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