Which to Choose, Remicade or Humira?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 1/7/2008 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I saw my GI today and he wants me to taper off Entocort quickly, wait a month, then have a colonoscopy. If it shows active disease, which we are pretty much expecting, darn it all, then he wants me to stay on Imuran and also go on Remicade or Humira. He says its my choice, whether I want the convenience of going every 2 months, or doing it myself, but more often. While I love the idea of something being convenient to me for a change, it's really not as much a consideration to me if there is a medical reason to do one drug over the other. Insurance approval is important, but assuming they will cover both, which is the better choice? And is this as big a decision as it seems, or am I making this out to be a bigger deal then it is? I've never been on prednisone (thank goodness) because my GI feels the side effects outweigh the good since my symptoms aren't something I haven't been able to function with (sometimes it's just barely functioning, but I figure if I'm breathing then I'm accomplishing something!). So some good advice would be very appreciated from the people who have lived with this disease alot longer than me. And just to have it said, this board has been the most educational and supportive place there could be. Thank you all. I don't post alot but read most of it, you are all very appreciated.
diagnosed 11/06, solving the mystery of years of on/off abdominal pain. No more "it's just a virus". 33f with 2 boys, a lovable dog, and a wonderful husband. 150 mg Imuran, bowel resection 9/07, healing well and feeling well.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 1/7/2008 4:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on both Remicade and Humira. I'm currently on Humira. For ME - Humira wins hands down. I had allergic reactions to Remicade which meant that it was a 5-6 hour long infusion, since I had to have pre-meds and then a slower-than-normal drip. Humira is 10 seconds every 2 weeks in the comfort of my own home, usually in my pajamas. :) For the record, I've had the same relief with both.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/7/2008 4:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I've talked to my doc about these options, too.  I'm currently in a clinical trial for Low Dose Natrexone, but if it doesn't work out, my next option s either Remicade or Humira.  No contest for me...Humira, for the convenience.  The Remicade requires that you go to the doc's office for an infusion and sit there for a couple of hours while it drips in.  With the Humira, you inject it youself (or I'm sure you can have a nurse do it).  So, that's my thought on the subject!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 1/7/2008 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello! I was on Remicade a little over a year ago but had a bad reaction which put me in the ER, it didn't control my inflammation at all. I am also on Entocort and it concerns me a bit that your GI wants to taper you off of the Entocort quickly, my GI has tried to taper me off of Entocort before and each time ended up in partial obstruction...Entocort is my God send. I started Humira about 3 months ago and it works sooo much better for me than Remicade. I am currently taking Humira bi-weekly and 6mg Entocort daily. My GI tried to taper me off the Entocort around November but when I weaned off completely I had such abdominal pain that on Christmas day I almost went to ER but pushed thru it. The Entocort and Humira work amazing for me so GI says that's what I will stay on. I don't know if there's any medical reason to choose Entocort or Humira, might want to ask your GI about the differences. I just know what works for me, Humira-not Remicade. The convenience of self-injection of the Humira at home is great, no 2 hour infusions at the Dr. office anymore. The shot burns a lot but only for a few seconds then it's fine.
Please ask if you have any other questions. Good luck to you!
Marci, 38 years young, Rockledge, FL
Dx with Crohn's disease March 2006
Currently on bi-weekly Humira, daily 6mg Entocort, daily 2-3x 5mg hydrocodone (for pain), and daily 75mg Effexor,
plus 3x per day heavy iron supplements for anemia,
calcium supplement, daily multi-vitamin,
Lasix as needed for ankle/feet swelling
Self-proclaimed "recluse"  do to CD  ;)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 1/7/2008 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm currently taking Remicade, and have never taken Humira. However, my last injection, which was over the holidays, which were busy enough, I waited 2 hours before I even went in for my injection, which then took over three hours. I'm definitely going to talk to my doctor about Humira next time I go.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7122
   Posted 1/7/2008 5:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Because Remicade is considered a medical treatment as opposed to a prescription, it is usually covered by insurance differently than Humira. I would definitely call your insurance company or the GI's billing office [if that is the place where you would get the infusions] and find out what your co-pays for each would be.

I know some here pay very little for Remicade but Humira prescription co-pays are very high. Others, like myself had coverage that made then relatively the same. I paid $12 for each infusion every six weeks. My Hunira cost $9 a month at the local pharmacy or $9 for three months if I ordered by mail. It all really depends on your individual insurance coverage. My GI's nurse was telling me last week that they had one patient who switched to Humira from Remicade but had to go back to Remicade because of cost. Her Remicade co-pay per infusion was $20. Her monthly cost for Humira was $800.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?

