Does Anyone Use Biologics or Know of Anyone Who Does?

Fat_Dragon

Well-known member
I was at the James Cook Hospital this week having my half yearly checkup for an autoimmune condition and my liver function levels are 3 times higher than what they should be. They have decided to stop the treatment and asked me if i want to try biologics. I have been reading the leaflets that the doctor gave me to get a better understanding of them and i'm not sure what to think. In my case i am being offered the biologic Humira (Adalimumab).

From what i have read Humira lowers your immune system and can increase your risk of getting infections and certain types of cancer. That alone fills me with anxiety. I was wondering if anyone uses or knows of anyone that does use biologics and what difference it has made to their day to day life? Do the positives outweigh the negatives and can you still live a close to normal life as possible or do you literally have to be careful where you go and who you socialise with?
 

Glover_elbow

Well-known member
I've been on humira for about five years as long as you get your bloods done regularly you should be fine. It has made a significant difference to me i have psoriatic arthritis and had some large patches of psoriasis for years after about a month on treatment the psoriasis completely vanished and hasn't returned it also has improved my arthritis no end. These biologics are incredibly effective compared to nonbiological treatments.
I guess it really depends on how you are suffering presently if your condition is effecting your quality of life then I would go for it
 

Nzedred

Well-known member
I'm also on Humira, for Ankylosing spodylites and have been on it for about 8 years.
its worked wonders for me and, thankfully ive not suffered any side effects at all. Ive gone from passing out due to pain if i sneezed and not being able to sleep in a bed for years to not having any pain at all.
 

starplayer

Well-known member
Hi Fat dragon. Your anxieties are understandable. My understanding of their prescribing are that they are often used as a sort of last resort to control flares of inflammation, often when Azo does not work or its side effects cause problems. If there is no alternative it is a difficult position for you to get your head around. Often sufferers of auto immune diseases have organisations they can get in touch with to communicate with others that have had to make the choice you have been asked to make. For inflammatory bowel disease it would be the national association - crohns and colitis uk. Other conditions will have their own associations. They obviously wont decide for you, but they will all have had the fears and concerns you currently have. As with any drug you put in your body, there are risks and side effects and only you can decide what level of risk you are comfortable with.
 

afcb_acklam

Well-known member
I wasn't aware of the term biologic, but after a quick google, I have been having a biologic drug, infliximab, for a few months now, by infusion. just had one today, actually. I shared your concerns re all the side effects, but after a bit of research & reassurance decided to proceed. No noticeable side effects as such, but did get covid for the first time last month, presumably proving my auto immune system is lowered! the infusion is a completely harmless procedure, off to the hospital regularly, hooked up onto a drip for two hours (reduced to one now) and relax. I feel absolutely fine after, went straight off to a cafe for a sausage sarnie, then to a pub for two (very weak abv) beers. I wish you well.
 
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festa5

Well-known member
I'm on Adalimumab, have been for a few years for psoriatic arthritis. Similar to others experience it's far more effective than anything I took previously and zero side effects so far. I think the only time anything ever came up in my bloods was slightly low potassium once.

In terms of lowering the immune system, for me personally I've not noticed any difference. I have a 3 and a 5 year old so I've been exposed to a lot of viruses etc since I've been on it. Don't seem to pick them up any more than the wife does, nor do I suffer any more than usual when I do get something.

When I had covid it took me a week longer than anyone else in my house to test positive and the symptoms were so mild they were practically non existent. The hospital did keep writing to me to tell me I was at increased risk though so suspect I'm probably just lucky to be a bit of an outlier on that front.

Obviously worth reading up on it all before you make your decision. I think the increased risk around cancer, although not to be dismissed, is actually very small. Whatever you decide though, good luck.
 

Matt

Well-known member
My wife has the same biologic you're being recommended. You're right in that it surpresses your immune system, but not in a major way. It won't affect your day-to-day and it has worked really well. Good luck 👍
 

Cambsred

Well-known member
I see people fairly regularly who are on biologics. Absolute game changer of a medication for rheumatological conditions in my work.

It's amazing in medicine when something changes prognosis and outcome so significantly in such a short space of time.

Side effects vary for most medication, you may find the initial medications you are / have been taking also have quite the list of potential side effects.

Good luck with it.
 

UgoAfro

Well-known member
Traditional 'pharmaceutical' drugs are small, synthesized molecules designed to inhibit or enhance the pathways of the body by binding to proteins in the body (receptors or enzymes etc.). 'Biologics' are a relatively more recent thing (although insulin could be described as one) that have come about due to advances in genetics and molecular biology. They are made by genetically manipulating cultures of mammalian cell lines or bacteria to produce 'synthetic' versions of the proteins that are naturally in our body but modified in some way to have the desired positive effect (in this case to keep your immune system from going out of control). In a lot of cases they are based on antibodies as antibodies are naturally very specific about what they bind to so can be used the target the drug very precisely in the body (the 'ab' at the end of all these drugs name indicates that it is antibody based).

At the end of the day, it's your decision but Doctors do not prescribe anything where the negatives outweigh the positives to that individual. However they are ethically obliged to make you aware of potential side effects or risks which is what they have done (although it should be noted that everything has them, including the more traditional 'pharmaceutical' drugs - I'd advise never reading that section of the package insert or you'll send yourself mad!). Based on the experiences of the others on this thread, I'd say they seem mainly positive so if you do go for it just make sure you follow the advice and turn up to all your monitoring appointments without fail so any side effects are spotted early and dosage or treatment can be adjusted.

