Inching closer towards remicade here...BUT...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 3/4/2008 8:39 PM (GMT -7)   
We are coming to a decision regarding next step in treatment.  We think that it's going to be remicade.  It will be one year in a few days since all of hubby's stuff started; it's going to be a rough couple of days...
We need to get some chest stuff resolved first though.  Almost immediately after starting pred January (40mg/day for 2 weeks to start), he got a pretty bad cold: sinus, coughing, chest tightness, etc.  PCP treated him for that (GI said to go through PCP).  Cold got better all except for this annoying dry cough, and tightness in chest (feels like someone sitting on chest he says), and occasional heart racing.
Then, PCP gave him 2 different types of inhalers: first was albuterol (10 days I think), second was advair, one week.  Still had problems (also meanwhile tapering from the pred).  Then came: chest x-ray, pulmonary function test, and and EKG--all normal.  Still having the tightness happening.  Thursday he goes for stress test. 
GI says he doesn't think it the prednisone.  What do you all think?
He's also on: 
 oxycodone (percocet); been on that for almost a year!
 ambien CR; been on that for a while too
 pentasa 500mg, 9 pills a day; been on that since November
 prednisone 20mg/day, and now tapering by .5 per week
 xifaxan 200mg, 2 tabs 3x day; been on that for a few weeks (fistula)
 aciphex 200mg, 1 per day; started this last week
We get all scripts at the same pharmacy and they have always been on the ball about interactions and whatnot.  He doesn't want to start remicade untill this gets resolved; talked to GI again today, still doesn't think it's related to the pred. If the stress test comes out normal, I think we will just go ahead and start the remicade; last thing he need to do is have a TB prick test. 
Sorry for the book, but what say you?
Learning can only happen when a child is interested.  If he's not interested, it's like throwing marshmallows at his head and calling it eating.  Make him interested!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 3/4/2008 9:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been on Remicade for three years. It is a life saver for me. Every 6 weeks, double dose. It's very expensive. They charge about 11K. Ridiculous but needed. Just recently off of Methotrexate, wich I am very happy about. I'm taking Flagly because I too suffered a horribel chest, sinus, ear infection and after a double dose of antibiotics I now have a bacterial infection. Generally, I do pretty good though with Remicade. I take Nexiums for GERD. Whatever you decide, I wish him health. It's hard to be sick all the time. Best wishes,

Crohn's 6 Years
Remicade 3 Years

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/4/2008 9:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Is he still taking the advair??
I was on advair for a while and kept getting chest tightness and bronchitis and my docs kept saying that it wasn't the advair but once I stopped the advair in 2006 I have only had problems once and thats after my asthma doc said to try the advair and a week later I ended up woth chest tightness all over again so needless to say I haven't been taking it and I have been much better... as far as the heart racing goes I know the albuterol and if I recall right I believe that sometimes the prednisone can cause that too..
As far as the remicade goes.. it has helped me alot and I have not had any respiratory complications and I even work in a hospital so I aqm just careful to protect myself from germs..
good luck with everything..

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 3/4/2008 9:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I started noticing heart problems while on prednisone too. After several years of on and off prednisone use, I had a heart ultra sound that showed mild cardiomyopathy. I now have constant tachycardia and have to take medicine.

If you hubby is noticing heart problems, be very alert to it while on prednisone or any medicine that can affect the heart.

Also, have you guys looked at diet changes or following a more crohn's friendly diet (makers diet or SCD)? This can make a big difference in your hubby's crohn's.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7121
   Posted 3/4/2008 10:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Prednisone causes me to have shortness of breath and chest pain. I had such severe chest pain that I was given a complete cardiac work-up including a cardiac CT. My heart was in great shape. The problem was determined by elimination to be from the prednisone.

That said, your husband needs to have everything checked out. Remicade put my gut into remission and really helped my arthritic problems. But it is also a powerful med with some real side effects. Your husband needs to have his current problems under control prior to going on Remicade. Otherwise it will be difficult to tell what is causing problems if one should arise after starting the Remicade.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 3/5/2008 4:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had palpitations since this all began, I have had a couple of EKGs that show some fibrillation or whatever, but no more looking into the heart thing, just trying to get this GI issue under control. But! Since I have been on the prednisone, the palps are worse, and I didn't realize the connection. I think I need to look into that.
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 3/5/2008 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   
One explanation for chest pain is esophageal spasms. My doctor had me take an exam to measure pressure in different parts of the esophagus, called mannometry-- and it showed severe esophageal spasms. It's a painful condition but it's good having an explanation.
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