I am thinking about taking Certolizumab (Cimzia), any advice?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi, I am new to this forum.

I am 28 and I was diagnosed with AS around 2 years ago. Since then it has repidly gotten worse and my 'flare ups' are getting longer and more servere, to the point where it is affecting my quality of life.

On a good day I am still able to train at martial arts, which i have done for around 20 years, and i find actually makes me feel better and my attacks a lot less frequent. I have been told by my Doctor that this is fine, but if i feel any pain or discomfort i should stop the excersize i am doing, and completely avoid this type of excersize during a flare up.

On the other hand, during a flare up I am usually only about to go about my day to day life in extreme pain and discomfort.

My Rheumatologist has insisted that I should use Certolizumab (Cimzia) which she describes as a wonder drug to slow down the progression of my AS (She even goes as far as to say that most patients have lost most symptoms of AS within a few weeks).

I just wanted to know if anyone here has taken this drug, as I am concerned about the possible side effects that may come from killing off your immune system.

Any advice would be greatly apprecited, thanks.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Joe,

    Welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing so much pain.

    I think your concerns about the drug suppressing your immune system are very relevant. The TNF blockers like Cimzia have really changed many peoples' lives in that they can have a dramatic effect on pain, infammation, and physical capacity.Just know that some people get great results for a period of time and then the drug stops working so well. Many people bounce from one TNF blocker to the next because their body builds up antibodies to the particular drug they are taking.. This might not be the case for you but it is an experience some people have.

    There are other alternatives to medications that might take a while to see impressive results such as the "no starch" or "low starch" diet that has worked well for many people.

    I think your doing the right thing to take a step back and reflect on this decision.

    Best Wishes

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  • Posted

    All rheumatology drugs are a balance of risk versus benefit.  I hear great things about Cimzia if it works for you.  They do lots of blood tests to check that your liver and kidneys are ok - if you're function is severely affected and you're being offered it (not everybody is because it's expensive) then I would say try it - it may change your quality of life.
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  • Posted

    have U started Cimzia yet? I am just wondering how it worked.
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  • Posted

    Hi Joe, I put cimzia into the patient search and lots popped up. Just wondering if you started cimzia? I started cimzia injections 3 months ago for rheumatoid arthritis. I can see the benefit of it clearly now. It took a couple of months to kick in. I did experience a couple of side effects at first but I persevered and it paid off. Interesting that the same biologic can be used to treat more than one disorder. Hope your seeing good effects if you are on cimzia. G.
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    • Posted

      Hi Gemma, I've used it for about 5 months now and like you I had some bad side effects to start with. I've noticed that if i get a cold / sore throat it seems to affect me a lot more now and is harder to get rid of. Other than that I feel much better and it is working very well. Not sure how safe it is to use long-term but it is working well at the moment

      Joe

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