Spondyloarthritis / Spondylitis Forums - Spondylitis Association of America
Spondylitis Association of America Home Page Learn About Spondyloarthritis / Ankylosing Spondylitis About Us - Our Work More Ways To Connect With Others / Support Groups And More Become a Member of SAA We Are A Nonprofit - Donate Today Shop for Products
Topic Options
#277643 - 03/28/17 10:36 PM What is a good result
GeorgeUPS Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 01/22/17
Posts: 18
Loc: New jersey
Went to Dr. today. Took a bit of a gut punch. I am on humira for about 2 months(I know it could take up to 6 months to work) Have a little relief, but my biggest problem areas are my foot, both knees, and lower back

When this all started, I said to myself to stay positive, and mostly I have. Today, Dr told me being pain free is a unrealistic goal. Is that true? Really set me a back a bit. I struggle as a 44 year old man to climb stairs. I struggle to sleep at night with discomfort. I was hoping after all these years of pain, It might be better, not just a little, considerably better. Why are we putting all these drugs in our body if not to be back to normal?

#277646 - 03/29/17 04:21 PM Re: What is a good result [Re: GeorgeUPS]
Winston Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 06/30/16
Posts: 229
The biologic drugs affect different people differently. Some people do experience near-total pain relief. Others have to combine the biologic with other drugs, such as methotrexate (which might help your feet and knees, btw) or NSAIDs to gain relief. Still others experience significant pain despite taking a combination of drugs. The biologics do appear to halt fusion in most people, at least if they are started early. At two months, as you acknowledged, it's too early to tell how well Humira will help you. Give it some time.

#277732 - 04/13/17 12:53 PM Re: What is a good result [Re: GeorgeUPS]
Eleven11 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 07/09/15
Posts: 31
Between the No Starch Diet (now Low Starch) and Biologics I'm virtually pain-free after 15+ years of chronic, daily pain. Extreme discomfort from extensive spinal damage is another story, but my CRP plummeted from a high around 30 to 0.4 currently, so at least I can hope I halted the damage.

#277748 - 04/14/17 04:55 PM Re: What is a good result [Re: GeorgeUPS]
Sheep1 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 08/12/15
Posts: 210
GeorgeUPS- when you say that Humira has helped a little, what do you mean by that? The first thing I noticed around 1 month was that my fatigue started to lessen. It took about 3 months before the icky spine pain started to subside. I still noticed improvement up until about 6 months. Being that you have been on for 8 weeks, give it more time.

Some people do get near full remission of symptoms on biologics. Others of us have to take other medications in addition to the biologics. I myself take methotrexate for my hands, feet and knee pain. I also have to take pain medications, and even Aleve on my really bad days.

While Humira hasn't totally gotten rid of my pain or fatigue, my life has been significantly improved on it. At one point I too was unable to barely climb a flight of stairs. I was in bed 5 days a week for 16 hours a day. I had to give up lap swimming because the movements of breathing hurt my neck and the arm strokes hurt my shoulders and thoracic spine too much.

I've been on Humira about a year and a half, and now I'm only in bed about a day every two weeks. My mornings are slow, but from noon until 10 pm I feel pretty good. Although i still have aches and pains, they normally don't get in my way of doing what I want now (except hiking because of my knee- I had a surgery last year which made my knee worse). I'm now swimming 1.5 miles three days a week.

So when your doctor says being pain free is an unrealistic goal, he's technically correct for most patients, however, I know without the biologic, I'd still be in bed all the time and in a lot more pain. I am on the same pain medications that I was before Humira, so I know for a fact that those weren't enough. My life isn't pain free, but I'm happy to be where I am given where I was...

Give the Humira more time and ask your rheumatologist about maybe methotrexate for your knees and feet. He may or may not give you it- all the rheumatologists practice differently. My rheumy said no for a long time to start on methotrexate before seeing how well the Humira helped me, but my sister who also has AS has a rheumatologist who gave her methotrexate after a month of being on Enbrel.

Have you by chance tried Aleve? That helps my knee- ask your rheumy about that too.

Good luck!
48 yo female, history of back pain since 1985, fatigue since 2009
-USpA diagnosis in August, 2015. Changed to PsA in 2016
-Erosions in finger joints
-HLA-B27 +
-Other: fibromyalgia dx in 2011 (wrong dx), endometriosis, severe pollen allergies
-Medications: Humira (since Oct, 2015). Weekly Humira start in Sept., 2016. Methotrexate (Dec. 2016). Aleve (as needed only), Lyrica, Tramadol, Baclofen, Vicoden, Tylenol, Xanax. Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid. Allergy Immunotherapy shots since 2009


Moderator:  ElinAslanyan