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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 11/2/2017 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Does anyone in here take biologics? I have always had the impression that they are dangerous, and have lots of drug interactions. I am on several drugs for my bipolar and fibromyalgia.
The new doctor I’m going to does not give Kenalog shots in the rear. This practice just give shots in the area of pain. This means that during this awful flare, I would need shots in my shoulders, fingers, wrists, hips, and knees. Because of this, I have been thinking that perhaps I need something along with the methotrexate p.


Post Edited (Patty123) : 11/3/2017 12:18:41 AM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16605
   Posted 11/3/2017 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Patty123, while I do not have RA, I have used several of the biologics for treatment of IBD. All medications come with potential side effects. Does that mean you will have any of them, no. When these drugs are in the trial phases they are required by law to report any potential side effect. An example, when I first was put on Remicade infusions, it talked about people with congestive heart failure issues. That got my attention because I have had issues with CHF in the past. The two people that died of CHF, they both failed to tell their drs they had the condition. Just like any medication, as patients we are responsible for letting a dr know our medical history & any medications we have issues with. My suggestion is speak with your dr if you feel something additional needs to be added & take it from there.

Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

celebrate life
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2109
   Posted 11/4/2017 12:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Patty,
I have been on both Humira and Enbril. Along with mtx and prednisone. Honestly, my Drs and I are more concerned about the long term use of prednisone than the biologics. Without enbril, I am literally crippled. Occasionally I have a flare I need to get a cortisone shot to reduce, but mostly I lead a normal life. I know many people here have relied on these drugs and for those who stopped taking them, it was mainly due to they quit working or didn't help. I have heard very little about side effects.
It is something I would recommend you discuss with the rheumy and seriously consider since you have so many affected joints.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2510
   Posted 11/5/2017 8:06 PM (GMT -6)   
It all has to do with your severity
If you are unable to function while being on your current drug then by all means try the biologic.
Can you ride the flare out? If so ride it out.
I started out with the mother of all flares. Dr. that was practicing for 40 years told me I was the worst presentation he ever saw.
Wen through a couple of years of mega doses of prednisone and MTX. Leveled off and tried Humira because I wanted to feel pre-RA
However I did not attain that so I stopped
But God honest truth I turned around 100% from my presentation
I now take only Plaquenil. Do I feel great? No
However I have adapted to my new normal and I function very well. I have flares but nothing I can't shoulder thru with some Advil.
I feel very lucky
Drugs do not come without unwanted side effects.
If you need them- take them
If you can do without- do without

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/6/2017 2:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Patty,
You will see that I enrolled on the forum today, I did this in order to share my Biologic experience with you.

I do not normally join forums or share/complain about my medical condition.... But my Biologic experience has been a positive event and I share it with you and any others interested.

First a little of my Medical history.......

I am 72 and was diagnosed with Seropositive RA at the age of 62.But because the condition was not diagnosed when it first started. ( First developed in my larger joints, one elbow diagnosed as tennis elbow) and (one ankle (diagnosed as result of previous ankle injury)it was probably present much earlier.By this time 10 years ago the RA had become more recognisable and was showing in my finger joints. I was referred to a Consultant in the Rheumatology Department.
One ankle had a lot of bone degeneration and my other ankle was quickly catching up. Luckily my elbows, although still painful were not as damaged.
I had no awareness of RA and had accepted all of the mis-diagnosis and allowed this condition to continue for a number of years, without complaint or question.This was my own fault and I would urge anybody with unexplained symptoms to get second, third and as many medical opinions until whatever symptoms you have are tested and diagnosed.

By the time I was getting treatment my condition was considered severe, my walking was very much compromised and my general health following a more traditional RA path. (If there is such a thing).

For the first 6 years after being diagnosed I was given medication including a very large weekly dose of Methotrexate. This combined medication did certainly slow the development of RA. But after those 6 years there was concern that the methotrexate was causing some effect on my liver. I was sent for a full liver score scan and it was expected to show early stage 'fatty liver'. This was not the case and my results showed mid stage liver cirrhosis. This was not alcohol related and was caused by my dosage of methotrexate.

I was taken off methotrexate and put on, what was then, a very new biologic medication called Cimzia with an addition of daily Sulfasalazine. Although getting a medication related illness is not lucky, I do consider being taken off methotrexate lucky for me..Although the methotrexate was working well in the slowing of my RA, my weight, my appetite and my general wellbeing was gradually getting worse while on this drug.

I am in the UK and I would not have been prescribed Cimzia on the National Health if I had not been taken off
Methotrexate. Cimzia is very expensive and only severe cases unable to take Methotrexate are prescribed it because of the cost. Of course it is available for those who can afford it privately. I realise that it is even more expensive in the USA and not available on some Medicare Plans.

I can only talk for my own experience but My Biologic treatment has not only made me feel much better, I am at this time in remission. Obviously the damage to my body over the years has not been repaired and I still have lots of pain from the degenerated joints but that will never get better.

I have made this a long "boring" story but I think the history of my RA is relevant in my assessment of my Biologic treatment and my commendation of it.

I would expect it to improve your condition and you have nothing to fear from it.. I would however urge you to ask your Rheumatologist if you can have something other than Methotrexate to supplement your Bio treatment.

But in all fairness you would expect me to be prejudice against Methotrexate given the secondary disease it has given me.

I hope all goes well and wish you all the best with your treatment read the below link for more information

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2017
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/6/2017 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I have RA and have been taking Enbrel for about 14 years and not had any problems.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2017
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 11/6/2017 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone, thank you for posting your experiences. It is eye-opening at my end to read your post.

Best wishes,

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