making the choice between Humira v Cimzia v Remicade

Which drug did you choose?
11
Remicade - 36.7%
12
Humira - 40.0%
7
Cimzia - 23.3%

 
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Lost in Translation
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/1/2010 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been given the choice to start treatment for the long terms effect on contolling or curing my Crohn's. I don't know which drug to select and the plus/minus of the options. Online reaserach is all over the board and seems to be focused on each drug, rather than a comparision of the three drugs. Can anyone help? Why did you choose your drug of choice? What helped in your decision making? How painful are these drugs?
 
DX: 5 years old. Living with Crohn's 45 years now
5 surgeries, last on in 2005.
Currently on Endocort and Bental. Was on Imeran- but not help.
 

sr5599
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 8/1/2010 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I would chose Cimzia, or Humira as a close second. Remicade worked wonders for me, but given than it's created with mouse antibodies, most people seem to build antibodies against the Remicade and then the body quits responding to Remicade. It seems like, once a TNF drug stops working, the others may not work as well either.

Cimzia is not 100% human antibodies, but it has something called a pegylated formula which is supposed to keep it in the system longer. It's two shots every 4 weeks, the shots do not hurt *at all*...

Humira is 100% human antibodies, so I think (theoretically) the body will not be as likely to form antibodies to the drug and it can keep on working ... Having said that, I have a friend who is losing responsiveness to Humira. The shots are one shot every 2 weeks - the shots sting. If you bring the med to room temp and /or ice the injection site, that will help some with the sting.

Good luck with your choice! This is just all what i understand and how I feel, having tried all three.
1 fistula with two tracts, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Cimzia. Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09
Failed every other drug and about to prepare for ostomy surgery... In the process of gathering info and meeting with ET nurses.

Lost in Translation
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/1/2010 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank SR559- good feedback. I do fear the self injections most. I'm not a big fan of any needles- blood draws and IV caosue me to tense up. You would like I would become imune after all these years.

How long have you u been on the drugs? Has his "cured Crohn's" as the Dr's are telling me. Its the first time in my life I ever heard the word cure mentioned.


GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 8/1/2010 9:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Remicade would probably be my last choice among all the biologics available now, except for Tysabri which I would probably avoid all together. Cimzia and Humira are simple shots, remicade is a 2-3 hour infusion.
Cimzia, Asacol

sr5599
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 8/1/2010 11:33 PM (GMT -6)   
There is no "cure" for Crohn's. Mostly what you're hoping for is remission - which differs from person to person, but basically means that you have little to no symptoms.

You do get used to giving yourself shots, but it's never easy to start off. When I first started my hands would tremble because I was nervous. The Humira pens don't involve sticking the needle in yourself, it's a pen - you push a button at the top and the needle pops out and injects the dose. Cimzia comes in two different ways. (I think your doctor can still choose an option.) One option is pre-filled syringes. They are regular syringes and do need to be stuck into you. But, it doesn't hurt at all, so once you do it, it's easier and it's convenient. The second option comes in vials and needs to be reconstituted before injecting. That option require a home health care nurse to do the injections. FDA will not allow patients to reconstitute the med. And, a third option is to get the pre-filled syringes and just take them to your doc's office. My GI's office is always happy to have me drop in and the nurses will inject me. I'd imagine they'd do that for Humira too. Remicade requires an IV... I also figure that all the years of poking veins, if I can avoid it, I'd rather have shots.
1 fistula with two tracts, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Cimzia. Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09
Failed every other drug and about to prepare for ostomy surgery... In the process of gathering info and meeting with ET nurses.

almost30inMI
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 8/2/2010 7:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I was on Humira and was in remission for almost a year. Then I built up antibodies and got horrible joint pain. After switching to Humira, things have settled down again. The self injections do hurt, but they are over very quickly and I don't have to miss work for 3 hr infusions. Hopefully one will work for you.
Diagnosed with Crohns in 1998. Been on and off pred, entocort, immuran, asacol. Remicade every 6 weeks along with Asacol worked great for 1 yr. Began having joint pain 01/2010. Switched to Humira May 2010 and asacol. Joint paion finally under control in July!! Pregnant due in November.

