Cimzia- SHE WORKS!

Hello all fellow followers of wonky warrior.

Apologies for a short break from my dear blog. This is because LIFE has taken over as I feel so very well on the CIMZIA! Ooh YES!

I have had another dose of it now and have to go in every 2 wks for a stab of it. My bloods are so much better too.

I am home from my final loaded dose of the cimzia. I just go for a maintaince dose every fortnight now.

Just to tell you how it feels for me. Most of you know that I have had serious and life threatening reactions to drugs in the past. I got to the point where I vowed not to have another biologic drug for the ra. Then things accelerated within the space of a few months and I landed in hospital unable to move and with the immune system just wrecking every part of me. The choices I was presented with were- 1) Full Chemo, 2) Bone Marrow transplant or 3) The new biologic Cimzia. Yep! You guessed it! I was wetting myself!



Having had anaphalaxis on the last drug I investigated the risk profile of all the 3 options. With consultation the 3rd option was better because even if I had anaphalaxis again they would almost certainly bring me back. the safety profile of the Cimzia is the same as the other anti TNFs ie you are 3-5 times more likely to get serious infection and having had a few of these I am wary but these days A and E do know much more about the drug profiles etc. the other 2 options take a long time, a lot of time away from the family, higher risk of serious infection and no guarantees I wouldnt be allergic to those drugs either. Still, we might have to face that route one day.

Anyway.

With Cimzia you have 3 loaded doses of 400mg (2x200) injections. The injection I can hand on heart say is painless- not even a MTX type sting and the syringe is ergonomically designed for rheummy hands to do although because of my reactions in the past I am still going to hospital for mine. Then you go onto a one injection a fortnight regime.

As Jennifer Aniston would say- Pay Attention! here comes the science part!


Cimzia belongs to a group of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. There are different types of TNF, and Cimzia binds preferentially to TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that is involved in inflammation and other immune system functions. TNF-alpha can contribute to Rheumatoid disease by encouraging inflammation, and people with RA often have high TNF-alpha levels. Blocking TNF-alpha helps to decrease the inflammation and to relieve the signs and symptoms of RA and aims to control and slow the progress of the disease.

Interestingly, Cimzia is actually a fragment of a human antibody. It is produced in special bacteria that were designed to produce this human antibody fragment. The antibody fragment is then "pegylated," which means it is attached to a polyethylene glycol molecule. This process helps Cimzia stay in the body longer (so it can be taken less often).

Anyway- when I have the injection I have a piriton tablet first. then I wait 30mins. then I have jab one one side of the tummy and jab 2 the other side. within about 10mins I feel this prickly sandpapery throat like I have swallowed something without chewing or that I am recovering from flu. I feel groggy like my thinking and function is dragged down by lead weights and I have a sleep.

After about 2 hours I wake up and am bright eyed and bushy tailed. The side effects fot me are an increase in neuropathic pain (tackled with pain relief- gabapentin) that really is it!

the very day after the first jab I felt brighter and this has continued throughout the last few mega doses which have been equally well tollerated.

When I had the first jab my CRP was a huge 92 just on the RA alone. ESR in the 80s.

Today I have been told ESR is 40 and (wait for it!) the CRP is 20! It has not been here for a good number of years. I am very anaemic still- might need to take some pills to sort this and you know I have muscle weakness and ridgidity with lumps inside legs which have not resolved at all.

Perhaps I could try someone elses legs for a while- perhaps Kate Winslet would lend me hers for a while....

The Cimzia success, together with the news that I have secondary addisons and a chance to reduce some steroid and the RA is being well controlled gives me hope, such hope of being functional again!

Well, more functional in some ways eh? ;-) Even IF I cannot walk again, living life as a disabled person is no half life is it? I have dared hope for wellness.

I have started hydrotherapy too and had a right laugh at a err, rather traditional, more erm, mature lady who requested a "swimming bonnet" before entering the pool. The poor (trying not to giggle) physio had to explain that she wasnt sure where they sell them any more and then this wk Mrs Bonnet arrived for her weekly session wearing a particularly fetching plastic shower cap that she had carefully sewn on small bits of plastic fruit. (oh I nearly died trying to keep my sniggering quiet!hahahahaha!)

This friday have decided to go to hydro like this;



HA HA! Mrs Bonnet will be jealous! LOL...

Isnt it nice to share some lovely news about a drug for a change?!
Is anyone else on the Cimzia?

Who's legs would you like to borrow?

Anyone got some spare pinnapples?! ;-)

5 comments:

ValleyWriter from RA (maybe) Mamma said...

Ha! Terrific! I have some extra pineapples I can lend you. Might be a bit expensive to ship them, though ;-)
Glad you're starting to feel better already - I hope it gets better and better each time!

deac-in-training said...

So relieved and excited for you! I think you should have Kate's legs because really she isn't using them nearly as well or as thoroughly as you would. It's the least she could do. As for your bonnet, don't forget the artichokes. It's a flower, after all, and it would be unfair to only use fruits.

