Crohn’s Roulette: 6MP, Remicade, Humira

by Brandee · 5 comments

I had my surgery and all went well. (Except for the fact that I think I was given a bit too much Sandman Special. It took about 3 days for me to get the anesthetic out of my system. Oy vey.) Several biopsies were taken and sent off pathology.  The Friday after surgery I went to see Dr. Evil for my post-op appointment and to discuss treatment plans. He let me know all the biopsies came back and were “…consistent with the previous Crohn’s diagnosis”. The findings are as follows:

  • The Crohn’s is fully out of remission; positioned as close to my colon as it can be without actually involving the colon.
  • Multiple deep ulcers were visualized in the small intestine- in and around the affected area.

I have 3 treatment options available to me:

  1. Remicade: I was shaking my head with an emphatic ‘no’ as soon as the word came out of his mouth. I did, however, take this opportunity to pick Dr, Evil’s brain re: Remicade. Remicade is made from Rat Proteins and in most cases, patients must be medicated to prevent anaphylactic shock before the treatment can begin. The body sees this protein and as an invader, rightfully so, and goes off on it. There is also a small percentage of people who form a type of  lymphatic cancer that is 100% fatal. Thanks for the 411, but I have enough problems.
  2. Humira: Pretty much the same as Remicade with the exception of being derived from human proteins as opposed to rat proteins. The chances of an allergenic reaction are greatly decreased. As with Remicade, there is a chance of a lymphatic cancer that is 100% fatal.
  3. Mercaptopurine (6-MP): Has many side effects including kidney stones and liver issues, which are among some of the most serious.

I chose the lesser of 3 evils by staying with the 6-MP for now. The dosage has been raised and I am back on my friend Prednisone until the Crohn’s stabilizes.

When it comes to Remicade and Humira, I consider those last ditch treatments even last to more surgery.

{ 5 comments }

avatar Mary March 24, 2010 at 5:09 AM

Hi- thanks for this post!

I have been loosely following you for about a year- I am currently on Humira and it works AMAZINGLY! My gastro said that he has been practicing and seen thousands of patients on Humira, and that not one of them has ever developed any lymphatic cancers.

avatar Sue Schneider March 26, 2010 at 1:02 AM

Brandee,

Sorry to hear that you’re out of remission. Crohn’s sucks – as you and I know.
I have to agree with you about the Remicade,etc. I’d stick with the 6MP — and in fact, that’s what I’ve done in the past. My doc wanted me to try Remicade and I said no way! I know it’s got a track record of helping but the side effects scare the hell out of me. I would consider it as a last resort…maybe. Hope the prednisone and 6mp and Asacol work for you. Hope you’re feeling better soon!!
btw, re:your last post – I hate when people tell me that I look good when my Crohn’s is active,and I’m suffering. They don’t get it!!

avatar Nichole March 26, 2010 at 1:37 PM

i have taken 6mp, remicade, and Humira. 6mp didnt work, remicaid made me sick, and the Humira helped about 60%. I would gladly refer anyone to humira even with the side effects cause that 60% has gave me some of my life back. I to just had another surgery, a small and large bowel resection that was in jan and here it is march and i am barely moving around. Can’t even start taking any of my crohns medicine until they know everything is okay..

avatar Dana April 10, 2010 at 3:26 PM

I am very glad to find your site and am horrified by your experiences with doctors. Unlike you, I did not have a prolonged experience with misdiagnosis. My symptoms came on quick and severe with a pregnancy I later needed to terminate. My colon was removed before the actual diagnosis of Crohn’s came down. I was on Remicade for almost 7 years fighting the allergic reactions before switching to Humira. So far, so good with that. I am starting to eat gluten-free and hope that I can stop the medication. I haven’t read all your posts, so I don’t know if you ever had a child, but 5 years after being warned about getting pregnant again, I did accidently. My first thought was that I was going to die, but my 3 year old son is the greatest gift.
My best to you.

avatar cyrus May 16, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Humira worked great for me. My disease is not that severe but i still had symptoms. i could not tolerate 6mp headaches and it really did not seem to work well. With humira hopefully it will continue to work. i was feeling better both mentally and physically in a week. I encourage you to give it a shot i have not had any side effects yet. You might be taking a chance with cancer but life is nothing but taking chances every time you get in a car you might die. Be well Cyrus

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