Hello - I hav'nt been on here for quite some time (good thing I guess), since I've been in 100% remission (again) for almost 2 years. I quit smoking in December 2007, only to have the UC come back again (this is the third time - guess I'd learn after a-while). In any case, I was put on Prednisone right away, which of-course worked for a-while, but became dependent real quick - just like last time. Flare is getting worse, so my doc put me on Imuran, starting @ 50mg/day. Well, as we all know, it takes awhile for the Imuran to start working (worked great for me last time - I tend to respond well to meds...), and it's just not working fast enough this time. Flare is getting real bad, I'm up to 52.5mg / day of the Pred (which I dont have any real side effects from, somehow) and I'm just so freakin' busy with school (I'm a Mechanical Engineering Senior) and life in general, I just cant afford to be in a flare right now! So, it seems that my Doc may want to get me on Remicade, or it is an option at-least. I've got VA healthcare, so cost is not an issue (its all free). I'm pretty sure the Remicade will work for me, as it worked great for my Dad who also had UC - and we seem to respond the same to everything. My biggest concern with the Remicade is that it seems to be the end-all UC drug. I'm worried that if I start with it, and it eventually stops working, there is simply no other option than surgery - which I really dont want. Even if it works for 5+ years, thats just not late-enough in life for me to be OK with a bag on my side (I'm 29). Also, I was wondering if anyone knows whether you tend to get 'dependent' on Remicade, as with all the other drugs? By this I mean, could I get a couple infusions, get in remission, and just stay that way without additional infusions - or will I be stuck on it for good? I have been successful in reaching remission and coming off all of the meds both times in the past with Pred and Imuran - seems I just cant quit smoking (same way my Dad kept his in remission for 20+ years), which is better to me than Pred and/or Imuran.
Sorry for the long post, but havnt been here in awhile, and want to give good background.
BTW - Im sure there's plenty of past posts that have the info I seek, but the search function on this site doesnt seem to work even remotely.... I tried and only got 2 posts in the last year with the key word 'pred' - yeah, right!
Diagnosed Left-Sided UC Dec 2003.
Full remission for 1-1.5 yrs twice. (both thwarted by my quitting smoking)
Full flare again since Jan. 2008
4500mg / Day Mesalamine
52.5mg / Day Prednisone
50mg / Day Imuran