Thankyou poopydoop. I didn’t mean to start conflict. My mental health is not good atm. Being faced with possibly going on immunosuppressants for the first time in the middle of a pandemic. I feel like I’ll surly die. Just looking for something positive to hope for
Hi you didn't start a conflict. Someone made a personal and unsubstantiated attack on me, due to them not liking something I wrote in a different thread weeks ago, and I decided to defend myself. I could have also ignored them but I was too annoyed to keep silent. People should actually bother to read what I write as opposed to sticking labels on me.
Anyway. Your anxiety is totally understandable and I think nearly all of us on immunosuppressive medications have been there, especially with covid.
The good thing about
biologics is that they do not globally suppress your immune system, but reduce the activity in one part of it. When people have a severe case of covid, one thing that can happen is their immune system goes into overdrive (the so-called "cytokene storm") triggering a major inflammatory response. Biologics like humira can reduce or prevent the cytokene storm (which is why they are also effective against autoimmune disease). So even though you have some suppression of the immune system when you take humira, you also have a protective effect against cytokene storms. For this reason, biologics are being used now in clinical trials to treat covid patients (but you have to get the timing right in order for them to be effective).
In the first link that I sent you (covidibd.org) there's a page where they list the statistics of ibd patients known to have had a covid infection. The dataset is terribly incomplete and heterogeneous, because it relies on a covid patient notifying their GI in the first place that they have covid, and the GI being aware that they can report the case onto the database (only doctors can make reports and not patients). One thing that always strikes me when they list the statistics according to patient medications, is that the lowest hospitalisation rates are amongst patients taking TNF-inhibitors (humira, remicade etc), IL-inhibitors (this includes stelara) and JAK-inhibitors (i.e. xeljanz, filgotinib, etc). That to me is an indication that these medications are somehow protective against severe covid, whether that be through preventing a cytokene storm, or because these patients have the best control over their IBD - I don't know which.
Now where these medications can make some people more vulnerable to covid is that they can reduce the effectiveness of a covid vaccine, such that a 3rd or 4th shot is required before the patient has a detectable antibody response. But this doesn't happen in all patients - I seem to remember it's about
20% of patients on TNF-inhibitors and 1/3 of patients on JAK-inhibitors who might be insufficiently protected after 2 shots - which is of course worrying, but at the same time it means the majority of patients on these drugs do generate a strong immune response to a vaccine.