IV Prednisone didn't do it....now what?

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/20/2009 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
40 mg's of IV pred for a week started off great in getting my UC under control, but now I seem to be loosing it.  My specialist seems keen on Remicade.  Have other's followed this course?  How effective is Remicade?  My fellow called it the cadillac of drugs for UC/Crohn's.  Thanks for your input/advice.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 3/20/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi weyakwin.... I, too, was put on an IV with pred for a couple days in the hospital last summer. By that point I had already lost 30 lbs and was barely eating anything. I wasn't responding to pred orally and I had hit rock bottom. In the hopsital I started feeling better, but as soon as I went home and was taking pred orally again, I declined again. So my dr started me on Remicade.

Remicade has been my miracle drug!! I felt a million times better in a matter of less than 24 hours. I still had to taper off of pred, but now I only take Lialda and I get Remicade infusions every 8 weeks. I am not in full remission though, but my symptoms are tollerable and manageble. We just increased the dosage of Remicade though, so we'll see if I can finally get into remission fully.

Good luck!
Diagnosed w/IBS: Oct. 2006
Diagnosed w/UC: Jan. 2007 (proctitis), July 2008 (pancolitis)
Medications: Canasa (helped the first flare when it was just proctitis); Rowasa enemas (did not help as the following colonoscopy confirmed pancolitis); Lialda (2 pills in the morning, 2 pills in the evening, soon to be 2 pills in the morning only once I'm off steriods); Prednisone; Protonix (only took while on prednisone); Remicade infusions, started at 5mg/kg, increased in March to 7.5mg/kg (started Aug 2008 - 6 infusions so far, next infusion on 4/30 continuing every 8 weeks); Zyrtec-D (for allergies); Toprol (a generic form, 25 mg, for a rapid heart rate)
Supplements: Women's One-a-day multi-vitamin; Super B-complex w/vitamin C, Iron supplements, Omega-3 Fish Oil (coated, not sure how much except one soft-gel daily), Aloe Vera supplement (currently taking one daily, will increase to two soon)
Current Status: Reached remission for a few weeks in October 2008, but symptoms returned after I allowed myself to enjoy wine again.... gave up wine and have not been in full remission again yet. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 3/20/2009 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm still pretty new to the disease, but I've already been researching a lot about the "what ifs," just so I don't have to make big decisions like this when I'm sick. I'm not criticizing you in any way, I'm just a planner!

Anyway, I've decided that if I end up being steroid dependent, I will use Remicade or one of the other biologics (if others are approved by that time) rather than screw around with prednisone indefinitely. I think the risks one takes by being on steroids that much are worse than the risks of using a biologic. There's some new info out that suggests Remicade can heal past damage to the colon that other drugs can't. And it sounds like there is a possibility that some people can use Remicade for a short time, then go off of it and back on to mesalamine or other similar maintenance drugs, especially if they use Remicade earlier on in the course of the disease.
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, 40mg of Prednisone (quick taper), Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 3/20/2009 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   
What you say makes sense. I'm hopeful that I can get Humira approved and that it will work. If I can't, I plan to try Remicade. My doc thinks Remicade works a little better...but I like the convenience of Humira shots.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering. Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances; eliminated all wheat/gluten from my diet. Probiotics (Ultimate Flora, 50 billion), trying Curamin. 
Flaring, seasonal? or supplements too harsh? Back on prednisone, down to 10 mg. Waiting for insurance decison on Humira... 

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 3/20/2009 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on Remicade for 37 months, in complete remission for 36 months. I have no side effects other than some tiredness the day of the infusion. My last colonoscopy was completely normal. Before remi, I was in a horrid flare constantly from before my diagnosis in the fall of 2001 until early 2006.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

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