Hi everyone, hope you are feeling better and your joints are happy. Oh wait, joints make you happy?!? Haha, well my joints are always mad at me. I wanted to chat a bit about the biological drugs out there and the side effects that I have been experiencing. Right, now I feel like I am in the twilight zone of medicine. My RA doc doesn't know about my current yeast infection dilemma and my GYN doc, does not know squat about the use of Enbrel for RA. So as usual, we become our own advocates. Well, I am going to have to make some tough decisions concerning my meds and maybe my history with RA meds might help some of you with decisions on what medicine might be right for you.
Now, I have been on most all RA meds since 1994. Plaquinil, Methotrexate (yuk), Gold Salts ( huge mouth sores), Arava (did nothing), Remicade (Only one infusion then had to fight insurance company), Enbrel (for like 9 years now!), SImponi (just like enbrel but a once a month shot, the effects did not last the month) – and of course the love/hate of my life prednisone. Oh how I love to take thee, but how I loathe your side effects! Anyways,I want to chat about Enbrel and my current situation and maybe someday this might help someone.
I think I am at the end of my rope with taking Enbrel. My immune system has finally hit rock bottom. I have a rare Candida infection that will not go away, and it is a quite rare strain. I have been on multiple rounds of diflucan to no avail. But every time I take my damn Enbrel, I get worse. EVERYTIME. Of course my current RA doc (as of today my past RA doc) said he highly doubts that the Enbrel would be causing or making me worse?!! Really? A medicine that lowers my immune system would not make my current infection worse? That is the dumbest thing I have heard him say since I have been seeing him. My gyn is trying to pre-load me with yeast infection medicine on the day I take Enbrel, but I just get worse a few days later. Also, more evidence that I have a crappy immune system is that I did not even have allergies this year (I have had them for my entire life and bad ones). Oh you say that is a good thing, right?! Well, according to my ENT Doc he said its because I have no immune system to even fight off allergies so I don't feel the effects. If he is right who knows, but I am the allergy queen and it was quite shocking to not have any this season. Something was just different this year. Low estrogen (almost none), no allergies, and now non-stop rare yeast issue.
The point of all my ramblings is this. Does Enbrel help my RA – Hell yes – My joint pain and stiffness are way better on Enbrel. But does Enbrel cause other issues that are just as debilitating? Hell yes – Living with a four month long horrible yeast infection and feeling like I have the flu all the time is intolerable too. Enbrel has warnings about fungal infections. Why would my damn Dr say Enbrel is not part of the issue!!!! Grrrr!
I think I have to reach a happy compromise. Maybe take Enbrel once a month instead of twice a week. Boost my immune system with lots of healthy veggies and fruits, probiotics, and a few supplements. And see what happens.
The only way to ease RA pain, is to screw around with your immune system. What a conundrum. Have any of you on biologicals experienced horrid side effects with them?
Sorry for the rant, but, some days you just got to rant!
Hugs and prayers!