Posted 1/3/2019 3:04 PM (GMT -6)
If remicade works and gives you are remission, then that is preferable over a surgery. Yes, there are risks to medications like remicade, the 'deadly' ones are 0.04% (or 4 in 10,000), if you are talking lymphomas. But of the 0.04% who get that, 66% are able to put the lymphoma into a remission and it is a non-issue going forward, so that absolute odd of a fatality gets quite a bit smaller in the end. To put this into perspective, one's odds of death from heart complications is 1 in 5, and death in a car crash in the usa is 1 in 133. So, yes it's possible but extremely unlikely. Some of the more recent research puts the blame of the lymphoma squarely on the thiopurines (6mp/azathioprine/imuran), as everyone who got the lymphoma during the remicade clinical trials was concurrently on both remicade and a thiopurine. Nobody got a lymphoma while taking just remicade during the clinical trials.
The source of these statistics, and a greater in-depth look is this, a good and recommended read from the CCFA:
There's legitimate reasons to get a colectomy, but don't let a fear of remicade killing you be the driving factor. As the odds of death are actually much, much higher during colectomy surgery then via remicade. Still small odds on the death in colectomy, but it is present (as there's risk in everything). We had a poster die in 2018 during colectomy surgery.
Moderator Ulcerative Colitis
John, 40, UC Proctosigmoiditis
Rx: Remicade @5mgs/kg/6wks; daily 75mgs 6MP, 4.8g generic-Lialda, and rowasa
You might have UC if you're a gold medalist at the 10-meter bathroom sprint, all while jumping, dodging, and shoving obstacles in your way