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Re: Scared to Take Biologics
gil #279375 10/27/17 08:37 PM
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Fingers crossed that things go smoothly and the biologic of choice works wonderfully for you.

I get both Humira and methotrexate for $5 (total for both) per month through the Humira copay savings plan, which is for people with commercial insurance. However, I assume you are (or will soon be) on Medicare, so your options may be more limited unless your income is low enough to qualify for a financial assistance program. Hopefully someone currently on Medicare can offer more information.


Ginny - 58 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis, both currently in remission
unicompartmental knee replacements: right-June 2014, left-Aug 2018
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Celebrex as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Culturelle probiotic, Melatonin (as needed)
Re: Scared to Take Biologics
gil #279376 10/27/17 08:58 PM
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I also have commercial, employer-provided insurance and benefit from the Enbrel co-pay assistance plan, which reduces my co-pay from $100/month to $10/month. So $10/month.

Re: Scared to Take Biologics
gil #279378 10/28/17 12:17 PM
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Jansen has a new plan for many of their mediations. (at least it is new to me).

There are qualifiers however in my case I have an employer sponsored plan and do not use Medicare, military or state sponsored assistance it pays for Remicade co pay(s) up to $20,000.00 per calendar year.

https://www.janssencarepath.com


Diagnosed 2001 after years of joint pain. Remicade started 2002 - 5mg/kg every 7 weeks.
Right Eye Iritis.Trabeculectomy/lens replacement 2006 > DSEK Cornea Transplant 2009.
>Ahmed Shunt 2016 >DSEK Cornea Transplant 2016.
Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. Radio Frequency Ablation 2008.
Angina and stent placement 9/2020

ICU RN - Seattle, WA
~Grasp The Challenge and Succeed~
Re: Scared to Take Biologics
gil #279379 10/28/17 01:05 PM
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For me, I am about the same age by the way with the same progression. Have been on Humera for 4 years or so now with no infection nor side effect problems. Am around my grand babies pretty constantly and don't have any noticeable problems with their colds, flues, and little sicknesses. Yes, I get my yearly flu shots and have found Cold EZ truly amazing with the annual cold.
I was on Ibuprofin for years but like you began the kidney problems. Docs put me on Tramadol and Morphine now for a couple of years and kidney function has improved...........I wish I had begun the Humera before it AS progressed up into my neck. Yes, it does pretty much halt the progression; but the stuff got into my neck with the associated pain and stiffness. Driving became hard with no head turning and chores here on the farm with my whole back and hips stiff is a problem at times.........So, yes, the Humera is working at halting the progression and yes DOES HELP WITH PAIN.
I did an experiment of going off for a couple of months and bang zooooom the pain level went from a 4-6 up into the 5-9 regions.......So, yes, it makes a difference............God bless...Dennis

Re: Scared to Take Biologics
gil #279380 10/28/17 05:52 PM
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Indocin 75R was a miracle drug for me for over 40 years, but when you get to around 60 they take you off it. I've been on a biologic now for over 10 years with no side effects at all and highly recommend them, start out with Humira or Enbrel. They work well for AS..

Re: Scared to Take Biologics
gil #279392 10/31/17 01:00 AM
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I was terrified to take biologics so i didnt for a couple of years until i got worse. NOw i have taken 2 of them Humira and now Simponi.

I researched and read alot and it did nothing but scare me. The fact is Biologics are are not some evil drug that will give you cancer etc. You are more at risk of getting cancer from the constant inflammation than from taking the drug. The increased risk of Lymphoma is almost non existent in AS patients. The risk is increased mainly for RA and crohns patients and psoriasis. They are not sure why but major studies have been done and its almost 0 risk with AS patient.

Also, I have not gotten sick at all. If you think about it. Your immune system is overreating and "strong" so taking these drugs bring them down to normal or close to it. So yoru body is still abl to fight things off. ITs not like cancer therapy drugs that obliterate your immune system. In fact its even safer than longer term prednisone treatment. Prednisone lowers your immune system more than biologics do. Look at it this way. High dose prednisone and cancer therapy drugs etc are an atomic bomb to your immune system and just lowers all components of the system. Wheresas biologics are like smart bombs and just target one specific area of the immune system.

The only ill sideeffects I notice from Humira and Simponi have been that i get hot easy about 1 week after taking it. It goes away as the drug fades. It's like hot flashes almost. But everyone is different. I think if your doc recommends it you should try it. I found Simponi to be much better than Humira. And simponi you inject once a month its soo convienent. And hrthe injection doesnt hurt at all.

Re: Scared to Take Biologics
gil #279394 10/31/17 01:22 AM
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GG - that was exactly what I needed to hear. I was leaning towards Simponi. Do you mind chatting off line?

Re: Scared to Take Biologics
gil #279400 10/31/17 09:24 PM
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What do you mean chatting offline? Do you mean not on this website? I cannot chat to the US via phone. We could text /type chat on skype if it helps. But there isnt much more I could say then what i already wrote lol.

Re: Scared to Take Biologics
gil #279525 12/02/17 10:48 PM
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Started my Simponi Aria biologic 12 days ago. No adverse reactions but just in the warm up phase. 2nd does is 30 days later then every 8 weeks. Funny thing though, I got rid of my 3 year old "expensive" bed and bought new bed (less expensive) and got more pain relief from that than I have from meds. I am also temporarily trying Celebrex generic instead of Indocin for a while just to see what that does to my Kidney GFR results. Will update you all at next round.

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