Lost in Translation
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/2/2010 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   
It seems like the Humira is the way to go. Do you have a regular blood check to assure that your white cells are ok?
In reading about the drugs- they mention drug interaction with OTC and Vitamins. Have you taking any of the drugs with vitamins>

What about Herbal help?
Have you had to change your diet? What about weight gain?

Sir WipesALot
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 8/2/2010 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Humira. The self injections are fantastic! I was terrified of them... TERRIFIED... but what Humira seems to be doing for me would be worth a self-injection every day (as long as insurance covered it). I inject with the pen in my belly once every two weeks. Sometimes it stings pretty bad for like a minute, and most times it's 10 or 20 seconds of "ouchy" and then gone. The needle barely goes under your skin. It is absolutely nothing like a blood draw.

It's easy, easy, easy... I actually look forward to them, since they appear to be helping. I'm walking around and living.

My life was a nightmare in varying degrees before my surgery. Self injecting is simple and painless compared to Crohn's and its various hellish complications. Can't speak to the other drugs, but do not... I repeat DO NOT... let the self injecting of Humira scare you away. With the pen, you don't even see the needle. It's really nothing at all, and I was a wreck about it before I started it five months ago. You just have to go through a learning process with them, but it's fast.
Humira, probiotics......

Bowel Resection - 10 inches terminal ileum - January 2010
DX May 2004
34 YO M

Post Edited (Sir WipesALot) : 8/2/2010 9:55:01 AM (GMT-6)


ZenaWP
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 8/2/2010 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   

I would suggest Humira or Cimzia.  Both are comparable in terms of convenience, price and effectiveness, in my opinion.  I just started back on Humira after a year on Cimzia because of continued joint pain.  I forgot how back Humira stings...I literally scream for all 10 seconds of the injection.  Cimzia is not painless to me, though.  The medicine does burn when it goes in, but not like Humira, and it burns less if you let it warm up first.  They both have their drawbacks...it either stings worse with the Humira pen or you have to do the needle for Cimzia...you get used to it, either way.     

I have continued to take all of the meds I previously took including OTC and multivitamins, calcium and vitamin D and have never been told these can interact with the biologics.  I don't have regular blood work on Humira or Cimzia...drs just ask if I've had any signs of infection.  Also, neither of these drugs caused me to gain weight overall, but it does seem like I'm bloated the day after doing Humira.  Never noticed it with Cimzia. 

You can always try one and, if it doesn't work, try the other. 
Crohn's Disease with Arthritis, Non-Erosive Reflux Disease, Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Depression/Anxiety 

GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 8/2/2010 11:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I can't feel the Cimzia at all. I can hardly feel the shots either (I get them in my abdomen).
Cimzia, Asacol

twinn-burner
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/2/2010 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I did the remicade for 1 yr.  It lasted for 2 weeks, I was getting the infusion every 4 weeks.  Then I went to Cimzia been on it about 10 months 2 shots every 4 weeks....no where near as good as remicade for me.
 
Now I want to go back to Remicade or try Humira....
 
Cimzia injection does not hurt at all.

yohimbe
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 8/26/2010 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Being doing Humira and the shots are no big deal. Never liked needles but needle phobia is much bigger than the actual pain itself.

Disconnect yourself from your thigh (tried the stomach and had severe spasms.

Literally separate your mind (the witness) from the leg, they are two distinct objects. Reframe your thoughts to: That is a leg (not MY LEG), I am not kidding you, that leg is separate from the witness. If the leg is just an object, like a chair, you can feel a mild sting and nothing else.

