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Remicade Stopped Working After Interruption for Illness
from Patricia R.

Backstory:  Remicade Working Well and Fast

Hi Ed:  It has been a while since I wrote to you regarding my progress with the Remicade infusions [see Backstory, above].  At first the Remicade worked wonders for me.  I thought I had found a miracle drug.  But now it is not working at all.  I am having a severe outbreak now and itching all over. 

It all went downhill weeks ago when I was supposed to receive an infusion.  I had been sick with a sore throat that would not go away and had been on two courses of antibiotics.  When I saw the hematologist prior to the infusion, he wanted to look at my throat.  Then he said to me, "My God, your tonsils are huge!"  So he would not give me the Remicade even though my throat was not sore anymore.  I was tempted to not even tell him about being sick!  He put me on another antibiotic for 2 weeks and at the end of that treatment I developed an allergy to that drug. 

So my regularly scheduled 6 week infusion was delayed by 2 weeks.  I was starting to break out all over again. 

I am not scheduled for another infusion until January 25 — that would make it 8 weeks from the last one.  I just think that the delayed infusion broke the cycle of healing.  I talked to my rheumatologist about having the infusions more frequently, so he has agreed to every 7 weeks instead of 8.  I do not know if that will work. 

Enbrel failed, now Remicade is not working.  Is this going to be true of all biologics?  I am also taking Methotrexate.

It is so frustrating when you find something that works and are willing to take the risks involved with taking that medication.  Then, when it stops working, you are on a mission to find something else to get some relief. 

Hope you are doing well. 

Regards, -Patricia R.

*****

Ed’s Response:  Am sorry to read about the current bad state of your Remicade therapy, Patricia.  Can you email us about your condition after that January 25th infusion? 

Rather than accepting that the Remicade has simply stopped working for you, I'm hoping your infection(s) may be the culprit.  And if you get those resolved. . . . 

These biologic drugs try to modify a small action/reaction within a complicated set of actions and reactions that comprise our immune systems.  Important stimulii to these molecular chains of events in our immune systems are infections, infestations and diseases — compared to these, our biologics are supposed to be benign.  So, while we worry that these biologics might "allow" infections to occur, there is a flipside, in theory at least, that suggests other negative events affecting our immune system might influence the way our biologics work or don't work, at least for awhile.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed until after your late January infusion.  I’m hoping you are right about your illness “interrupting the healing cycle,” and that after some time to readjust, Remicade will again serve you well.

Please email again.  -Ed

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