Entocort not covered by insurance...looking for suggestions!

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 529
   Posted 9/6/2009 6:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone,

Basically my private drug insurance ran out on my 21st birthday, and I just went to refill my Entocort today. I am now covered by the public drug plan here (I live in Quebec), and you pay about $600/year for it, and it's mandatory. They say they cover 30% of your drug costs, up to a maximum over $80/month. Anyway, I went to refill my Entocort today and got the pleasant surprise that Entocort isn't covered by our public plan here because it's so expensive, so I have to pay the nearly $200/month on top of the $600/year, which is really frustrating. Anyway, I got a week's supply instead ($50, yay) and I figure this week I'll have to go to the doctor to try to find a cheaper alternative.

I was supposed to start switching to something else this month anyway because I've been on Entocort for 6 months now anyway, however I think that the plan was to keep me on Entocort while the other drugs start to kick in. Because of this, I really would rather not stay on the Entocort during the adjustment period, so I was wondering if any of you had any suggestions for maintenance medications that don't take months to kick in. I don't know if there are any, I've already been on Pentasa and had a bad reaction to it too, so that's out of the question. I would just rather not go through months of pain because of this either... I figure at worst, I could go on prednisone in the meantime as well, but I'd really prefer not to if I have the choice.

Does anyone here have any suggestions for fast-acting maintenance drugs? If not, I am sure that some of you must have gone through periods of waiting for drugs to take effect. How was it for you? How did you deal with the pain/effects? Right now, I am feeling pretty decent, except for some tenderness in my lower abdomen, but nothing I can't deal with.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 909
   Posted 9/6/2009 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Well prednisone is dirt cheap and works quickly. Entocort is actually a synthetic corticosteroid, so they're nearly the same drug, although prednisone carries with it a much greater number of side effects. If it is something you'd only be taking for a short period of time while you waited for other meds to work, then I would suggest it. Most people who have been on prednisone for an extended period of time have a love/hate relationship, due to the fact that it works so well but at a cost, but short term/low dose usage has minimal (or no) side effects.
29f, PhD student, diagnosed with Crohn's ileocolitis in 2/06.
During the summer of 2006, I completed the Adacolumn Apheresis clinical trial, which helped me enjoy 2+ years of remission and more than one year med-free. During spring and summer of 2009 the symptoms slowly but surely began to return, and now I'm flaring again.
Colonoscopy/endoscopy scheduled for 9/10; barium X-ray scheduled for 9/18
Currently taking: 4g Pentasa, 20mg prednisone, 150mg Trazadone, multivitamin, vitamin D supplement

Post Edited (Vitak) : 9/6/2009 10:29:06 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 9/6/2009 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Other than Pentasa, common maintenance meds are Imuran and 6-MP. Those take a while to kick in.

If you are currently taking two or three pills a day, you have to taper the Entocort. So no matter what, you will need to buy it for a while, but at least each refill would last longer. Prometheus does not have a patient assistance plan for Entocort but your doctor might be able to give you coupons or free samples. Maybe you can switch from Entocort to Prednisone without a taper if the cost is a big issue--something to ask your doctor.

I feel your pain. My insurance does not have drug coverage and I paid about $500 a month for Entocort last year.

I am not currently on any medication except probiotics. When I have bad days, I go on an exclusive liquid diet for one or a few days using a product similar to Ensure/Boost. I do this 3-4 days a month or more.
July 2007 Drug-Induced Liver Injury
January 2008 Crohn's Ileitis
Currently trying... Enteral Nutrition, VSL#3, Primadophilus Reuteri, Folic Acid, Vitamin E

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 9/6/2009 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Valerie, I think your best bet is to switch to prednisone since it's almost free.

My brother was recently diagnosed with Crohn's. Without even checking with me first he went off and bought Entocort. I already had a whole bottle at home. He's feeling a lot of tenderness at the moment. After 2 weeks it didn't make no difference whatsoever. Since he doesn't have a private insurance i told him maybe he should switch to prednisone for now. Entocort is almost 200$ per month if you stay at 9mg.

His dr. should have asked him if he had private insurance before prescribing something so expensive. So anyways he's on pred for now and it's starting to kick in already. As soon as the tenderness goes away i'll make sure he tapers. I really don't want him to depend too much on it.

So go for prednisone for now. But if you're feeling fine then maybe you should try going without any meds til you get your new meds.
26 years old
CD for 20 years
Bowel resection in Dec. 2006
Pentasa 4000mg

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 342
   Posted 9/7/2009 9:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with the other replys..prednisone is cheap cheap cheap...but since you had a problem with Pentasa (what happened?) I take Pentasa and its fine with me..but in the past Asacol is a maintenance drug that works well..i suggest you ask about it..its basically the same as Pentasa..Imuran just lowers your white blood cell count and lowers your immunity..which would only help if the theory is accurate that Crohn's is an autoimmune disorder caused by a raging immune system...in my situation..the bloodwork has never supported that theory..and i took Imuran for 5 years with no results....you should really ask your GI about the old fashioned sulphur drugs..i know someone who took it who had Crohn's and it really helped him...i bet its probally dirt cheap...6mp is a drug used in chemo therapy...same as Imuran..same theory..and i have been told that one's hair might fall out (as if we have enough to deal with..we don't want to also.. lose our hair). 6mp is not cheap..and Imuran isn't either..unless they give you the generic...azathioprine...which will cost less...their is also the cipro/flagyl cocktail...which is pretty cheap too..cheaper than other drugs...that supposedly have anti-inflammatory properties..which would then support for the most part the next theory that Crohn's is caused by some type of bacteria ..so it all depends on what you believe and what works for you...good luck hope i helped

 crohns/colitis/lupus/hyperthyroidism-seton fistula pentasa -Remicade in process


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