Last week was my 4th Abatacept infusion and the last in the induction period. My sigmoidoscopy is scheduled for May 9th - and I will learn then If I have responded well enough to go into Stage 2 of the trial - 12 month maintenance.
At this stage I still don't know if I am on placebo or not.
It has been 2 months since I began the trial, and I would say I have definately seen some improvement. No D, and hardly any bleeding or cramping. BUT, I still have urgency, and I have around 4 BMs a day (down from 7). This to me is not remission, as I tend to recall feeling a lot better when I was last in remission - though it was many moons ago, lol.
I feel able to discontinue my prednisolone - but this is not allowed for at least another 4 weeks.
There must be at least 30% improvement in my colon when they check on May 9, and despite my improvement, I cannot be sure what they will find...
In summary then - and although it is very early days - I think Abatacept DOES alleviate symptoms to a degree and DOES allow steroid-dependent UC sufferers (like myself) to come off steroids, which is great. However, it doesn't seem to induce a complete remission. But, if I can come off steroids, and continue without worsening of my present symptoms, then I would be happy.
I will report back after my scope!
Abatacept Trial since Feb 2008 (Induction Period)
Back on Pred - 3mg - Steroid Dependent :-(
Actonel 35mg, EPA Fish Oils
Predfoam Enema - Had to stop as not allowed during trial
Asacol x 9, Lialda (Mezavant)
Remicade every 8 weeks (Stopped working)
Aloe Vera Lily of the Desert Juice Gave me the worst D !
Primadophilus Reuteri Probiotic