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There are a couple of discussion threads going on about specific medications for AS but I have a general question about medications and I didn't want to redirect those discussions so here goes. In the course of my treatments I have been on numerous anti-inflammatory drugs from simple Celebrex to the more exotic biologic meds like Remicade, Simponi and Humira. Nothing that I have taken has given me that "ahhhhh" response. The response has been subtle at best. I found this disappointing to say the least. I have spoken in the past here about my wife's response to Remicade for her rheumatoid arthritis and I was hoping for a similar effect on my condition. That never happened with any of the drugs.
But here is the real issue. One of the rheumatologists that I was seeing made the comment that since we have not been able to find that magic bullet it does to some extent call into question the diagnosis. She made the point that taking these drugs is therapeutic on the one hand but it is also diagnostic. If none of the standard AS drugs has any dramatic effect then are we really dealing with AS?? This is a question for me because I do not have the classic x-ray signs of ankylosing and I do have a good deal of degenerative disc disease and plain old osteoarthritis in the facet joints. I have had rheumatologists disagree somewhat about the diagnosis and it was settled to some extent that I have seronegative spondyloarthropathy.
But what I really wanted to know is this: Is it really that unusual for the standard AS treatments to have so little effect?? Based on what I have heard here I would say that I am not alone in that regard. If you have had an experience one way or another on this issue I'd like to hear about it. And if you have had a dramatic effect from one of the major drugs out there I'd like to understand what that effect feels like. Does it make you pretty much pain free or does it just tone the pain down enough to function almost normally. Maybe my expectations were just too high. With my wife Remicade was a miracle drug that has effectively put here RA in remission and I was hoping for some similar drama which never came.
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