in remission...should I start Humira anyway?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/19/2010 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
After being on Remicade for 5 years, my body has built up antibodies, so I stopped taking it.  My doctor wants me to start Humira right away.  Since being on the Remicade, I've been in remission, other than a perianal fistula, which flares up about once a week.  I'm tempted to just stay off all medicine.  I follow a pretty strict diet and hope to control things that way.  I just hate to start a new drug unless I really need it.  Or should I?  Thanks in advance for any advice or experiences you have had.......Jennifer

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 947
   Posted 3/19/2010 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I would go on some type of a maint. med, your in remission now but what about tommorrow.
Diagnosed with Crohns in 2001
First and hopefully last Ileocecectomy 2/18/2009

Medications:Humira,  Asacol, FolicAcid,  Multivitamin, 1000mg Calcium, Vitamin D, Probiotics, Pepcid Complete, Questran,  Monthly B-12 injections.

Living a Great life with my Wife and my two Chocolate Labs
Hunter & Hailey.
I love them dearly.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 414
   Posted 3/19/2010 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
What about trying a slightly lesser drug if they're and option for you (such as pentasa or an immunosuppressant such as methotrexate, 6mp or immuran?) I'm an episodic user of remicade as in I take it until I hit remission (usually takes 1-2 infusions) and then just take methotrexate to maintain it (which has been up to 3 years at a time!) I'm glad my doctors agree and don't make me have remicade regularly during my remission periods as I don't believe such a strong medication should be taken for the sake of it, but at the same time I believe in taking maintenance medication but the milder you can get away with the better. I like to know the big guns (remicade and failing that humira) are on standby for when I need them but due to the risk of building antibodies I'd rather not waste my chances with them until I'm ill enough to warrant their use. Hope that kind of makes sense. Medicating is a very personal choice but whatever you decide I hope you get to enjoy a long remission :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 3/19/2010 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Had you not had a reaction to Remicade, would you have stayed on it?

I'm on Humira and have been in remission for quite some time, but wouldn't think of going off of it because I don't want to go back to how things were before it.

I would stay on something to keep your CD in check. I'd be afraid that going off any meds things would get worse quicker than if you stayed on some maintenance med.

Just my opinion...

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, Coumadin

Rider Fan
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 3/19/2010 4:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm curious, how did you find out that you have antibodies? Does your GI do routine testing for antibodies even though you are in remission?
33 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. Proferrin iron pills.

Tried SCD, didn't work, now avoiding gluten and dairy.

Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/19/2010 5:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Imuran is the only other drug I can tolerate; Pentasa and the like have given me various reactions (increased heart rate, headaches). I don't know if Imuran alone would help maintain remission. I used to take that with the Remicade, but the dr. took me off it 2 years ago...

I need to go get my blood tested to be positive it's antibodies. My doctor guessed that's what it was b/c 20 minutes into each of my last treatments, I broke out in hives and couldn't breathe. I took Claritan to combat it and finished receiving the Remicade....

I suppose I will start the Humira, as I don't want to take any chances. If I didn't have the active fistula, I might consider staying off drugs. But, I don't want it to flare up into an abscess again, or, worse, form another one. UGH...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 681
   Posted 3/19/2010 10:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Ride Fan apparently in the States there's a lab called Prometheus that tests for anti-bodies to remicade and can also diagnose crohn's. The tests are called Prometheus tests. I don't know if we in Canada can get these tests, although I sure would like to. (Anyone correct me if I'm wrong please). I'm actually afraid to ask my GI cause she's getting anoyd with my many questions me thinks. The last time I saw her she wouldn't even do a test for vitamin d when I asked. So I got my family dr. to do it.rolleyes Rob Lions Fan smilewinkgrin

Male, 54 years old with Crohn's since 15 years old, diagnosed at age 46. Terminal ileum resected 2002. 5 months of remission. Crohn's has now been active since early 2003. Had a gall bladder removed Nov. of 2009. Currently on Remicade every 8 weeks, Nexium, Iron, B-12 injection every 4 weeks,5-asa Asacol, Morphine Sulfate as needed for pain. Cymbalta for long term pain control. 5-asa Salofalk, Entecort, Imuran and Prednisone in the past.

Post Edited (Grandpato2) : 3/19/2010 11:09:39 PM (GMT-6)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 3/20/2010 8:59 AM (GMT -7)   
You are in remission because of the Remicade, I would bet you that if you didn't get on any meds at all, you would flare rather quickly. I would start the Humira to keep your remission intact. JMHO and Hugs!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 3/22/2010 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Everyone is different but not many can go very long without maint drugs. It's just the way it is. I don't know about you but I will take whatever my Gi gives me to keep from having surgery again.
Crohns dx in 2002. ilieum and colon resection 2002. Ilieum resection 2007.
Started Humira dec, 08
colestid 4 pills 2 x  a day

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