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Can One Develop an Immunity to Biologics?
from Scott

Ed, Dr. Gulliver (my derm in St. John's, Newfoundland) is conducting a Remicade study on all types of P and PA.  I'm one of 20 study subjects, and had my first infusion March 11th. For the study, there was a 20% placebo rate, I'm lucky I didn't get placebo, because it's now March 14th, after one infusion my moderate-severe plaque P is starting to lose it's redness and flatten out. I cannot believe how quickly this works, I'm starting to have hope once again!  I'm scheduled for another 10 infusions spanning from now until late next fall.

I understand Remicade is a "biologic" drug — can my system become eventually immune to biologic drugs?  –Scott

*****

Ed’s Response:  That’s a good question, Scott, and I’ve not heard it directly addressed in talk or in the literature. 

Remicade is in the same biologic family as Enbrel — so-called TNF inhibitors — and Enbrel has been used for a long time by arthritis patients.  I’ve not heard of immunities — or gradual desensitization — occurring to patients under either drug.  Of course, one must look deeply to learn about this problem with more conventional drugs like clobetasol propionate and betamethasone (the active ingredients in a number of topical creams and ointments used for P) — even though it’s common knowledge in our community that they do lose effectiveness during continuous use over time. 

Perhaps others on Remicade or Enbrel have asked their doctors about this and gotten an educated response.  If so, please share with us.  –Ed

Previous email from Scott:|
Update on Newfoundland P Research 
Newfoundland Kelp Claimed to Help P

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