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:
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,
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I started site shortly after being diagnosed in October of 2008 with severe pancolitis (when my whole colon was inflamed).
For me, it was a very rough start with severe symptoms. Getting bounced from medication to medication was not easy or too helpful. But, I did meet another UC’er, changes several parts of my diet, and of course the rest is history.
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