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#277593 - 03/20/17 04:04 PM Re: Newby looking for some insight [Re: Spring_hill]
Spring_hill Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 10/28/16
Posts: 7
Does anyone, without radiographic damage, take biologics? Is that even an option in the US?

#277594 - 03/20/17 04:52 PM Re: Newby looking for some insight [Re: Spring_hill]
Winston Online
Registered Visitor

Registered: 06/30/16
Posts: 231
Yes, biologics are an option in the U.S. without radiographic damage. I was offered a biologic the first time I met with my rheumatologist, before he even did an MRI. Had no problem getting the biologic approved by my insurance even after the MRI showed no damage. But I have very good employer-provided insurance. Other insurance companies/plans may balk.

#277596 - 03/20/17 05:54 PM Re: Newby looking for some insight [Re: Spring_hill]
Gslsls Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 02/02/17
Posts: 34
Yes I also do not have any type of damage according to X-ray and MRI and have started Humira. My rheumatologist started me on this based on my symptoms alone. Good luck!

#277598 - 03/20/17 09:45 PM Re: Newby looking for some insight [Re: Spring_hill]
SouthernMoss Online
Registered Visitor

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 1758
Loc: MS
Spring_hill, have you taken prednisone or another corticosteroid during your arthritis journey? It might be worth trying for a couple of weeks to see if you get any relief, which would potentially indicate an inflammatory condition.

I'm sorry you are having such difficulties with the rheumies. Some of our members have had to visit quite a few doctors before they found someone they were comfortable with, so I encourage you to try again, especially since you are getting conflicting information from the ones you have seen.

I think getting biologics without radiographic damage is easier than it used to be. It all depends on the doctor and your insurance.

It does sound like you could possibly have a combination of SpA and OA. But a good rheumy can recognize that and help you develop a treatment plan for both.
Ginny - 56 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis
unicompartmental knee replacement June 2014
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Indomethacin ER as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Melatonin, Culturelle probiotic

#277600 - 03/20/17 10:17 PM Re: Newby looking for some insight [Re: Spring_hill]
Cake Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 08/08/13
Posts: 137
Loc: Madison, Wisconsin, USA
When I got with my good rheumie, we spent about 14 months going through all the NSAIDs (had already done plaquenil, sulfasalzine, and asacol and had some benefit from them, but too many side-effects).

Since my symptoms responded to NSAIDs, but I wasn't getting enough relief, and too many side-effects, that is when my rheumie put me on Enbrel. He felt the positive response to all these meds meant it was a generalized inflammatory arthritis condition - not much in blood results, b27-, and nothing on scans.

His instinct was correct and Enbrel gave me my life back.

My initial years of symptoms were primarily fatigue and then joint pain in hands/shoulders. The spine and SI pain developed later. Currently, my SI and my feet and lower legs are my worst areas.

I need Enbrel, Indomethacin(this is by far the most effective NSAID I've ever been on), Imuran, methotrexate, and morphine to keep the disease and pain under control.... and despite all these, it has still continued to progress slowly all these years.

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