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Trying Enbrel After 14 Years Without Relief
from Kelley G.

Hi Ed:  Just found your website and I love it! I have been a "flaker" for 14 years. I am 43 years old and live in San Antonio, Texas. I cannot tell you the last time I have worn a pair of shorts or short sleeve shirts, but I guess all "flakers" can relate to that. I have tried just about everything out here possible as well as a few study medications with no relief.

I just got approval from my HMO for Enbrel, 50 mgs twice a week. Last night I took my first "stab."  I hope this works this time. I am in the middle of a horrible flair up as well as the arthritis. I just started a new job and, as with all of us, have to hear the questions, and endure the stares. The carpet around my desk is dark and I leave lots of "snowflakes" everyday. I am sure the cleaning people at night are freaked out. Anyway, I am really counting on this Enbrel. I didn't have much luck with anything: the closest I’ve come to relief was using Soriatane for about a year, but there never was any real clearance.

I hope one day they will find a cure for this horrible disease! Wish me luck for the next three months. I do not even care about the side effects! -Kelley G.


Ed’s Response:  I sure hope Enbrel works for you, too, Kelley.  Fourteen years of unremitting flaking does, in my opinion, earn ANYBODY a break! 

For a Flaker with both skin P and P-arthritis, Enbrel is a good choice; however, it doesn’t work for everybody.  In my case it provided some relief for the arthritis but didn’t help my skin.  I don’t mention this to discourage you, just to let you know that if it DOESN’T work as you hope, don’t give up on biologics altogether.  Your HMO approved Enbrel; if necessary they may approve other biologics (see Thinking About Biologics?).  Lots of us have been disappointed with one or more biologics but found another that works.

And a word of advice for when you finally get to go shopping for shorts and sleeveless shirts:  Everything’s more expensive than it was 14 years ago! 

Good luck and let us know how you fare on Enbrel.  -Ed

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