Remicade & demyelenating polyneuropathy

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 5/15/2008 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband was recently diagnosed with crohn's and started remicade on April 10th while at the hospital. He's had 2 infusions of remicade and due for his next infusion on May 22nd (next week). However, a week after the first infusion, he developed foot drop in his left foot. We thought it was because he'd been hospitalized for 6 weeks. Anyway, he's been out of the hospital and it still wasn't getting better, so we went and saw a neurologist. She did a nerve conduction study of the nerve his both his legs, and the verdict was that the nerves in both his legs are conducting slowly (not just his left leg). So, her diagnosis right now is demyelinating polyneuropathy, which she says is likely from the remicade, and her recommendation is to stop the remicade, and see if the symptoms go away.

The remicade is the only thing that has helped my husband's crohn's flare - he's on 80 mgs of prednisone, and is still not back to normal. I know that remicade has a known possible side effect of demyelenating disorders of the central nervous system. Well, I'm worried that my husband now has multiple sclerosis. He doesn't have any other symptoms except for the foot drop, and the neurologist has not ordered an MRI or spinal tap. She did the physical examination, and I guess he didn't show any of the typical symptoms of MS.

Here are my questions:
* Anyone else experienced this? Will cessation of remicade result in his myelin sheath being restored and symptoms to go away?
* Can this be a early symptom of MS? What other conditions can do this?
* What tests and questions should we pose to his neurologist next time we meet?

Thanks for your help
Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff
Home now after being in hospital for 45 days
Canasa, Lialda, Vancomycin, Flagyl, Colestipol, Pred 80 mgs, Remicade (3rd infusion due 5/22/08), VSL#3, FloraStor
Still having problems, hoping for a remicade miracle
Need to get off the pred ASAP

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 5/16/2008 6:17 AM (GMT -6)   
One of the side effects of the Remicade is indeed neurological problems -- but that doesn't mean MS, necessarily! It just means that the Remicade can affect the nervous system, cause your husband to have weakened limbs, and the doctors recommendation to stop taking it is very smart. I'm sorry, as it appears that the Remicade is the best treatment for Crohns...but you don't want to be adding symptoms!
Presumably your husband's doctor knows about all the other meds he's one? It could be that there is a conflict there among all of them, too.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3571
   Posted 5/16/2008 8:32 AM (GMT -6)   


Welcome to the MS forum.  I am so sorry about your husbands health problems.  You have heard from our most experienced member (Uppitycats).  I don't know too much about Crohn's or remicade.  It sounds like the remicade may have been the culprit.  You have asked some really good questions but I really think these are question for your husband's doctors.  I would contact them right away and pose those very good questions.  I am assuming you have asked these same questions on the Crohn's board.  You are more than welcome here but I think you will find more experience with remicade there.  Please keep us posted as to how he is doing.  I wish you and your husband the best of luck.

Love and prayers,

Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006

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