Decisions, decisions (aka “The Indecision and the Beast”)

So – I have to start a new medication soon, and I can’t for the life of me pick one, and… well, basically, I’m just wondering what you lovely ladies would do. Which is a little ridiculous, I know, but I’m just so darn curious!

Because this is so very (very very very) off-topic, I’m going to sneak the rest under a cut, so feel free to skip this post (which will be taken down in a day or two)… or read on ;)

whee irrelevant makeup photos to break up the text

{this one’s from this post}

The ten-second bazillion minute rundown

Both drugs that I’m considering are immunosuppressive TNF inhibitors known as biologics, a class of drugs used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. In terms of effectiveness and safety, they should be equal (biologics do this weird thing where they sometimes work and sometimes don’t, depending on the person, no one really knows why… it just kind of happens), so at this point it’s more of a “lifestyle choice” than anything else.

If you’re interested in reading more about the two drugs, rheumatoid arthritis, or biologics in general, feel free to check out the links below!

Wikipedia: golimumab (Simponi), inflixiab (Remicade), TNF inhibitor, rheumatoid arthritis

Drug websites: Simponi, Remicade

Blogs: RA Warrior, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy

I’m not going to go really in-depth about these drugs, because a) I really don’t think anyone out there would care to read a six-page paper on them, b) they’re very similar in terms of side effects, etc, and c) the issues that are important to me, in particular, simply wouldn’t span six pages! So, without further adieu…

{from this post}

Option one: Remicade

Remicade is….

  • Administered via: IV in a rather comfy injection clinic; every two months (but would likely require me to miss a day of work/school/etc)
  • Injection volume: 250ml
  • Public availability: 1998
  • Makeup: mouse/human chimeric antibody

Option two: Simponi

Simponi is…

  • Administered via: subcutaneous injection; monthly (done at home; wouldn’t take more than ten minutes)
  • Injection volume: 0.5ml
  • Public availability: 2009 (this is my only major issue with Simponi – erk!)
  • Makeup: fully human

{from this post}

The poll!



Thanks for answering, my dearlings! (That’s right, dearlings.) & I’ll see you soon with some more, erm, makeup-y babble ;)

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  • Erin

    I am a pharmacy tech, which by NO means makes me an expert, but I have a wee bit more knowledge that the average person. I think you are very right to be concerned about the short time that Simponi has been on the market. There are so very many drugs that are approved by the FDA (I'm in the States, obviously) and then pulled from the market once they have been found to be unsafe. My first choice, since you have been given a choice, would be to try the one that has been on the market much longer.

    • Thanks for adding your input, Erin! It does actually help me to hear that (as I've been leaning toward Remicade for the same reason). Nice to know I'm not alone in thinking that ;)

  • Larie

    good luck, dear. hope everything works out :)
    My recent post Diorskin Nude Glow Healthy Glow Summer Powder- 001 Aurora

  • So I am not going to vote since I really don't think I can make a good decision for you but I will provide you with a little bit of experience.

    My younger brother is a diabetic. So we have dealt with the at home injections and the full day medical appointments.
    As a show of support everyone in my family has gone through the diabetic routine a handful of time. Trust me pricking yourself for drawing blood hurts but doing your own injection is easy, once you get past the mental block. I don't know what type of needle you will be using but if you have the option to go with a pen type.
    All day appointments really are not that bad either. You will find ways to keep yourself busy. The only thing is that it can be difficult to keep your condition to your self, if that is what you want to do, with such frequent doctors appointments on top of your normal personal days.
    I wish you all the best!

