Welcome to HealingWell, redbull. I hope you'll find this forum helpful and supportive to you.
Remicade does not affect your bone marrow. It interferes with a blood protein (TNF) that seems to be over-produced in people with certain auto-immune disorders such as UC and rheumatoid arthritis. It can have some serious side effects, but they're not common. Statistically, a little over 50% of people with UC attain a remission with Remi. The most common reactions are from the body forming antibodies to the proteins in the Remi, and those reactions may require stopping the medication. Like all of the meds we take, it works a long time for some of us, a short time for others.
The cost to you depends on your insurance coverage. It runs $8 - 10K a treatment, but usually that is discounted by almost half because of agreements with the insurance carriers. My insurance company pays 52% of what is billed, I pay a $35 co-payment for each treatment. For me, it's less out of pocket than some of the medications.
Prednisone is not intended for maintenance, and if you're flaring each time you taper off, you've become steroid dependent. Add to that the fact that over time steroids lose their effectiveness and the side effects, it's not a good drug to stay on for long periods of time. Are you taking any 5-ASA, such as Sulfasalazine, Asacol or Colazal? Those are usually maintenance drugs for us. They are taken orally, and can also be taken in a rectal form to help with the lower end of the colon.
Do you know where in your colon the disease is? Throughout, or only partial? That can also affect treatment. In any case, I'd suggest a good probiotic to replace the good bacteria in your colon. These can be very helpful to us. I take Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri, others take VSL #3, Culturelle or other varieties.
Again, welcome to HealingWell, and I hope you're soon feeling better.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal, Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
Posted 3/10/2008 6:06 PM (GMT -7)
hi KTM I did try asacol in the beginnig but it made me sick I could not tollerate it.Mercaptopurine is a 6 amp drug I doent know the difference between 6 & 5 amp drugs but i did try it. I did try suppositories in the beginning but did not seem to work. Thank You for responding,Redbull.
Posted 3/10/2008 6:10 PM (GMT -7)
Hi Judilyn I have taken 5 amp meds like asacol but it made me sick. Mercapto is a 6 amp drug but may have to up mg. thank you for responding Redbull.
Posted 3/10/2008 6:43 PM (GMT -7)
I completely understand your problem. I was in the same situation. I ended up being allergic to all the stuff out there for ulcerative collitis and at that time nothing was working. I started remicade for about 1 and a half years and it has worked wonders. The only thing I get is maybe a sinus infection in between treatments and that has really been it. I pretty much live a normal life now, other than having to get the treatments every 2 months.
Currently it is Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:28 PM (GMT -7)
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