Lost in Translation
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/26/2010 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   

I like all the information. I had my first injections last Friday. The first two injections I wasted as the needle went in, but I did not keep it down tight enough the medication ejected all over my floors.

The nurse was so patient with me. I could give her a medal! She was there for 3.5 hrs. Could you believe it took that long to get thru 6 injections.

What know one has mentioned was tha the medication was like acid. I was so worried about the needles, that I never even thought of the medication. After the whole expeirence... Iam glad 6 down. On Sept 3rd it the two injections and then 1. Not sure if I can conitinue... but will give it the old college try.

After the injections I felt better. not so tired. That is well worth the 10 seconds of shear agony

 

 


ocamf
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/29/2010 7:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I had been on remicade for 6 plus years and it worked wonders for me, but during this time I was wearing a colostomy due to a failed reanastamosis,(reconnecting my intestines after a blockage was removed). In july of 09 the colostomy was removed and after several sugeries, dec. 09 life was good. I haven't had to have treatments all year untill now, crohns is back and possibly a fissure. So I am going to be trying Cimzia next week. So all I can say is remicade worked for me. The only reason I am going to try Cimzia is for the ease of injecting myself, compaired to a 4-5 hour IV drip. Good luck to all that have this terrible and painful condition.
I like the post about separating your mind from your body, I have been using this concept myself and the results are really fasinating. The power of focused thought and prayer are amazing and I would recommend this approach to anyone that has an open mind to getting, and staying in remission.

crohnielass
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1118
   Posted 10/29/2010 9:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I've tried remicade in the past to help heal fistula's I was happy with it and felt the benefit almost immediately. Unfotunately  remicade didn't like me and I had a reaction on 2nd dose.I Have only recently started Humira so can't really comment on its benefits as of yet. As a person who hates needles I found having the Humira shot alot less stressful than having a canular put in when you have your remicade IV  also, its more convienient for me as i work full time so give myself a shot  every 2 weeks and carry on with my day.  and not having to take time off to go to the hospital for the infusions. good luck with which drug you decide to take and hope it works for you. Bev x 

Tara28
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 10/29/2010 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Remicade, remicade, remicade.

Humira sucked for me, I hated the injecting, it did not help my symptoms, I developed a new fistula while on it, I developed a major fungal infection (throat) while on it that would NOT go away.. and it gave me psoriasis.

Remi didn't work wonder either for the fistulas but at least I had no side effects from it.
I am now being asked by my gastro to either choose remi or humira and go on it- i have chosen REMICADE :)

(my gastro said that I cannot have cimzia in Cda yet as it's only approved for other conditions?!)
33 years old, dx with Crohn's in 1998. Currently on :
Clofazimine 100mg daily,
Rifampin 600mg daily, and Clarithromycin 2 tabs daily
and Cipralex 10mg/day for anxiety.
Hydroxyzine, percocet, Ativan as needed.
5g pharmaceutical grade Omega 3's, 1000IU's Vitamin D3 daily
2 Perianal fistulas, and 1 more suspected. Crohn's only at end of colon, cecum. Remi, Asacol, Salofalk, Imuran, Humira did nada. Built immunity to long-term Cipro use, which also induced panic attacks.

cadillac33
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/29/2010 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on remicade for 2-3 years, and went on cimzia2 months ago.

No pain at all with either, but much more fatigued with the cimzia, avoiding the 3-4 hour IV is great !

I'm also taking 500 mg of cipro, I can't see where anyone else is doing the cipro. Comments?

DX in '03, initial weight loss but now have gained back a bunch. 2 flares requiring hosp stay in the past 7 years.

Tara28
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 10/29/2010 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cadillac,

I was on Cipro for 4 years straight. At the end of things , it caused me to be super sensitive to caffeine.. you know how it builds up in your system right? Your system holds onto it way longer than usual,, which can cause toxic levels.

I was always the type of person who could rink 6+ coffees a day and one right before bed, no problem,\

Now , if I have more than 1 I cannot sleep and get panic attacks.