D&G's Mommy
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 1/7/2008 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on Remicade for a couple of years and it just started to lose its effect so I switched to Humira when it was still in trials. When the trial ended I wound up having to pay $500 every three months. Remicade was 30 per infusion. I wish the Remicade worked, I'd be back in a minute.
Mommy to a 5 and 6-year-old
Currently on Humira, questran from time to time.
Using acupuncture.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3042
   Posted 1/8/2008 3:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi I am on Remicade for over 2 years and doing very good with it. I have no-side effects from the Remicade. I also am taking Imuran these to drugs work very good together.
Hi, I am teddybearweiser, I am a male.
I was diagnosed with crohns disease when i was admitted to the hospital
in 1992, in Jan of 1993 I was back in the hospital for surgery for my crohns. I had part of my right colon resectioned with ilecolonstomy.
 My GI doctor has me on Asacol, Dicyclomine,Imuran,Celebrex and Remicade. B-12 injection once a month.
My Internest doctor has me on Lisnopril-HTCZ and Folic Acid. Diagnosed
with Osteoarthritis July 2007

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/8/2008 7:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I have not taken either of these meds. But my personal opinion is why not try the Remicade first, see if it works, and if not then try the Humira.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 1/8/2008 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I myself plan to try remicade first then Humira. My Doc is giving my higher dose of Imuran a try first and see if my inflammation finally goes away, if it does not Remicade would be next for me.
I also would look at the costs. I really hate that insurance influences our decisions on our health care though.
Humira is not covered as well on my RX plans so Remicade would be cheaper for me. (i have insurance through work and through my hubby's employer so the Remicade might be cheaper overall with dual coverage)


Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort (take zofran for nausea now)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma

Also have Arthritis, and feel like I am falling apart sometimes...

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/13/2008 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on Remicade since Jan 07.. four months ago I started having a side effect that is not in the books.. not on record.. no one else has had. I begin to have a sharp pain in my neck.. it travels down my spine until it hits my lower back. I begin to quake SO hard that can't stay in the chair, even when I'm completely reclined. My body continues to spasm out of control.. they have to stop the infusion, and slow it up. Last time, Jan 2, it happened after only 40 cc into the infusion.. Has any one else ever suffered one of the side effects on record.. or something different like me. Now I'm on Humira, but haven't started the injections yet, cause I'm really scared of the listed side effects. My doctor has prescribed it, saying the meds results outway the risk.. what?? How's death a risk to live with!? I need to know, before I go sticking myself with the pens.. has any one suffered from the side effects of either Remicade or Humira and if so, what was it? How are you coping with it?

Aimee =)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 1/13/2008 9:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on both.

Remicade was great - put me in remission, healed my fistulas. I had more longterm info on it then Humira (esp with pregnancy/breastfeeding issues), which was reassuring as I'm of that age. However, Remicade was EXPENSIVE for me and took a long time. I gave up most of a weekday anytime I needed an infusion, and it cost me a lot of money.

After 2.5 years, I started to build antibodies to the Remicade and reacted to it. Plus it stopped working. We didn't catch it in time and it put me into a huge flare that included hospitalization.

We moved to Humira as a last ditch effort before surgery (it hadn't been approved by FDA for Crohns yet but my ins approved it anyways).

Upside is that it's convienant. and it's cheaper. I pay my $40 copay for a box, which is a month's worth. It falls under my prescription drug coverage instead of medical coverage so it's much cheaper.

Downside is that I have to mess with the mail order pharmacy every month and that's a hassle in itself. It's also painful, and I psych myself out each time I have to do it.

I didn't have side effects on either, really, and no reactions to either until I built the antibodies.

If I was given the choice, I think I might go with Humira for cost and time reasons alone.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 1/13/2008 10:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Once i became resistant to the remicade there was really no point. Although i kept going back hoping it would change. I had my first dose of humira 2 weeks ago, and am scheduled to hurt myself with that darn pen again on thursday. For those of u on humira, how soon b4 u noticed positive effects? I've had increase of appettite but i dont know if thats due to the humira or my body just recovering from being in the hospital. I'm naturally greedy :O)
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 1/13/2008 11:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on Remicade, developed a reaction to it, and had to stop it. I hated the inconvenience of it. It really wound up taking 5 to 6 hours total because of the waiting to get a chair, getting premedicated, waiting more, getting the drug, waiting while they slowed it down several times, waiting afterward to make sure I was ok, ... And it really didn't help me that much for all the trouble it gave me. At the time I thought it was helping a lot, but really it wasn't.
Humira has worked extremely well for me (took about three months to get my Crohn's under control) and it takes only a coule of seconds. I take Benadryl 30 minutes prior. Take the shot. That's about it. For me and my insurance situation it is cheaper with Humira.
Good luck with your decision. I hope one or the other works for you.
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