When you're talking absolute risks of biologics, the one to focus on and understand is the increased risk of infections as that's the more common one by far.
What does that mean? It does not include things like common cuts, bruises, and other things that happen as part of life (believe me I'm a dumb-guy who always gets those, I'm on remicade and do just fine). What it is covering is infections requiring antibiotics, like UTI, bronchitis, and sinus infections as they are of more concern.
Whether you are talking the common cold or flu, or an UTI/bronchitis/sinus infection then the result is the same: you get symptoms sooner, the symptoms are more severe, and it takes you longer to recover. So with an infection requiring antibiotics, you got to seek out antibiotics sooner rather than try and wait it out. Your immune system is weakened a bit in response, and less capable of fighting of a serious infection on its own, you're cognoscente of this and act promptly on first symptoms of it.
What happens if I ignore an infection for many weeks/months on biologic? Not to scare you but Sepsis, a blood born infection can be a killer. Our own NSSG was in ICU for this (not to imply she was ignoring a known issue, not sure she knew she had an infection) and that experience was one of the reasons she decided on surgery. Again, not a common use-case, but it is a reality that a minority face.
Entyvio's study numbers are comparable to remicade/humira in response and remission rate, if not a bit higher (but again we cannot directly compare them as the methodology is different). Entyvio is a Site-Specific-Immunomodulator (SSI), only suppressing the gut portion of your immune system. So, in theory you should have less worries about
infections requiring antibiotics elsewhere in the body. It does not preclude one from gut infections, like the flu and various other GI-issues. With entyvio you can get various GI infections, so you are not completely off-of the hook.
But if you want to ask the more sharp questions about
biologic then the infections one is the better target than lymphomas are. Just important to understand the who/what/where's and reasonable precautions to take. I've been on remicade since 2012 and have not had one of these infections, myself. If you commonly have UTI's, sinus infections (and some individuals have reoccurring problems with those) then that is a consideration when first starting these meds.
And again, we do have posters who take biologic and work as teachers for small children, are healthcare workers, and work in other professions that are higher risk for exposure to infections. They do just fine with reasonable precautions (like handwashing). Just to put it back into perspective, that we are not all bubble boys or girls and are out there and living normally
Post Edited (iPoop) : 4/16/2019 8:19:18 AM (GMT-6)