I also hear flagyl is a better antibiotic to be on longterm than the cipro, because it's far easier for your body to develop tolerance/immunity to the cipro. Apparently the flagyl, its almost impossible to develop a tolerance, due to the chemical structure (my internal medicine doc explained why in detail but it went right over my head )..
33 years old, dx with Crohn's in 1998. Currently on :
Clofazimine 100mg daily,
Rifampin 600mg daily, and Clarithromycin 2 tabs daily
and Cipralex 10mg/day for anxiety.
Hydroxyzine, percocet, Ativan as needed.
5g pharmaceutical grade Omega 3's, 1000IU's Vitamin D3 daily
2 Perianal fistulas, and 1 more suspected. Crohn's only at end of colon, cecum. Remi, Asacol, Salofalk, Imuran, Humira did nada. Built immunity to long-term Cipro use, which also induced panic attacks.

artist guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 10/29/2010 10:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I just did my 4th rem, I felt better before the infusion was over, I get bronchitis tho. I hate that part, I have cd in throat as well as small bowel, rem helps my throat more than my small bowel, I still need pain med's, just not as many and as often. all tho the last rem wore off after 5 weeks, so man I suffered terribly until this last tuesday when I recieved rem treatment. at the time I could barley swallow solid food, within 1 1/2 hr's they brought me lunch and I ate, a little tight to swallow but not so bad, then by the time I got home I could eat almost normal

optimistic65
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/10/2010 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   
WHew is all these doctor's telling us different things????? I was on remicade for severe crohns..(yup no remission for over 20yrs) and sadly Lost n Trans, there is no CURE only a wee bit of med control. I was told once you switched from remicade to humira, you could not go back to remicade. Reason? I have no clue! Not sure why Tara28 has a choice to go back to remicade? HUH? Then there are the antibiotic.. they are a needed thing in this world but way over used in CD people, my view on Flagyl is based on the fact it can give you permanent longterm nerve pain and no it won't always go away after you stop the med. ironically they still take this chance and keep CD patients on it for long periods of time. I do get the risk/benefit of all drugs but honestly we have to take so many i wonder where the actual disease is at in this whole process?
And when to question when enough is enough? I am not implying i would go drugless but not overboard either sounds good ;) I think people feel they do not have a choice? Just do what the doc says??? I would caution against this as they make mistakes too and you should be your own advocate it is your body and life...right!

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14994
   Posted 11/10/2010 3:38 PM (GMT -6)   
We have another member who took Remicade then changed to another med, and now is back on Remicade. It can be done, they usually just give you pre meds to avoid any issues. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease
Crohn's Disease for over 35 years. Currently on Asacol, Protonix, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!

Tara28
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 11/10/2010 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
yes- the first time on remicade I was watched carefully for reactions, but no pre-medication was ever given.

THis time, after being on both Remi and Humira, my gastro says he would pre-med with benedryl and likely prednisone???! I was like, I'm not really into the buffalo hump and he said I would have no symptoms of steroids they would just put me on a 20min drip of steroid to minimize reactions.. anyone else doing this??

perhaps its unusual, ir perhaps he gave me the choice as he knows how much I HATE humira.. he probably knew I was not going to go back on humira (developed new fistula on it, and psoriasis)and helped my symptoms approx 0%.
33 years old, dx with Crohn's in 1998. Currently on :
Clofazimine 100mg daily,
Rifampin 600mg daily, and Clarithromycin 2 tabs daily
and Cipralex 10mg/day for anxiety.
Hydroxyzine, percocet, Ativan as needed.
5g pharmaceutical grade Omega 3's, 1000IU's Vitamin D3 daily
2 Perianal fistulas, and 1 more suspected. Crohn's only at end of colon, cecum. Remi, Asacol, Salofalk, Imuran, Humira did nada. Built immunity to long-term Cipro use, which also induced panic attacks.
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