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Raptiva Worked Well in 12 Weeks
from Jane J.

Hi Ed.  I just completed my 12 week series of self-injected Raptiva. 

My derm had been trying to get me approved since last spring but my insurance kept rejecting the order.  I finally wrote a letter telling them that the "heartbreak of psoriasis" is no joke and lo and behold it was approved last September.  My cost was $40 for the 12 week series.

The day after my first shot I experienced the worst headache of my life.  So bad that my husband said I couldn't stay on the treatment if it meant headaches like that.  I insisted that if both the headache and the P went away it would be worth it.

Anyway I only had the one headache.  After that everything went fine.  After the first 2 weeks I could see a difference in the severity of my spots and itching. 

I still have some rough spots on my elbows and parts of my feet and a few spots on my head.  Otherwise things are looking pretty good. 

I was covered over about 75% of my body in some way before starting the treatment. Mostly little bumps everywhere there is skin.  And my joints, elbows, knees and ankles and toes were itchy, flaky, painful and yucky.

Now, 2 weeks after the last injection, I'm pretty much clear all over.  I have experienced 3 bouts with hives in the last month but I don't know if it's related.  I go back to the derm on Friday and will ask then.

I never thought I'd be able to give myself injections and was always glad I never had diabetes because of that.  But we do what we have to do, don't we.  I'm hopeful that this will work but am willing to go through another 12 weeks if I need to. -Jane J.

*****

Ed’s Reponse:  This is really good news, Jane, particularly so since I am entering week 8 on Raptiva.  I’m grousing, though, about my insurance co-pay, which is $35 for every 4 weeks on Raptiva (4 doses).  Hardly as good a deal as you negotiated with your insurer!

Am curious, though, about why your derm cut you off at 12 weeks?  Unlike Amevive, Raptiva isn’t prescribed for a set number of doses.  In fact, Genentech makes quite a pitch out of the fact that Raptiva can be a “continuous drug for a chronic disease.” 

If Raptiva works for me, I’ll stay on the drug as long as I possibly can — unless the P-arthritis gets so severe it is necessary for me to try Remicade or Enbrel (again).

Do let us know, Jane, if/when you need to start using Raptiva again.  Meanwhile, enjoy your freedom!  -Ed

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