Best wishes. Ain't medical science brilliant!
 

SmallTown

Well-known member
It's a fascinating field and can make so much difference to a persons health. Bioligics are powerful medicines which of course means they work pretty well but the side affects can also be dramatic. I've been in labs where they manufacture similar drugs and some of the equipment they have is proper science fiction stuff. Advances in medical technology are way beyond my comprehension.

As @Glover_elbow says, if you can keep getting your bloodworm checked for other infections and the like hopefully that'll go some way to allaying your anxiety. They'll probably closely monitor you when you start your treatment anyway.

Best of luck with it all
 

starplayer

Well-known member
It's a fascinating field and can make so much difference to a persons health. Bioligics are powerful medicines which of course means they work pretty well but the side affects can also be dramatic. I've been in labs where they manufacture similar drugs and some of the equipment they have is proper science fiction stuff. Advances in medical technology are way beyond my comprehension.

As @Glover_elbow says, if you can keep getting your bloodworm checked for other infections and the like hopefully that'll go some way to allaying your anxiety. They'll probably closely monitor you when you start your treatment anyway.

Best of luck with it all
OMG. I didn’t know he had a bloodworm!! That changes everything. He needs a guppy.
 

Glover_elbow

Well-known member
i would add i have had less colds or minor infections on humeria purely i think because it makes you more wary and cautious of others around you.
 

Millbrook

Well-known member
Traditional 'pharmaceutical' drugs are small, synthesized molecules designed to inhibit or enhance the pathways of the body by binding to proteins in the body (receptors or enzymes etc.). 'Biologics' are a relatively more recent thing (although insulin could be described as one) that have come about due to advances in genetics and molecular biology. They are made by genetically manipulating cultures of mammalian cell lines or bacteria to produce 'synthetic' versions of the proteins that are naturally in our body but modified in some way to have the desired positive effect (in this case to keep your immune system from going out of control). In a lot of cases they are based on antibodies as antibodies are naturally very specific about what they bind to so can be used the target the drug very precisely in the body (the 'ab' at the end of all these drugs name indicates that it is antibody based).

At the end of the day, it's your decision but Doctors do not prescribe anything where the negatives outweigh the positives to that individual. However they are ethically obliged to make you aware of potential side effects or risks which is what they have done (although it should be noted that everything has them, including the more traditional 'pharmaceutical' drugs - I'd advise never reading that section of the package insert or you'll send yourself mad!). Based on the experiences of the others on this thread, I'd say they seem mainly positive so if you do go for it just make sure you follow the advice and turn up to all your monitoring appointments without fail so any side effects are spotted early and dosage or treatment can be adjusted.

Best wishes. Ain't medical science brilliant!
I know where you are coming from but this is a bad idea.

They neglected to tell me that some new blood pressure tablets caused extreme sensitivity to the sun and I should use sunscreen, wear a hat, long sleaved clothes and avoid going out in strong sunlight.

Fortunately I read the side effects before starting the tablets and reverted back to my old ones.
 

UgoAfro

Well-known member
I know where you are coming from but this is a bad idea.

They neglected to tell me that some new blood pressure tablets caused extreme sensitivity to the sun and I should use sunscreen, wear a hat, long sleaved clothes and avoid going out in strong sunlight.

Fortunately I read the side effects before starting the tablets and reverted back to my old ones.

Sorry yes, i was being flippant saying don't check out the side-effects. I would always advise people to be as informed as they can be so they can make the best decision. What I was trying to say was that if you are of an anxious disposition then that section could lead to your imagination running wild so much that you don't then make a rationale decision.
 

Omega

Active member
I was on it but stopped working psoriasis. I agree with everything good about it never had any more infections than anyone in my house and worked well for a few years. I am now on a another biological and doing fine good luck it is a life changer
 

johnsmithsno2

Active member
Hi Fat dragon. Your anxieties are understandable. My understanding of their prescribing are that they are often used as a sort of last resort to control flares of inflammation, often when Azo does not work or its side effects cause problems. If there is no alternative it is a difficult position for you to get your head around. Often sufferers of auto immune diseases have organisations they can get in touch with to communicate with others that have had to make the choice you have been asked to make. For inflammatory bowel disease it would be the national association - crohns and colitis uk. Other conditions will have their own associations. They obviously wont decide for you, but they will all have had the fears and concerns you currently have. As with any drug you put in your body, there are risks and side effects and only you can decide what level of risk you are comfortable with.
What's Azo used for? I thought it was for bladder issues but wasn't available over here??
 

starplayer

Well-known member
What's Azo used for? I thought it was for bladder issues but wasn't available over here??
Its an immunosuppressant. Auto immune disease is basically where your bodys immune system fights against some body systems. By suppressing your immune system then that fight is not so aggressive. Can be used in conditions such as inflammat bowel disease or arthritis etc. Azothioprine can sometimes cause liver damage and people who are prescribed it should routinely have blood tests to ensure the liver is coping.
 

Fat_Dragon

Well-known member
Thanks for all the replies. Ive had another consultation with my doctor over the phone and have agreed to start treatment on Humira (Adalimumab). I will need a break of 4 weeks while i wean myself of the treatment i was currently on and to check my liver is functioning ok with blood tests. I think if the treatment works then it will make a really big difference and as many of you have pointed out if you keep getting your bloods tested regulary, any complications will be picked up early and appropriate action taken.
 
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