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Remicade and Arava Have Me Cleared
from Linda D.

I was in an Xoma drug trial — it was helpful, until I had a severe onset of psoriatic arthritis, complete with uveitis, cluster headaches, very painful movement in arms, back, hips, knees.  Went off trial drug, not knowing what the devil was causing the problem, and had an incredibly bad rebound.  My GP sent me to rheumatologist. (I gave up on derms long ago; GP has worked with me through methotrexate, cyclosporine — just tries his heart out, bless him).  Rheumatologist (who has P on hands quite badly) said mine was the worst he had seen, and "do I have a drug for you"!  He was so right. It is Remicade, which I take with Arava.  Remicade must be taken with a auto-immune suppressant, usually methotrexate, but in my case Arava, because my liver won't tolerate methotrexate anymore.

After my first infusion of Remicade the PA was gone, by third infusion I was 75% clear of psoriasis — which was a miracle considering the rebound caused me to have lesions in places I always hoped  I'd never have them. 

I am now 100% clear of psoriasis, though have been warned this will probably not hold.  People I have worked with for 14 years have just cheered for me in the past 4 weeks — as I've been able to wear short sleeves. 

I wish everyone with P could have this drug — but the cost is so prohibitive, even my insurer Blue Cross refused on the first submission.  My Rheum fought for me, and Blue Shield approved 6 months only, but it still costs me $300+ per treatment.  My infusion group includes folks with RA and lupus — some with terrible bone/joint degeneration.  They don't get the improvement of their conditions that I do, so while P and PA is painful, embarrassing and depressing, I can still walk, pick up kids, etc.  In the world of auto-immune diseases, after what I see in the Rheum's office, I'm grateful that I have psoriasis and not one of the others. –Linda D.

*****

Ed’s Response:  This was very good news to me, too, Linda.  If my current methotrexate therapy fails to keep my own PA at bay, I will ask my derm about Remicade (a.k.a. infliximab) and Arava.  According to NPF, both of these are under study for psoriatic arthritis treatment. –Ed

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