Since i got diagnosed (last year), i have been avoiding biologics and was on sporadic Celebrax and tried all sorts of diet but there was no long term symptom relief. I mostly have on and OFF pain in lower back, shoulder blade, neck. and continuous pain in lower back when i sit (i have a computer job so need to sit for long stretches, stand up desk didn't help either)
I started Humira last thursday ( and wanted to poll the community on how long did it take for you to see improvements with Humira? was it only pain relief or improvement on stiffness too? ...Are there any who did not see any benefit at all? how long to wait before switching to another biologic.
I am definitely seeing some improvement (no pain during sneezing:), almost no back pain while lyign down/walking) but my lower back pain while sitting has seen no improvement.
It can take up to 3 months to work, for me, my husband noticed I had more energy after the first shot. Soon after the second I noticed less pain and stiffness.
It attacks the disease and is not just for pain.
It took 3-4 months for me to see a significant difference with Humira. It helps with pain, stiffness, and fatigue.
I have a desk job too, and I have found that it takes more than just meds to keep my back comfortable. The #1 most important thing is a good office chair, one that fits you and is adjusted properly. Also, I get up and walk down the hall or do some stretches every hour or so. If I sit much longer than that I get stiff.
I started 3 weeks ago, so I'm two shots in. The first two weeks I noticed nothing, the day after my second shot, I suddenly noticed my heel pain was almost non-existent, and that has continued for the past 6 days. I also have spent the last 5 days out of bed with no fatigue, but today had a little fatigue. So far no notice of reduction of spine pain. My husband told me a couple of days ago that he thinks I am walking around better and at a faster pace than he's seen me do in a long time. Still a long way to go, hope there is more improvement in coming months. The pharmacy nurse who calls to check up on me said it can take up to 3 months for the full benefit of the medication to kick in.
I think I felt a few mild changes in the first few weeks of Enbrel, but it was during the 9th week that I woke up one sunny Saturday morning and suddenly 98% of the severe fatigue was just gone. It had been going on for over three years at that point, just getting worse with time. To this day, I will never forget how I felt that morning.
Enbrel worked within in a week for me. It was awesome, pain free for 7 years.
I'm on Humira now for the last four months as I developed Plantar Fasciitis 15 months ago. The Humira has given me mild to moderate back pain and stiffness but it has decreased my PF foot pain by around 40%.
My doc tried to change me back to Enbrel last week but I asked could I try Humira weekly instead of biweekly, to which he allowed.
At the start, I thought the Humira was working because I was completely pain free for two weeks (weeks 3 & 4), but that didn't last.
Although officially they say it can take up to three months to notice a difference, I've heard a lot of people saying it took them 6 months.
If you have some improvements, I would hold out for another while. Best of luck.
i tried Humira for 5 months. unfortunately i only had some minimal improvements the first 2 months and then i regressed back to where i started. no longer worked at all. my Rheumy wanted me to stay on it in case it just took a little longer since he quoted it could take 4-6 months to know if it was working.
i just tried switching to Enbrel and thought it was starting to work after only 3 weeks on it, and then BOOM. allergic reaction. really not fun. included developing a blood clot and heart palpitations in addition to headache, excessive sweats and a rash.
i am now waiting to hear back from the rheumy about the next one to try. all this trial and error sucks cuz it takes so long. and apparently can also put you at risk for other serious things like a clot.
i am just hoping for some relief, not new problems.
I was diagnosed with AS in January of this year and was initially prescribed Naproxen for about a month and then switched to indomethacin. After a couple of months on indomethacin, my rheumatologist and I decided to give Humira a try. It took 5 or 6 months on Humira before I could completely discontinue taking indomethacin. Since then, I have been doing quite well.
I hope you respond as well as I have.
After 1st shot, I noticed a difference in that moving about was a bit easier. (was taking MTX 15mg/week and Mobic 15mg/day through all of this)
After 2nd shot, realized that previous changes were not flukes--it really was working.
After 4th shot, it was much better and I was on the way to feeling better than I had in a long time.
After 4 months, when I was feeling almost normal (something I never expected to feel again), rheumy noticed my WBC was much lower than usual and announced he was watching it. As a med tech, I knew this wasn't going to end well. So, at 6 months in, I had to stop it because my WBC was 2.1 and the neutrophil absolute was right at 1000. It rebounded to normal within a month, thankfully.
Humira worked best of the 5 biologics I've taken. This is a rarer side-effect, he said. Currently on Cimzia for two years without issues, but it isn't as good as Humira.
Took 4 months for me. Hardest part was trying to figure out if I felt better or not. I had to come off it for a month and that's when I realized it was surely doing something. Going to start Remicade and this time I'm going to keep a diary so I can look back at my pain log. Otherwise it kind of starts blending together over the months and unless you're one of the people with miraculous light switch type result it can be tough to remember the progress if it's gradual. Could be working more than you think.