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Arts and Crafts

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dare to Compare

I have been posting much on Rheumatoid Arthritis lately and if you like to read just the RA-posts, click on this link Rheumatoid Arthritis Posts, or on the link in the side-bar.

Ok, I decided to dive into the new treatments for RA. My rheumatologist had wanted to put me on one of them and if it didn't take so much co-payment, I prolly already would have been. (I guess we will wait for the generic haha). It tickled my curiosity though as in what the difference was between them. So I visited their websites and gathered the information that I would like to know and think is worth sharing...What do they do and how is the medication taken? Right now I am on Ibuprofen, Plaquenil and Methotrexate. So how/where do they fit in/go out?

First site I visited:
This I found a very good and informative site. Definitely worth visiting! Great information and not only on the medication, but also tips for daily living with RA.

This is how it works:
REMICADE, in combination with methotrexate, is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, inhibiting the progression of structural damage, and improving physical function in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis.
How to take it:
REMICADE is administered by IV infusion. A REMICADE infusion takes about two hours. After the initial three infusions, the dosing regimen is once every 8 weeks (only 6 times a year).

Sounds easy enough. No hassle, no storage, no disposal. Only a trip to where the medication is administered. Hmm...You have to plan your vacation around it though.

Next site:
Good in formation on the medication (that rhymes haha).

How it works:
HUMIRA helps stop the progression of RA, cuts down the number of painful, swollen joints, and reduces disability. HUMIRA has been studied in combination with MTX and the results are consistent. Almost all HUMIRA clinical trials were conducted with combination therapy.
How to take it:
HUMIRA is taken as a self-administered injection. It comes in a single-dose, pre-filled glass syringe with a fixed needle. And is usually taken once every two weeks. HUMIRA needs to be stored in a refrigerator (2°C - 8°C/36-46°F).

This means you can do it at home and take it with you when/if necessary. Providing you can keep it cool till you have to take it. (I suggest you leave the fridge at home and find an icebox or something to carry it in. You got enough burden to carry around as it is:-). But it means storage, disposal and obtaining the medication.

Last site:
Info was good. It was a little less well organized as the previous ones. It took me a little longer to find what I wanted to know. But let's pertain that to my impatience:-)

How it works:
ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, inducing major clinical response, inhibiting the progression of structural damage, and improving physical function in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. ENBREL can be initiated in combination with methotrexate (MTX) or used alone.
How to take it:
ENBREL for adult patients is 50 mg per week given as one subcutaneous (SC) injection using a 50 mg/mL single-use prefilled syringe. and can replace two 25 mg vials of ENBREL.
The vial and diluent syringe should be stored in the refrigerator. ENBREL and the prefilled syringe must always be kept cool—at 36° to 46°F (2° to 8°C)

Same comments here as on the Humira. One other thing I read though, was that other doses should be manually mixed. But instructions are included with the medications, along with a vial adapter device and free kits and supplies.

They all seem to work well and not just for RA, but for several other diseases. All the sites give good drug information as well as info on insurance/insurance support, and patient support.

I guess what it comes down to is what is most appealing and/or convenient to you. I, for instance, don't like the idea of sticking needles in myself, so if I had to make the choice right now, it prolly would come down to no.1. Yeah, I am a coward. This concludes the lesson for today, haha! I hope it is of any help.

link link link


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