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Remicade - how long to see results?
Hi - My daughter has been diagnosed with RA. Her ANA is 1:640. Her CRP is high at 168. RF is negative. Anyway, the rheumy started her 1st infusion of Remicade yesterday. No change in her condition as of yet, but I know it takes time. How long can we expect to wait for results to show up? Also, I forgot to ask this at her last rheumy appt, but how is Remicade any better than Enbrel or Humira? (SHe hasn't been on them, but I just wondered why he chose Remicade.)  Any info you can provide would be most appreciated! My daughter is at the end of her rope.  
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469901 tn?1276567223
While I am not on remicade, what I am seeing from patient comments is that a positive change happens for most around the second injection.
Regarding Remicade vs Enbrel vs Humira, some doctors prefer one over the other.  I am curious, though.  What meds were tried before remicade?  Usually the docs start you with something like relafen and plaquenil.  It can take up to 3 months to determine if that is working.  Then they move you to Methotrexate (usually keeping the plaquenil) and give that at least another 3 months plus time to work out the dosage and whether you respond to pill form or need to move to the injections.  If that doesn't work, then they move you to enbrel, humira or remicade.  I would encourage your daughter to educate herself thoroughly about her condition and the treatments she is receiving.  It is important to know the advantages and the risks of the medications.
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Hi - Sorry I forgot to include a few important facts - like her meds. Oops. Anyway, she has been on Prednisone and Methotrexate for 6 months or so - she is still on them, in addition to the Remicade. She is 36. Thanks for the info. They never had her on Plaquenil. Hmm - I wonder if she should have been. What is your situation? Do you have RA, and what works for you?
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469901 tn?1276567223
Sorry for the delay!  I was in flare.  I have RA and a few other conditions.  I started on plaquenil and then went to methotrexate.  After awhile, I stopped the methotrexate and discovered the plaquenil was managing my symptoms fine (unless I do not get regular sleep, get stressed out and/or it rains - then I go into flare.)  Prednisone was not something they used for me, but I did have several steroid injections to deal with my most troublesome spots.
How is your daughter doing now?  When is her next shot?
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Sorry to hear about your flare. I can understand tho - my daughter goes through similar  stuff. This last flare for her has lasted over a month. You asked how she is - the same - no better. She had her 2nd infusion May 1. No change yet. Her CRP is now 15.4, her Sed Rate is 130. She doesn't have another infusion until May 29 or so. It sure is hard for her to hang in there and wait until they find something that actually works. Her next rheumy appt is next week, so maybe will get more answers then. Take care of yourself. Blessings to you...
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469901 tn?1276567223
I understand how hard it is to manage when you feel so bad and nothing gives relief.  I went through a 6 month period where I could hardly get off the sofa.  Getting a diagnosis was the hardest part to me.  A close second was waiting to get the right combination of medications and the right dosages.  My experience was that getting the meds right took over a year.  It will happen, it just takes time.  If your daughter is not seeing an improvement after the third shot I would think it would be time to revisit the meds and the dosage.
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418165 tn?1295757581
I have a question for you both...I have the same I go into the docs may 13and 14th, of course my internal and then on the 14th for the pain doc; my question is, we're u ever on pain meds, like vicodin? and how long before they did anything for you? They dont help me but he keeps loading me up and giving anti inflamatory pills. before it rains; I cant move and itstill hurts so bad, I just lay around and cry, I have a 4 yr old(5 in June) and a very active in school 11 yr old child. I cant stand living like this anymore. Any advice???
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418165 tn?1295757581
I'm sorry but I didnt even say thanks, its late and this chair is killing my back.
Thanks in advance I hope to hear from someone soon! best wishes
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469901 tn?1276567223
I can relate to experiencing pain before weather rolls in.  It is a misery.  Have you been diagnosed with RA?  Vicodin is not something I can take, but I do always have darvocet, flexeril and zanaflex.  At first they did not help but now that my condition is under control, the pain pills and muscle relaxers are wonderful and I cannot imagine life without them.  
What are you having done on the 13th and 14th?  Are you seeing a rheumy?  Has he tried putting you on plaquenil in addition to the anti inflammatories?
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Hi - I'm so sorry for what you are going through. RA is cruel and heartless. My daughter takes Darvocet for pain, and it helps her. She tried Vicodin because she asked the doctor for something stronger, but it made her feel too 'out-of-it' to function. So she went back to Darvocet. We also go to the doctor (rheumatologist) on May 13. We've got our list of questions ready. Best of luck to you on your Dr visits.  
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In response to your post on May 6th, thanks so much for your input - you blessed me and my daughter so much when you said that it took you a long time for your Dr to reach a diagnosis, and then to find the right mix/dose of meds. We are there too - so helpful to hear that we are not the only ones going through this type thing. Hey, I was wondering - why is it, do you think, that RA flares are so much worse in rainy weather?
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469901 tn?1276567223
I am glad my responses have been helpful.  I remember how I felt through the whole process and that is why I am here.  I wrote in your other post that I believe barometric pressure changes that accompany rain are what trigger the arthritic flares.
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Amen!  I have severe psoriatic arthritis and when it's too dry or too wet I get BAD flare-ups. I have it from shoulders to toes and have been at the "end of my rope" way too many times. Nothing seems to work (not even morphine) and I just finished my second round of Remicade. Got my fingers crossed. I am also on Arava & Otezla-no help there either.
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