Humira not helping as much as I'd like

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 5/23/2007 5:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I just had my 8th injection and am very depressed over the level of response that I'm getting. I do get relief, but it only lasts for about 8 days. I was moved to weekly injections 3 weeks ago and am still having problems with Enthesitis and tendonitis in my knees, Achilles tendons, ankles and feet. I'm also taking 10mg of pred every other day and today, my Rheumy has bumped that back up to 20 mg per day.
I know my whining sounds as if I'm not getting any improvement, but I really am. I can tell the difference in 8 to 12 hours after the injection, it's just that I had been so hopeful that starting Humira would give me back my life. Instead, I'm still having pain from both my joints and my Crohn's and I'm almost desperate to know if anyone else has gotten mixed results from Humira.
I realize, of course, that perhaps I had let my hoped get up too high and I'm definitely not sorry that I've started it. I knwo that I'll never be perfect. I really just wanted to be able to work part time and matbe go back to school, but unless I suddenly get more improvement, neither of those will be an option. Sigh.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
 God helps those who help themselves.
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Harley Diva
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 5/23/2007 10:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I don't think your whining...I know it is disappointing when you don't get the help you think you will. I'm not on Humira. I am on Enbrel and I keep waiting for it to take this away so I can get on with life. Are you on any other drugs with it? I am taking MTX also. It does seem to work better with a combo. Did you try any of the other TNF inhibitors? I hope you start feeling better soon and can get moving on some of your plans.
Harley Diva
....RA, HPT,  drugs: MTX Enbrel, bp meds,folic acid

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 5/24/2007 12:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Diva, the trip in to the GI and the Infusion Center is 1.5 hours each way, at best. My joints are so screwed up that mass transit is a nightmare, but so is parking in Manhattan. Add the travel, search for parking and the time involved in a Remicade infusion and it would be an all day affair. With Humira, I can self inject at home in minutes. This combined with the pain in the neck that my insurance company can be made Humira the best option.

I also started on enbrel and got very little relief. However, at that point, I was in undiagnosed thyroid failure which resulted in severe fatigue and muscle/body aches. Finding the thyroid antibodies shed a whole new light on my Enbrel failure and I would have gone back on that if I weren't having so many Crohn's symptoms. When I started Enbrel, my gut was in remission and that was why I chose it back then. With the Crohn's flaring, Remicade and Humira are my only choices.

Right now, I am not on any DMARDS or Immunosuppressants. My Rheumy would like me on something in addition to the Humira but since I am anxious to try and get pregnant, he is reluctant to script anything other than Pred for now. He has referrred me to the Goddess of all thing IBD at Mt Sinai NY and I'm hoping she'll be able to steer me in the right direction and relieve the Rheumy's anxiety. I attened a lecture she gave last year on Women's Issues in IBD and she dis a lot of reassuring about pregnancy, breastfeeding and meds. Hopefully she'll get me some better relief.

I hope that you find relief soon and can get on with your life. Boy, I really understand that wish.

Post Edited (Keah) : 5/24/2007 1:28:27 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 5/24/2007 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
hey Keah
so, so sorry.  hmmmmmmm? looking for reassuring experience...hmmmm....
well, with both Enbrel and Humira i do remember it being like 4 or 5 months into therapy that i had even a little improvement.  not sure how many months you're into Humira.
did you do a loading dose of 160mg first or start w/ every 2 weeks @40mg?
lemme' see...rheummy had me every other week for about 4 months along with Imuran...but NOTHING got better (some Crohns symptoms got a tad better but Crohns isn't really what's disabling for me, it's the RA & joints).
then he had me do it every week (did that for like 4 months) then i was injecting every 4 days Humira plus we upped the Imuran too.  i believe that summer i did OK.  but the RA just continued to progress leading to Remicade.
i'm not a good example to measure how well these TNF & dmards work...10 years no treatment for RA did quite the number.
but i must say that it was the 4 and 5 month time period for Humira that i noticed "improvement".
hey best wishes with baby-makin'!  (ya's shown that a remarkable number of women hit remission during pregnancy & a while thereafter!)
i know it's hard...hard isn't even a good word to describe it; i do know what you're feeling, been disapointed with failure of these meds twice going on 3 times now...give it your all in hanging in there.
take are Keah

Arthritis Forum Moderator & Co-Pilot
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. AS. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Kidney Stones (oh joy). Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 600mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; 6MP 50mgQD plus 75mg weekly; Mesalamine 4GramsQD; Prednisone 20mgQD; Entocort 9mgQD; Meclizine; Augmentin; Tigan 300mg; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam 5mg; Rozerem 8mg; Diclofenac; Celebrex; Percogesic; Dilaudid 4mg. 

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