Immunosuppressants, allergies, and flares

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Pessimist
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/12/2008 1:20 AM (GMT -6)   

Immunosuppressants are intended to prevent the immune system from attacking.  Are springtime allergies not an immune response?  Why would immunosuppressants not prevent all immune responses, including reactions to pollen and other allergens?

 

If Remicade is compromising my immune system to protect my colon from being attacked by a hyper immune response, why would it not similarly suppress my immune response to pollen?

 

My first flare (and diagnosis) occurred last spring, so I am fearful that I am facing difficulties in the next few weeks. 


M-39, UC Diagnosed June 2007

Other stuff:  Migraines/headaches, high blood pressure, essential tremor

Previous Meds: Colazol (caused pancreatitis), antibiotics, Prednisone (several cycles 20mg/day)

Current Meds: Remicade beginning in Oct ‘07, various vitamins, Imitrex, Lortab, Lisinopril


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30376
   Posted 4/12/2008 1:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I would think that you might not have as manyor as severe allergic reactions as you did last year since you are on immunosuppressants this year.

Are you truly allergic with the appropriate IGE, etc levels...or is your body somewhat stimulated by a mild allergic reaction to trigger an autoimmune response to attack the body?

Hard to know what exactly you will have this year.....interesting to hear how you're doing.

Try not to be fearful...the extra stress/fear stimulation doesn't help. Do have on hand some antihistamines (if you can take them) in case you need them.

What are the reactions you normally get in spring?

quincy
*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!


Pessimist
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/12/2008 2:19 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the response Quincy.

I have always had moderate allergies all year (dust and mold, I assume) and they worsened in the spring with pollens.  I took several different perscription and over the counter allergy medications over the years, none of which had any positive effect.  However, most of my allergy symtoms completely disappeared a few years ago (other than a few rough days in the spring), but they resumed a few months ago around the time of my fourth Remicade infusion.  I cannot explain why I stopped having the itchy/sneezing reactions, nor do I know if their return is in any way related to the Remicade.   

I have never been tested so I do not know if I have reactions to specific allergens (or whether I am actually allergic, or just having a stimulated response).   

I just find it odd that I have been told that Remicade is all but eliminating my immune system, yet I could still have an immune reaction to pollen.  I suppose that there is much more to it than that, and I don't quite undertstand all of the elements at work here.   



M-39, UC Diagnosed June 2007

Other stuff:  Migraines/headaches, high blood pressure, essential tremor

Previous Meds: Colazol (caused pancreatitis), antibiotics, Prednisone (several cycles 20mg/day)

Current Meds: Remicade beginning in Oct ‘07, various vitamins, Imitrex, Lortab, Lisinopril

Post Edited (Pessimist) : 4/12/2008 2:22:11 AM (GMT-6)


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 4/12/2008 6:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I've often wondered that myself. Last year I had the blood test to try and determine what I was allergic to. The test came back negative for everything including hazelnuts in which I know I am 100% positive that I'm allergic to. So I asked my primary if being on 6mp can mess with the results and she said she didn't know. So then I asked my GI and he said that 6mp and Imuran suppress the immune system but in a different way. He gave me a bunch of medical terms but I'd be darned if I can remember them! :) All I know is that since I started 6mp, my allergies are 10x's worse then before!
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Fibromyalgia-'06~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
To help Healingwell - click here: DONATE
 
 
 
 

 
 


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 4/12/2008 8:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Actually, Remicade doesn't greatly suppress your immunity as a whole. It only suppresses one protein (TNF) which is part of the body's defense system. Since this protein isn't involved in allergic reactions, Remicade usually doesn't help with seasonal allergies.

I have no idea what allergy blood tests look for, but standard skin tests look for response by a specific immunoglobulin (blood protein) that is involved in the majority of seasonal allergies. I have major problems with mold and tree pollens, however skin tests are negative. So I take my Zyrtec, top it off with a Chlortrimetron on especially bad days, and muck through the day.
Judy
 
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.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
The information I share on this forum is based only on my own experience and study. It is important to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


Pessimist
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/12/2008 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the responses.  That's the clarity I was seeking.  It makes sense that Remicade is targeting a different part of the immune system.  I had just assumed that they were all immune responses and it was all the same. 

I guess if I had thought this through, I would have realized that Remicade would be perscribed for severe allergies if it was effective at treating them. 


M-39, UC Diagnosed June 2007

Other stuff:  Migraines/headaches, high blood pressure, essential tremor

Previous Meds: Colazol (caused pancreatitis), antibiotics, Prednisone (several cycles 20mg/day)

Current Meds: Remicade beginning in Oct ‘07, various vitamins, Imitrex, Lortab, Lisinopril


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30376
   Posted 4/12/2008 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi..thanks Judy for the clarification.

Pessimist ....have you considered to try Singulair...it also targets specific reactions due to allergies. I think it's better than being on constant antihistamines.

I have "allergies"....but not clinically fitting to the criteria. IGE and other levels go up, but not high enough to be classified...sigh. What helped is one doctor who actually said "we don't really know what to do with patients like you whose whole system reacts in a way that doesn't fit into a specific criteria". It was freeing actually, and allowed me to only treat as I went along rather than trying to take the allergy meds continually.

Sherry....that's very strange regarding your allergies being worse.  How long have you been on the Singulair? 

quincy


*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Post Edited (quincy) : 4/12/2008 2:01:32 PM (GMT-6)


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 4/12/2008 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Quincy, that's basically where I am. My reactions are identical to "allergies" except they aren't IGE-mediated, so desensitization won't work. All I can do is treat it symptomatically, and I live in the allergy capital of North America.

One more reason I'm prone to say "I have autoimmune disease. Right now it's showing itself in my colon, skin and nose. Before it showed itself in my thyroid and lungs. Who knows what I have to look forward to next?" My PCP laughs, and my GI just shakes his head.
Judy
 
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.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
The information I share on this forum is based only on my own experience and study. It is important to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 4/12/2008 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on Singulair for a year and it helps GREATLY with my allergies. Keeps my nose from stuffing up anyway. I still get pestered with post nasal drip but I can't take any of the decongents because I'm sensitive to them. So I just deal with it. Allegra does nothing for me.
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Fibromyalgia-'06~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
To help Healingwell - click here: DONATE
 
 
 
 

 
 

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