At some point on your journey with IBD, Remicade has probably come up in conversation. Remicade is an anti-inflammatory drug administered through an IV port. It’s commonly used to treat other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. For me, Remicade treatments have been a part of my life for nine years.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
- It’s not a quick process. When I first started treatments, Remicade was a day-long process. I started when I was in high school, so this meant missing a full day of classes. Nine years later, the process has become a bit more streamlined. My rate of infusion has been sped up to a two hour period. But after the nursing staff orders the medication from the lab, inserts/removes the IV, and monitors you for a 30 minute waiting period, time adds up!
- You are down for the count. To prevent any allergic reactions, the hospital will typically give you Benadryl prior to treatment. I don’t know about you, but Benadryl makes me loopy! Add in a two hour infusion and my body is worn out. You can usually will find me curled up on a couch shortly after Remicade. I’m sure this reaction can be different for other people.
- It gets the job done. I can usually tell when I’m due for a Remicade treatment. I feel a little sluggish and my intestines don’t always cooperate. The day after treatment, I feel like I drank my get-up-and-go juice! I truly see a difference in my energy levels and digestion, which is really all you can ask for with Crohn’s.
- It’s not for everyone. I have heard many stories of people becoming immune to Remicade, or even having severe allergic reactions. I feel blessed to have a treatment the works for me, but it is also best to 1) Ask for a doctor’s recommendation and 2) listen to your body. If not Remicade, then maybe Humira, or a different medication entirely. You never know what’s next on the IBD rollercoaster.
If you have had an experience with Remicade or a similar treatment, I would love to hear your thoughts!