i hope I can handle it, immuran was no good for me, pred, works for me btu the side effects from pred are barelly tolerable for me, so on to rem.

artist guy


Mrs House
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/18/2010 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I was faced with the same situation in March.. Humira or Cimzia. My GI said they were both so similar he didnt care (comforting, I know). I choose the Cimzia b/c they had some free samples on hand and they were willing to give them to me as long as they did the injections. I've been injecting myself at home for 3 months now and I am quite pleased with it. I have some red spotches around the injection site for a couple of days, but they say this is normal. The first few times, the site bled after injecting, but I think it was because I was hesitant. Now that I am more confident, there is no blood.
One thing I didnt realize is the cost... Cimzia is quite a bit more expensive if you don't have insurance or have a high deductible. I paid $1200 for one month supply until I met my deductible. And my insurance won't let me get it at Walgreens... I have to order it from some company and have it shipped. Kind of a hassle...
Good luck!
Female, 28 yrs, dx Crohn's 2003, Asacol -6 yrs remission, Lialda -6 months, Imuran - 1 week (gave me pancreatitis), Started Cimzia 3/2010, strictureplasty 3/2010.  Entocort on standby.  Dx Depression 2003, Prozac 60 mg,  Dx Endometriosis 1996, Lyme Disease 2008, 2 cases of Uveitis so far.  Vit D & Folic acid.  Currently TTC! 


Mrs House
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/18/2010 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I was faced with the same situation in March.. Humira or Cimzia. My GI said they were both so similar he didnt care (comforting, I know). I choose the Cimzia b/c they had some free samples on hand and they were willing to give them to me as long as they did the injections. I've been injecting myself at home for 3 months now and I am quite pleased with it. I have some red spotches around the injection site for a couple of days, but they say this is normal. The first few times, the site bled after injecting, but I think it was because I was hesitant. Now that I am more confident, there is no blood.
One thing I didnt realize is the cost... Cimzia is quite a bit more expensive if you don't have insurance or have a high deductible. I paid $1200 for one month supply until I met my deductible. And my insurance won't let me get it at Walgreens... I have to order it from some company and have it shipped. Kind of a hassle...
Good luck!
Female, 28 yrs, dx Crohn's 2003, Asacol -6 yrs remission, Lialda -6 months, Imuran - 1 week (gave me pancreatitis), Started Cimzia 3/2010, strictureplasty 3/2010.  Entocort on standby.  Dx Depression 2003, Prozac 60 mg,  Dx Endometriosis 1996, Lyme Disease 2008, 2 cases of Uveitis so far.  Vit D & Folic acid.  Currently TTC! 


Dooger73
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 6/19/2010 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Good point to bring up, Mrs House. I know there's a Humira Copay program and CIMplicity/CIMpay program, but I don't know much about either. Thankfully, my wife is a state employee (teacher) and we have decent benefits as a result, but I need to get that squared away before making a decision too. Glad to hear you have had good results with Cimzia.

I'm kind of leaning towards Cimzia at this point for a couple reasons: I like the 1x/month schedule, the positive feedback here on effectiveness, and hopefully a bit more joint pain relief (though mine is not bad). This may sound odd, but since my GI does not currently have any patients on Cimzia, I feel like I may be able to help them with being their first patient, and I may get some preferential treatment since they will be very interested in monitoring my results. =) Just a thought...

Thanks again for the feedback, guys. Wishing all the best for each of you.
Dooger73
(not-so) Successfully In Denial of my Crohn's Disease since 1985!
Resection surgeries 1993 and 2004.
May 2010: Currently on Pentasa and enough Prednisone to revive a dead horse!


*Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

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