Jul-Aug '03 | briefing | mail | don't say this | flakers' jargon | flaker creativity | articles | other places | archives | send mail | ed dewke | legal stuff | order | search | 2001 Ed Dewke

Remicade Worked for Plaque – Enbrel for Arthritis
Rick W.

Hi Ed.  First-timer; be gentle.  Been on Enbrel 14 weeks and it has all but cleared PA. However, lesions are as active as ever, and I'm wondering how long I stay on until I (1) see results, or (2) throw in the towel.

I was on Remicade prior to Enbrel, and the opposite happened — the P was gone, the PA was so bad I couldn't tie my shoes. So I stopped and tried Enbrel.  Would appreciate your thoughts.  -Rick W.


Ed’s Response:  You’re one step ahead of me, Rick.  The only biologic I’ve tried is Enbrel.  It took about 16 weeks for it to stop my joint swelling, about 18 weeks for the joint pain to mostly go away, and today, at 24 weeks, I’m still waiting to see any noticeable effect at all on my skin lesions.  And by the way, at about 12 weeks I switched from 50 mgs/week (two injections) to 100 mgs/week (four injections).

I feel bad that I don’t feel like celebrating the quiescence of my P-arthritis.  I guess a part of my cynicism derives from the fact that methotrexate helped just as much at considerably less than half the cost.  (At my current dosage, Enbrel costs over $2,000 per month.  It would be impossible for me to be taking this medicine without prescription insurance.) 

I am so curious to know why some peoples’ plaque P goes away on Enbrel?  What is the difference between their reaction to the drug and ours?

I have two more weeks (8 injections) remaining before I give up.  But considering, with my double dosage the past 10 weeks, I’ve already injected as much Enbrel as is normally prescribed over an 8-month period, I’m holding no hope that things are going to dramatically improve over the next 14 days.

It’s hard for me not to feel bitter about my disappointing Enbrel experience.  It’s not just because the drug hasn’t worked — it’s also because I waited so long (as did thousands of us) and it’s so terribly expensive. -Ed

This Month's Mail | Archives