    • Not true! I have fibromyalgia as well, and doing my weekly MTX injections is (excuse my language) a little hellish. But, with that in consideration, I suppose it would be mildly uncomfortable either way! :p

      All my best to you and your brother as well! xx

  • Hey Rae,
    I take a subcutaneous injection ever day for my MS medicine. Everyday. For 11 years now. Once a month sounds divine to me. I have an injector, which I'm sure you'll get too and it's really easy.
    Two years on the market, 11 years on the market-there can always be something wrong with a drug whenever. When I chose my drug, it was a fairly new choice for MS and that didn't bother me.
    In the end, you really have to choose yourself. You know which one you want and what will work for you.
    Good luck!
    My recent post Annabelle Smoothliner in Urban Jungle Melts My Teal-Lovin Heart

  • Oh, and I forgot–*HUG* :)
    My recent post Annabelle Smoothliner in Urban Jungle Melts My Teal-Lovin Heart

    • *Hugs back* Thank you, my dear ♥

      Sorry to hear that you have to self-inject MS meds every day :( I'm relieved to hear that the injector is easy, though – I hate taking my methotrexate (which is done in via a traditional syringe)! Hope you're well xxx

  • Nina

    I chose Simponi actually just because it's self injectable (hmm, is that a word?) and should be easy and not putting you thru all day appointments. BUT, it's really bothersome that it's only available since 2009. So, as you can see I'm very hesitant too =D By the way, I asked my fiancé his opinion and he said that you should ask your doctor why there is so much difference in the amount of drugs and their applying methods if they're basically the same of effects. Just our humble opinions =) I hope everything goes well and please update us with your decision!

  • Roxanne

    Obviously drugs work differently for everybody, but I tend to go with the tried and true version first. My deal is that if it's been working for years for many people, then there is a bit of a higher chance that it will work for you! Of course this isn't always the case… My mom has epilepsy and was on the typical medication, but it stopped working. The only one that works is one of the newer drugs that (thankfully!!!) is now covered by my dad's healthcare plan.

    Is there a difference in price for you? Sometimes newer drugs/treatments aren't covered by healthcare (and even extended plans -__-), so that's something you'll definitely need to look into as well. Like I said above, my mom's medication was only covered recently and I know personally that when I tried NuvaRing, which is fairly new, it wasn't covered.

    • Blargh. Biologics are… tricky, I'll put it that way. They just kind of work (or not), but no one's really sure why, and no one drug is any more likely to work well for you! -.- But, if the first one doesn't, it's extremely likely that one of the others will (thank goodness!) :)

      As for the price difference, I haven't actually looked into it! There would be one (Simponi being the more expensive), but our healthcare covers a lot of it and I'm not too concerned. (One of the many, many reasons that I love being a Canadian! :p )

      • Roxanne

        I am also Canadian XD Just south of you, actually! (I'm in Calgary, and I believe you've said you're in Edmonton?) I've personally found that healthcare in Canada can be pretty finicky, especially if it's a plan you get from your employment. Some plans are really great, and others…meh. I've also noticed that a lot of new medications just aren't covered by anything. I know a few of the newer cancer medications fall under this category (and they cost thousands per month!).

        Another example is… I have asthma, and the puffer version of my medication is covered. The discus version, which works better for me, isn't -_- Same medication, just different delivery.

  • makeupmorsels

    Hello *and hug* Simponi does sound like the more convenient option, but I would agree w/ everyone else that something which has been on the market for 1998 is probably more reliable. Then again, I'm no expert on this, so I hope that whichever one you choose works well for you :)

    btw, unrelated but I made a lightbox today!
    My recent post This Just In Kinda- Catrice Summer ’11 Preview

    • LOL, me too! Well, sorta – I just kinda made a bespoke infinity background :p But I like it! And will post the tut. soon.

      How did your making a lightbox go?

    • Oh! And *hugs back* :) Thanks, babe!

      • makeupmorsels

        Looking forward to your tutorial! Well…the "square windows" of my lightbox look more like jagged trapezoids…but you know, it's functional! I have to tinker with the lighting a lot more (just used natural light for a couple of test shots), but all in all, I am reasonably pleased.
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  • Allison

    I'd go with the Remicade. I know Simponi sounds convenient and that's always nice, but I think Remicade is the safer choice. At the clinic, you'll have a nurse administering the drug, making sure all is well. Having to miss a day of school and work every two months makes up for the fact that you'll be in a safe place, receiving a drug that is seemingly more reliable.

