The only side effect I've had is a very poor immune system...I also was on 40mg prednisone during my first three infusions, so in combination with that I suffered horribly from abscesses and staph infections.
The infusion itself is fine. By now you should be used to being poked and prodded, so the IV shouldn't be a big deal. : ) I kind of enjoy the time in the chair b/c I don't have anything I 'have' to be doing and it gives me an opportunity to catch up with friends (via phone). : ) I also really enjoy my doctor and nurse, so I normally go in before their clinic begins and we have time to chat...I'm going to miss that part of my treatment once my surgery is done. However, my doctor is close to my grad school, I will be doing pop-ins.
After my first infusion I immediately felt some relief, as I was in severe pain and miserable. But it quickly subsided and I was back to the way I was by my second infusion. My third was postponed due to a staph infection and open wound infection, but a couple weeks after my third I was able to reduce my prednisone slightly. I'm still suffering quite a bit but we're just trying to get me through till the surgery now.
From what I understand most see a great difference either after the third of fifth infusion. My doctor told me the third and others on this site have said that fifth. I had my hopes up for remission after each infusion and was greatly disappointed. Now, some feel this is their miracle drug, so hopefully it works for you too!
I know the idea of surgery is spooky and such a big decision. However, when you think about the quality of life you currently have and what it would be post surgery, that's one way to look at it. I'm just thinking about the pain and getting back to the way I used to be. : ) Many people on this site go to great lengths to avoid surgery. Some are finding great help with the spinach sunflower seed diet, and others with the probiotics. My case is just so far out of control and non-responsive that I'm not even going to attempt any of that b/c if the medications such as Remicade aren't working why in the world would spinach make a difference? : )
I so wish you the best of luck. The research on the Remicade can be very intimidating...but the cancers and major complications occur in a very small percentage of people. There are a lot of people currently on Remicade on this site, and some have found the Humira works well too. Please continue asking your questions b/c I want you to feel comfortable with your treatment...I've found such great support and guidance from this site and the j-pouch site that I only wish I had learned of you all sooner!!!
: ) Robin
Dx-May 2007 Asacol-2400mg bid Prednisone-20mg Remicade-5 Tx
Paxil-40mg Prilosec-bid Multivitamin Moderate/Severe Pancolitis
28 year old Mommy of a 1 year old and a Wife for almost 2 years!
Life has never been so sweet! I appreciate the small things in life...the little joys that occur every second of every day. Though we struggle and have crazy complications, nothing can over ride our love and happiness.
Meeting with a surgeon next week...and hopefully scheduling the surgery by the end of the month!