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Remicade for mild symptoms - scared to take.


Wed, March 06, 2019 3:30 PM


DISCLAIMER: I am not one of those wholistic anti-medicine people. I take a lot of medicine daily for other conditions but given my disease history and the options available I’m super worried about taking infusion meds. 


Hello. A brief background on my disease. My whole life i would have these mini flares of huge stomach distension, pain, and vomiting. They would last about 24 hours a few times per year so i wrote it off as just frequent stomach bugs. I had an emergency small bowel resection in 2013 from a blockage. They discovered I had a rare congenital disorder called Meckles Diverticulum. They removed this birth defect from me and I was supposed to be cured. It explained my lifelong symptoms—so I thought. 

After recovery I started having pain, huge distention, and I could NOT go to the bathroom or pass gas. Most of my life I was constipated and I rarely have diarrhea (in fact i GAIN weight) Despite the fact that my symptoms weren’t classic, the diagnosis after years of testing was Crohns. 

In the years my diagnosis was uncertain I went into a 2 year remission that ended with return of symptoms and a firmer diagnosis. Interestingly, my remission coincided with me eating healthy and doing yoga daily. I injured my foot and couldn’t practice yoga and got lazy and my stomach symptoms returned almost immediately. 

My GI now insists I need to be on remicade. (The only infusion my insurer approved). I read about the side effect and how it seems to cause psoriasis and arthritic pain as well as weight gain etc. and I truly do not want to take it. 

My  symptoms are unpredictable but they aren’t every day. Am I wrong to think I’m okay without medicine if I can handle the symptoms ?  I can’t help but think of how i went into remission (while the Crohns diagnosis wasn’t 100%) by eating healthy and being very active. 

My doctors have said I’m mild to moderate in disease activity. It stinks dealing with the symptoms but honestly the medicine options give me such anxiety and fear. 

Ive spoken to her about this and she still thinks I need to take the medication. I feel so helpless. 

Please share your input and own experiences dealing with medication.  

FPO EmilyGreene
Joined Mar 6, 2019

Mon, July 01, 2019 7:46 PM

Reply posted for EmilyGreene.

We feel the same way. My wife has ulcerative proctitis. When in a flare it’s hard to break but she was in remission for over a year without issues. First doc wanted to jump straight into humira, so we got a second opinion. He tried a few things, and now after saying wouldn’t ever want her on humira, has decided thisis what he would like to prescribe. It’s scary for sure. A quick google search is enough to swear you off of the stuff for life! I think we will see an IBD specialist and maybe understand the situation a little better. I think it’s reasonable for you to balk at the medication. it’s not to be taken lightly and you’re right to question what’s right for your body. 

FPO TT86
Joined Jul 1, 2019

Thu, June 13, 2019 12:31 AM

Reply posted for EmilyGreene.

Hi, I have had UC for over 20 years my Dr. as well wants me to start Entyvio.  I feel we are exactly the same with eating healthy and exercise.  I have taken anti inflammatory drugs but never the strong drugs.  My doctor said she wants to try to heal my colon with the medicine or at least make it look better/healthier.  Im scared to try it after reading all the side effects.  Trying to research before I make my decision.    I don't like that the drug suppresses my immune system, but its my immune system attacking me.   Before I start the drug I will go get all my immunization shots up to date.  Do your research and good luck.  We both will need it. 

FPO cherrylynnb
Joined Jun 13, 2019

Mon, March 18, 2019 1:09 PM

Reply posted for EmilyGreene.

My fiancee took this right when he was diagnosed, 2011 at age 19. He really regrets jumping to a drug so quick, especially one so heavy. He is no longer on it. Ironically, his doctor told him diet doesn't matter! He said that the side affects were no longer worth it. Also, once you stop it you might not be able to get back on it because it can likely cause a bad allergic reaction and you will have to be hospitalized for reintervention. During treatment they also give you iv drip of benadryl to prevent reaction, which didnt worry him, it made him insanely tired and feel weird though. It was the fact that if he stopped and wanted to try again, it would be dangerous. He wishes that he would have held off for when things got more serious. I would do as much research and also ask for a case manager from your insurance. They communicate between doctors. Also, ask for a referral to a dietician. Ontop of treatment, educating yourself and working on a diet plan that keeps you healthy and avoids flare ups, is really important.

Goodluck!

FPO sdavis75
Joined Mar 18, 2019

Wed, March 06, 2019 7:10 PM

Reply posted for EmilyGreene.

Doctors take several different routes on medications. More doctors are using the top down approach to medications by starting with biologics such as Remicade to help prevent future complications and even prevent the chance of getting surgery in the future. The other approach is the bottom up approach in which doctors start with lighter drugs such as mesalamine and you work your way up if your disease progresses. Either approach is ok.

As for being scared about the medication, I have been on Remicade since August and I have been doing great. In a few days after my first infusion, I felt entirely normal again. I have not experienced any side effects. Side effects depend entirely on the person, it's different for everyone. Also, Remicade is safer than several other immunosuppresants such as 6mp and Imuran.

I hope this is helpful for you and good luck!

FPO andrew 2012
Joined Dec 13, 2018

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