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Remission Rates Data from Biologic Treatments…An Eye-Opener!

Adam iHaveUC guy

Adam Scheuer, founder of iHaveUC.com

WOULD YOU BE SURPRISED if I told you that a late March 2015 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology suggests that 22.2% of patients who receive Anti Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF) therapy reach steroid free clinical remission?

HOW ABOUT IF I told you that this same study found that adverse events (side effects) occurred in 70.9% of patients who used Remicade (Infliximab) and 67.6% of the patients who used Humira (Adalimumab).

I PERSONALLY was interested to read in this same study that 18.2% of the Remicade treated patients and 13.5% of the Humira patients “had to discontinue their therapy due to severe side effects.”  I would fall into the 13.5% group since I myself stopped Humira after all hell broke lose on my skin-more about that here.

THIS SURPRISED ME when I read in the study: “no patient who switched from one TNFα antagonist to the other for primary non-response or loss of efficacy had a therapeutic benefit from the second TNFα inhibitor.”  In simple English, there were 13 patients in their study who changed from Remicade to Humira or Humira to Remicade because they received no benefit from the first…And, unfortunately none of these 13 people received any benefit from the second medication either.

Educate Yourself About Anti-TNF Meds While You Can

I’m done relaying some main points from this study.  Although the data points above might all seem like bad news and not happy uplifting information… at the end of the day…this is another study.

Unlike so many of the studies written and published on PudMed, there are no “conflicts of interest” listed below this study.  I found that interesting because this particular study seemed to be rather critical/negative towards these anti-TNF meds.  A conflict of interest must be listed for example if one of the researchers involved with the study receives compensation from one of the pharmaceutical companies.  (You can imagine why that would be important)  Maybe a coincidence…that is something the mighty colitis angels may only know.

Here is a link to the entire study:

Real-life Outcome of Anti-tumor Necrosis Factor α in the Ambulatory Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

So again, please read through the study.  It is definitely among the easier studies in terms of the language used, and there are several graphics which help to understand the data points that they gathered.

One of my hopes for this blog post is that for those of you who were so disappointed that a certain medication didn’t work out for you (for whatever reason), you definitely don’t need to feel alone.  Most definitely there are many people, (22.2% according to this study) who gain “clinical remission” from these specific medications, but there’s also another percentage (a much higher one according to this study) who don’t make it into that group.  And that’s OK.  There are many other options out there.  Remission and happiness can still become a reality for all of us.

Let me know your thoughts,

Adam Scheuer

PS:

Do you want to do me and the rest of the site user’s a big favor… GREAT!

If you’ve used Remicade or Humira before, PLEASE leave a review of your experience on either the Remicade Reviews Page or Humira Reviews Page.  (Thanks so much:)






remission, TNF

6 Responses to Remission Rates Data from Biologic Treatments…An Eye-Opener!

  1. shelly in maine April 1, 2015 at 3:25 am #

    Great post Adam…for those of us that have been there done that…for sure. You always have to weigh your cost/benefit and make sure you are fully informed and not takes these very serious meds blindly. I also made sure to report my symptoms to Dr.’s, company and the FDA…especially since they were rare!! Caveat Emptor!!
    Best of health all, Shelly

    • Adam
      Adam April 1, 2015 at 5:44 am #

      Glad you enjoyed Shelly, and you are absolutely right. Thinking about costs and benefits and being educated before you “buy” is pretty important.

      Also, I was pretty interested to read(maybe infer is a better word) how many studies (probably pharma backed) involve a very serious selection process in terms of who is allowed into the study in the first place.

      I took from the study that big pharma is able to do an incredibly amazing job of helping out their desired results based on who they enroll in the first place. (For example, when conducting a clinical study on Remicade and making sure that all participants have never taken a biologic before, and then their resulting positive percentages are displayed in bold. Sounds great, but for the future UC’ers who have already taken Humira for example…those same percentages do not apply for them, and are as this study found out just about worthless…) Once again…stay informed of all the research and doing your best to dig through the fine print is key.

      Cheers to you Shelly!

  2. Armen April 16, 2015 at 4:29 am #

    Hi Adam, what about Mesalazine???

    • Adam
      Adam April 19, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi Armen,
      I don’t have the data for mesalazine/mesalamine based meds, however, you can do some searching on pubmed and I’m sure you’ll find a wealth of info there covering them as well.

  3. Wendy December 19, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

    Adam what meds are you on? I’m now steroid dependant and ammuno suppressants were attacking my bone narrow…next step anti tnf!! Wendy

    • Adam
      Adam December 27, 2015 at 10:24 am #

      Hi Wendy, I am not taking any medications and treat my UC with diet changes that I have made over the years and also a big part has been trying to reduce stress (easier said than done regarding stress, but very helpful in my opinion) -Adam

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