Failed remi- Imuran or Humira

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 7/17/2008 9:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi All-
I have been flared for a while. Started remicade in April. I have had four doses and it is helping for only about two-three weeks. My dr said I should try something else. She wants me on Imuran I want Humira. I want humira because I felt better on the remi, just not for very long. I also know people that have been on Humira and been pregnant, but she said Imuran is risky during pregnancy. I have two little ones and may never have another baby, but I don't want to make that decision now with a one year old and being in such a severe flare. I told her I would do anything to get better, so if that is imuran I will try it. I also worry that imuran will take a while to help me feel better. Others thoughts and experiences??? I was on Pred for four months, gained 70 lbs, and have barely been functioning the last 10-11 months. What do you suggest? I love that I could say, "my friends with CD have experienced this, this, and this with "X" drug". I think she was impressed with that. PLease give me advice. Of course I will do what she wants me to do, she is the best GI I have ever had and she really listens to me. I feel she genuinly cares for me and my well being. THanks again and I'm sorry this is so long, but I want your thoughts.
27 year old female dx with CD in 2001. Pentasa 4 g/day, Prednisone 30 mg/day, Lexapro 10 mg/day, Wellbutrin 150 mg/day, Remicade, topamax, nadalol, Maxalt 10 mg as needed. Mother of son, 3, and daughter, 10 months.  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 7/17/2008 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you considered Cimzia?  I heard from one doc it has a longer duration than Remicade/Humira.  Meaning, it doesn't wear off as quickly for most.  It's a monthly shot...  Just an idea.  (I've failed both Remicade and Humira, so...)

--40 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
--rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone
--methylpred - finally off 6/15/08, tried Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--started Tysabri 3/21/08, started Xifanan 5/24/08 
--single mom to 10-yr-old girl

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/21/2008 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on imuran for the past 18 months and it did nothing for me - I was constantly supplementing it with 25-30mg of prednisone just to feel *half* normal.
I started Humira last week and I cannot believe how well I feel ALREADY!
I've gone two days without pain and have had only one BM a day for the past few days. I'm able to walk and run pain-free for the first time in over a year as well. I just can't get over this.
I don't think it's psychological as I fully expected the Humira to fail me, just like every other drug.
I don't know if this feeling will last but if so I've def become Humira's biggest fan!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 7/22/2008 6:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I just failed remi after being on it for 6 & 1/2 years! It just wasn't doing what I needed to do and I was flaring badly. My doc put me on Humira. Four weeks and 7 shots later... I am MUCH improved. So, for now I am all about staying on Humira...until it starts to wear off. I hope it doesn't! Maybe she will let you try Humira if you tell her that it will take the Imuran 3 months to really start working anyway and if you're willing to do that, then you're willing to take a few months to try the Humira.

As for the Imuran, it's VERY similar to 6mp which I was on years ago before I started having kids. It does take a few months to really build up the full effects. However, it might really work for you. I happened to get to a point where 6mp alone and remicade alone were not enough and I had to take them both together. If your doc does a little more research she will find that taking Imuran during pregnancy is not as risky as it was once thought to be. There are several women on this board who have had successful imuran pregnancies and healthy babies. My GI told me that women who take 6mp (a cousin to Imuran) while pregnant have NO GREATER INCIDENCE of birth defects/complications/etc than women who DON'T take it while pregnant. It's not the dangerous drug they once thought it to be. So, while you're not ready to have another baby right now... you have PLENTY of hope for the future if that's what you decide. I'm currently 17 weeks pregnant with baby#3. The first 2 were Remicade babies. This one will be a Humira baby. So, I totally understand the thought process of choosing a med.

I'm glad you have a doc who listens to you. Maybe you can ask her why she prefers you to take Imuran over Humira. Ask her rationale behind it and maybe you will agree with her. If not, then you can at least present a good case for why you should take the Humira. Good luck to you! Keep us posted.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 456
   Posted 7/22/2008 7:01 AM (GMT -7)   

Would your doc consider putting you on Imuran and Remicade at the same time?  When Imuran alone wasn't doing it for me, my GI added Remicade.  The studies showing increased risk with the combo only seem to apply in adolescents.  I don't know about pregnancy, though.

What about increasing the dose and/or frequency of your Remicade?  You've only been on it for 3 months.  I know that it helped me at first, but it didn't really make a lasting difference until about 5 months or so.  Unless things are really unlivable, I'd try to hang in there a little longer.  It will take a couple months for the Imuran to reach theraputic levels in your system, anyway.

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