    Sending the best to you from southern Alberta :)

    • Aww, thanks Allison! *hugs* :) Whereabouts in southern Alberta are you, if I may ask? (I'm an Edmonton girl, but have roadtripped all the way down to Lethbridge. 98% boring, as I'm not a fan of car trips, but 2% pure epicness :p)

      • Allison

        I'm actually in Lethbridge! A *LOT* more to do in Edmonton than here, which is why I'm considering going to grad school at the U of A :)

        • Oh, cool! As an Edmontonian, I feel obliged to say that a) you most certainly should, and b) we'd love to have you in our city! :p

  • Kali

    Remicade sounds like more of a hassle for sure, but the fact that it's been on the market since '98 is too big of a draw in my opinion! Best of luck with whatever decision you ultimately make, I know it'll be the right one.

  • Kate & Zena

    Honestly, it's your body and it IS up to you. I'm honestly someone who'd rather sacrifice a day at the office for the hospital so I know if I get a bad reaction, I have a nurse there. When you're dealing with really high dose/experimental/whatever drugs, I want to be in a hospital environment or a doctor's office; I know you know how much I dislike hospitals (the smell, oh God, the smell), so saying that means something. So, that's why I picked Remicade. I'd rather be safe than have a bad reaction and have no one around (been there, done that).

    I worry that this may be going too powerful (can't think of the word) too quickly though. Remicade is pretty powerful stuff. I worry about you, y'know. We're wavelength sisters.

    • Well. Yeah, I'm aware of that :p I'd actually rather it wasn't up to me; I'm bollocks at making decisions!

      Guess I should also mention that there is NO chance that I'd have a bad reaction to Simponi, while there IS a small chance I'd have a very bad one to Remicade >.<

      Aaaanyhow. Thanks for adding your input, babe!! Worry about you too xx How are things on your end?

      • Kate & Zena

        The hot weather finally came! (And it better stay now. It can't tease me again.)

        Well, actually, I have a pretty "funny" story (now, this depends on who you are. My mom finds this absolutely hilarious. I don't find it funny). Anyway, last Wednesday my mom and I had to go to the neurologist for our shots. My mom had a wicked headache; I was going to see if they would help the tinnitus that's been going on in my ears from the round of shots where he shot my nose (those shots HURT, by the way). He decided he would use steroids with the anesthetic this time. I was feeling fine the entire time until my final shots. My final shots were between my eyebrows and I felt a wee lightheaded. Yes, me, the girl who rarely has any weird side effects, was lightheaded.

        I was apparently also bright red too, because the neurologist asks me, "Are you okay?" I, being Autistic, takes it literally and showed him how I felt. I waved my hand showing I felt kind of "eh."

        My mom asks, "Do you feel like passing out?" to which I nod. My mom relegates me to the floor and I get thrown a pillow. My mother chastises my neurologist about questioning me. I answer questions literally so you need to ask questions like, "Do I feel like passing out?" instead of, "Do I feel okay?"

        Apparently, I got a little too much steroid for my 94 pound frame and got a wee lightheaded! I managed to flood a needle with blood too. Ha ha ha ha ha. :) My visits at the neuro are never boring. He was like, "You have no fat on your head like other people. You need to eat." to which my mom responds, "She does; she eats like a horse, but she's like my husband. She burns it all off. He didn't get fat on his frame until he was 35." I swear you could see the frustration because he had hit an artery accidentally (no, there was NOT blood everywhere. It was one near my ear) and flood the needle with blood. I found that funny. It's not my fault I can't gain weight. Blame the metabolism. Didn't find nearly passing out funny (reminds me of having seizures), but flooding a needle with blood and him getting frustrated was funny.

        Yep, I am THAT weird.

  • I don't know the details and history of your condition, but why do you need to start on new medication? MTX is also a disease-modifying drug which you mentioned you are already taking. Is it not helping?

    Remicade is an established drug. I would suggest Remicade.

    *hugs, Rae*
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    • *hugs back* I'm already on Plaquenil, MTX, and sulfasalazine, but the RA has been hitting really hard – I think the cocktail's helping a bit, but not nearly enough.

      Thanks for the input :) I *think* I'm going with the Remicade, but I haven't sent in the paperwork just yet.