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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Cimzia/Certolizumab » Remicade or Cimzia??


07-02-2012, 09:20 AM   #1
Jenamonkey
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Remicade or Cimzia??

So a few questions ..

Does anyone prefer Cimzia to Remicade? Is one considered better than the other one??

I've been on Remicade for a little over a year and I'm not sure if it has ever really helped me. I have weird symptoms (not a lot of D, just pain and really bad fatigue). I started Remicade in April of 2011 and also was on prednisone. I got pregnant in May of 2011 and pretty much stayed in remission throughout my pregnancy after I tapered off the pred. I flared 2 weeks after my baby was born (I'm pretty sure because of the ibuprofen they loaded me up on in the hospital. I should have known better). I redid the loading doses of Remicade as soon as I flared, but I was still flaring until I did a course of prednisone. Now my GI wants me to take only the Remicade with no pred for at least 3 months to see if it actually works for me or to start Cimzia.

I am so worried that the Remicade is actually working to keep my symptoms at bay and that this is as good as I'm going to feel. I'm hesitant to start the Cimzia as I now I can't go back to the Remicade once I discontinue it. On the other hand, I can't imagine working full time and caring for a four month old and flaring badly again.

Would you guys give the Remicade one more shot?? I feel ok now, just really tired. It's so hard to determine if it's normal tired from not sleeping more than 3 hours at a stretch for 4 months, or if it's the full Crohn's fatigue.

Anyway, I'd really appreciate hearing from anyone who has an opinion. Hell, I'd appreciate hearing anything from anyone. I am feeling pretty alone right now. My husband is having a hard time with me being sick all the time and just doesn't get it.

Thanks for reading.

Jenn
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Jenn in Austin, TX
Diagnosed September 2010

Mother of One Beautiful Baby Boy 2/27/12!
Remicade Infusions x 6 weeks
Pentasa 2 500mg capsules x 2 times daily
Prenatal vitamins & Saccharomyces boulardii (Florastor)
07-02-2012, 11:24 AM   #2
Keepingfaith
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alabama
Hello Jenn!

1) Are you officially in remission at the moment?
2) When's the last time you had a scope & bloodwork to check for signs of disease activity?
3) Do you take B12 supplements?
4) How often do you get your infusions?
5) Have you considered Humira?

Remicade has the tendency to make you feel worn out, especially a few days after the infusion. I can honestly say, side effect wise, Remicade is the worse. I felt drugged up from all the benedryl & just felt generally crappy for at least 4 days after insusions. Remicade also gave me drug induced Lupus. If you feel like it is not helping your Crohn's, then I would look into Cimzia.

Cimzia, so far, has only given me very few side effects. Cimzia is also the fastest acting biologic for Crohn's. If Cimzia is going to work, you'll be able to tell within the first 5-6 months although most people see improvement witin the first month or two. Cimzia also has a thing called PEGylation, and NO other biologic for Crohn's has that. PEGylation coats the medication and makes it stay in your system longer! Also, Cimzia is usually given once a month. You take two shots, and then you're done for the month. To me, that's very convenient!

Good luck on your descision! I get the last part of my loading dose on the 13th so it's a little too early for me to tell ya if it's working.
__________________
Current medication:
Entyvio
Imuran
Entyvio
Prilosec
Protonix
Seasonique
Noritriptyline
Steroid suppositories
Canasa suppositories

Diet: Feeding via J-tube

DX: Crohn's Disease, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Endometriosis, Gastroparesis

Previous Medications:
Remicade- Drug Induced Lupus, Humira, Prednisone,
Entocort, 6MP, Methorexate, Amitriptyline, Asacol, Flagyl, Apriso, Cimzia, Cipro, Sulfasalazine etc. You name it, I've tried it.
07-02-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
Jenamonkey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Hi keepingfaith! Thank you so much for your response. To answer your questions ...

1) Are you officially in remission at the moment? No, I'm not in remission although I feel ok right now. I just finished a 1 month run of prednisone that seemed to make me feel better though. I was pretty bad before the steroids with a lot of pain and extreme fatigue.

2) When's the last time you had a scope & bloodwork to check for signs of disease activity? I had a scope 2 weeks ago and it showed open sores and irritation in my ileum. If I'm in remission, will there be no inflammation or sores at all?

3) Do you take B12 supplements? I just asked my GI about this and she had me do some bloodwork. I called and asked for the results and the front desk at her office said "everything was normal" but I failed to ask what all that entailed. I'm glad you asked this, I'm going to call them back and ask about the B12 supplements.

4) How often do you get your infusions? I was getting them every 6-8 weeks, but skipped two transfusions during my 3rd trimester. My GI did some kind of bloodwork (a Prometheus test maybe?) and it showed that my body held on to the Remicade longer than most people, so it stayed in my system for a long time. After my pregnancy, I did the loading doses of 1 infusion, then the 2nd 2 weeks later, then the 3rd 4 weeks after that. Right now it's been 7 weeks since my last infusion.

5) Have you considered Humira? Is there a reason you would try Humira before Cimzia? The GI seemed to think Cimzia was a better choice when I asked her about it, but I'm not sure why.

Thank you thank you for taking the time to talk to me!
07-02-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
Keepingfaith
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alabama
Most people try Humira before Cimzia and there has been more research put into Humira than Cimzia so most people try Humira first. I do have a friend who had an allergic reaction to Remicade & switched to Cimzia, not Humira afterwards. She got into remission within 4 months of startig Cimzia!

You are deffinately flaring. When you are in remission, there will be no inflammation/ulcers present. If your low on B12, or even have a 'normal' level, it can make you feel like crap. I had 'normal' B12 levels & then I started taking vitamin B12 & that made a huge difference! I finally have energy to get through most of the day.

It sounds like you may need the infusions done every 4-6 weeks now. Many people up there dose when they see they aren't getting much benefit or they add a immunomodulator like 6MP/Methotrexate. A friend of mine was feeling 'okay' on Remicade. The he added Methotrexate and finally was able to hit puberty & get his life back. That is also something to bring up to the GI if he thinks the risks are worth it.

I hope you start feeling better & find the right combination of medications!
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