I have had UC for ten years. Hospitalized when first diagnosed, suffered off and on flares, put on 6MP about five years ago, it did NOT keep me in remission. This past April I suffered a severe flare and had to be hospitalized for ten days in May. My GI doctor and his associate have two conflicting opinions on whether I am a candidate for Remicade. My GI doctor has been pushing it for two years. However, his associate, who took care of me while I was hospitalized said ABSOLUTLEY NO REMICADE. I will give you the reason. In the 60's I worked in a hospital lab and came in contact with patients with TB. Before going on a European vacation in 67 I had a TB test and it came out positive. I had a chest xray which was negative. I do not have active TB but it lies dormant somewhere in my system. Remicade can activate the TV virus and it can kill. Apparently my GI doctor feels they can give me drugs to counteract this, but I am no guinea pig, thank you. He said the prednisone could also activate this virus. Well, I have been on and off prednisone for the past ten years. Not happy about it, but it is the only drug that helps me achieve remission. However, I think I am now prednisone dependent. I am now tapering AGAIN. Seems like the longest time I can go without it since April has been two weeks at a stretch and then boom...the bleeding, urgency, diarrhea comes back. He started me on 40 mgm last Thursday and I am now tapered to 30. I see my GI doctor Monday.
This is not to say Remicade isn't the drug for you. I have read many good reports and some bad ones in this forum. I have developed osteoporosis from the prednisone. I also have high blood pressure, which was off the wall in the hospital. Too bad the myriad of doctors in and out of my room while I was hospitalized couldn't come up with the idea to place me on a water pill, which my heart doctor did last week. This has kept my blood pressure well under control, along with the Benicar and Toprol.