Sep-Oct '08 | briefing | mail | interviews | articlespsorchat |  don't say this | flaker creativity | flakers' jargon | other places | archives | send mail | ed dewkesearch | acknowledgments | legal stuff | Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic  | 2008 Ed Dewke

How Fast Does Raptiva Work?
from Brian K.

Ed: My wife has recently had injection #11 of Raptiva. Admittedly, we were both drawn into the marketing slick and wanting to believe that by the 3rd month, we'd be golden. As of today, she is still very itchy, uncomfortable, but somewhat convinced the plaque has gotten thinner (they really have) and the patches are less red and smaller.

So, I googled (who doesn't?) and ran across your 2005 eloquence on your Raptiva experience, which right or wrong has at least reinforced the decision to give it some more time (see On Raptiva). Are you still on Raptiva?

Thanks, -Brian K.


Ed’s Response:  Thanks for writing, Brian. Unfortunately, I'm not still on Raptiva, but it wasn't my skin that made me change to Humira, it was the need to find something to help the psoriatic arthritis, too. Raptiva kept my skin clear for about a year, then I launched a step-down/step-up routine, taking incrementally less Raptiva while taking incrementally MORE Humira. Knock on wood, the Humira has kept my skin NEARLY but not COMPLETELY as clear as Raptiva and driven the arthritis into complete remission. I wish your wife good luck with the Raptiva. –Ed


Brian’s Response: Thanks for the response and well wishes, Ed! Just curious what you 'hear' regarding Raptiva — not looking for anything scientific. I figure that you interact with many people so have accumulated much anecdotal accounts. For example, is it generally believed by users that good results can take up to 6 months?  Again, just curious. Thanks, and I hope that PA stays away! –Brian K. 


Ed’s Response:  I don't think 12-16 weeks of Raptiva before obtaining significant results is unusual. This appears, by the way, to be true of virtually all the biologics, though there is a percentage of psoriatics who respond significantly faster and, not surprisingly, SHOUT about it!

I've also heard a number of people who have had nasty side effects from Raptiva including bad headaches — especially at the beginning of their usage — and some debilitating worsening of psoriasis. Most of the people who have experienced these and contacted me have stopped using Raptiva because of the side effects. None that I can recall took as many as 11 injections BEFORE experiencing these side effects. For most it was "a few shots" and then they'd had enough. The fact that your wife has had 11 shots without severe side effects is, in my opinion, a good sign.

I've given all my personal biologic trials at least six months. Looking back, I see some of them weren't worth that much effort. I'm learning the hard way that if a drug isn't working by about 4 months into the regimen, it's very unlikely to work for me in the long run. But everybody is different. -Ed

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