Welcome to the forum, but sorry to hear you struggle with UC for so long, like many of us here do!
We've had many success stories for Remicade and Entyvio on the forum over the years. Red_34 one of the UC forum moderators has been in a remission for 8+ years on Remicade. Jub_Jub (another moderator) about
10 years on remicade? Entyvio is a bit newer and we've had some successes but it's too soon to say 8-10 years or more with it due to it's fairly recent release.
Remicade has given me the only remission I've ever known since having UC. I've been on remicade since 2012 and have yet to have a side effect from it. Prior to remicade, I was 9 months into a severe flare, steroid-dependent at 20mgs, having extreme urgency, multiple accidents, and more close calls then I could count. I was entirely off of the prednisone after 3 months of Remicade.
I believe you have misconceptions on the actual risks associated with Remicade and Entyvio. The safety profile of biologics is actually very similar to your 6MP (only rare side effects), so I am actually kind of surprised you are afraid of biologics when you are on the 6MP already. The short version is the benefits far outweigh the risks. First the odds of Remicade/entyvio helping improve your UC symptoms are about
65%. Side effects are actually quite rare with these drugs (less than 1% with the worst of them). The most concerning side effect of these medications is lymphoma which has odds of 6 in 10,000 (or 0.06 percent) assumming you are concurrently on immunomodulators (6mp/Imuran) compared to 2 in 10,000 ( or 0.02 percent) for the general population. So you're talking very long odds. What happens to those who get the lymphoma? 66% are able to get it into a remission. So the odds are even longer still. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America is the source for these statistics, and give you a much deeper dive into what are the actual risks of specific side effects:
Remicade is a systematic immune-suppressant and it does increase your odds of system wide infections (sinus infections, bronchitis, UTI, etc.). Entyvio is a newer Site-Specific immunomodulator that suppresses only the gut-portion of your immune system, making it less likely you'd get the aforementioned infections. Insruance often requires you to have failed Remicade before trying entyvio though. You can ask.
There's patient copay assistance programs like RemiStart (entyvio has an equivalent program) from the medication manufacturer, that helps cover the out-of-pocket costs from copays and deductibles. Infact, you can pay $5 every 8 weeks for your remicade. /remicade.janssencarepathsavings.com/#/app/home
Moderator Ulcerative Colitis
John, 39, UC Proctosigmoiditis
Rx: Remicade @5mgs/kg/6wks; daily 75mgs 6MP, 4.8g generic-Lialda, and rowasaU.C. = Unimaginable Crapnado