After the last colonoscopy a couple of weeks ago, my GI said that he thought that I should start thinking about Remicade. In the meantime I had another Prometheus test to see if he could up my Azathioprine. Nope.
We've used up meds possible, yet I am not exactly in my worse flare ever. In fact, I'm only going 6x/day, with about 2 formed but narrow. I have moderate left-sided this time. Definitely better than the pancolitis last flare. In remission, I go 2x/day. Prednisone seemed to help this time. I did a "burst" of it. I don't want to take it long term. I'm already overweight, and I think that gaining more would only create more problems.
I did an Asacol challenge, as I'm allergic to Rowasa. So far pretty good. Headache, back and abdominal pain, and weakness and fatigue, though. No hives, like with Rowasa, so it must have been the carrier of Rowasa that I am allergic to. I began taking Advair 500/50 at the same time, so I'm not sure which med to attribute it to. I took 2 days off of the Asacol (still taking sulfasalazine), and the headache went away. It returned when I continued taking the Asacol.
I challenged Asacol as an allergy, because I am thinking of switching from Sulfasalazine, which is not pleasant for me in the summer. Sun is not my friend when I'm on Sulfasalazine. After 6 yrs, I'm done with it. I'll take it if I have to though.
My GI's first choice was to up the Aza, which is now not possible. #2 choice was to try Canasa to help with the lower end where things are the worst. #3 choice is Remicade.
So... my husband is a nurse and thinks that with the way I've responded to meds in the past it isn't going to be too long until I'm on Remicade anyway, and that I should bypass the Canasa and go for Remi. GI would be okay with that too. I'm just not sure. Should I wait for a really nasty flare? The cost is somewhat prohibitive for me. I did find a RemiStart program that looks helpful for the first year. At that point, cost won't be such a burden. Never great though. It would about double what I spend on UC meds anyway. But, not taking pills all day would be wonderful. So would remission.
What are your thoughts?
Diagnosed Dec. 2003 Ulcerative Colitis
Currently in flare since 1/08
Sulfasalazine 3g/day Albuterol 2x/day (Asthma)
Azathioprine 150 mg/day Advair 500/50 2x/day (Asthma)
Allergic to: Rowasa, Demerol, Bactrim