Wonky Warrior said...

he he he. Artichokes- Like it. Have to agree that Kate's legs would look altogether on me!;-)

I did have a bit of a laugh looking up swimming bonnets on google there are some truly hideous creations on there! HA HA!

considering hanging a passion fruit from each ear lobe to complete the look....

rheumablog said...

I'm delighted to hear that you're doing so well on the Cimzia -- thank goodness! I hope it continues to work for you and that your pain and disability levels keep going down. It's SO nice when the drugs work as advertised!

I remember wearing a rubber "bathing cap" for swimming when I was a kid -- I hated them. The last one I ever wore had layers of blue and pink rubber flowers all over it. Talk about feeing ridiculous! "Swim bonnet" sounds so much more appropo if one is going to add fruit and artichokes to it as decorations. How about a few birds, too? A parrot, perhaps?

Thanks for the smiles, WW. Keep feeling good!
-Wren

Sherlock said...

So glad to hear the Cimzia is working well and no bad side effects. I, too, have serious and weird reactions to all kinds of meds. It's hard to find the right one. So funny about Mrs. Bonnet. Love your pictures :-)

Cimzia- SHE WORKS!

Hello all fellow followers of wonky warrior.

Apologies for a short break from my dear blog. This is because LIFE has taken over as I feel so very well on the CIMZIA! Ooh YES!

I have had another dose of it now and have to go in every 2 wks for a stab of it. My bloods are so much better too.

I am home from my final loaded dose of the cimzia. I just go for a maintaince dose every fortnight now.

Just to tell you how it feels for me. Most of you know that I have had serious and life threatening reactions to drugs in the past. I got to the point where I vowed not to have another biologic drug for the ra. Then things accelerated within the space of a few months and I landed in hospital unable to move and with the immune system just wrecking every part of me. The choices I was presented with were- 1) Full Chemo, 2) Bone Marrow transplant or 3) The new biologic Cimzia. Yep! You guessed it! I was wetting myself!



Having had anaphalaxis on the last drug I investigated the risk profile of all the 3 options. With consultation the 3rd option was better because even if I had anaphalaxis again they would almost certainly bring me back. the safety profile of the Cimzia is the same as the other anti TNFs ie you are 3-5 times more likely to get serious infection and having had a few of these I am wary but these days A and E do know much more about the drug profiles etc. the other 2 options take a long time, a lot of time away from the family, higher risk of serious infection and no guarantees I wouldnt be allergic to those drugs either. Still, we might have to face that route one day.

Anyway.

With Cimzia you have 3 loaded doses of 400mg (2x200) injections. The injection I can hand on heart say is painless- not even a MTX type sting and the syringe is ergonomically designed for rheummy hands to do although because of my reactions in the past I am still going to hospital for mine. Then you go onto a one injection a fortnight regime.

As Jennifer Aniston would say- Pay Attention! here comes the science part!


Cimzia belongs to a group of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. There are different types of TNF, and Cimzia binds preferentially to TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that is involved in inflammation and other immune system functions. TNF-alpha can contribute to Rheumatoid disease by encouraging inflammation, and people with RA often have high TNF-alpha levels. Blocking TNF-alpha helps to decrease the inflammation and to relieve the signs and symptoms of RA and aims to control and slow the progress of the disease.

Interestingly, Cimzia is actually a fragment of a human antibody. It is produced in special bacteria that were designed to produce this human antibody fragment. The antibody fragment is then "pegylated," which means it is attached to a polyethylene glycol molecule. This process helps Cimzia stay in the body longer (so it can be taken less often).

Anyway- when I have the injection I have a piriton tablet first. then I wait 30mins. then I have jab one one side of the tummy and jab 2 the other side. within about 10mins I feel this prickly sandpapery throat like I have swallowed something without chewing or that I am recovering from flu. I feel groggy like my thinking and function is dragged down by lead weights and I have a sleep.

After about 2 hours I wake up and am bright eyed and bushy tailed. The side effects fot me are an increase in neuropathic pain (tackled with pain relief- gabapentin) that really is it!

the very day after the first jab I felt brighter and this has continued throughout the last few mega doses which have been equally well tollerated.

When I had the first jab my CRP was a huge 92 just on the RA alone. ESR in the 80s.

Today I have been told ESR is 40 and (wait for it!) the CRP is 20! It has not been here for a good number of years. I am very anaemic still- might need to take some pills to sort this and you know I have muscle weakness and ridgidity with lumps inside legs which have not resolved at all.

Perhaps I could try someone elses legs for a while- perhaps Kate Winslet would lend me hers for a while....

The Cimzia success, together with the news that I have secondary addisons and a chance to reduce some steroid and the RA is being well controlled gives me hope, such hope of being functional again!

Well, more functional in some ways eh? ;-) Even IF I cannot walk again, living life as a disabled person is no half life is it? I have dared hope for wellness.

I have started hydrotherapy too and had a right laugh at a err, rather traditional, more erm, mature lady who requested a "swimming bonnet" before entering the pool. The poor (trying not to giggle) physio had to explain that she wasnt sure where they sell them any more and then this wk Mrs Bonnet arrived for her weekly session wearing a particularly fetching plastic shower cap that she had carefully sewn on small bits of plastic fruit. (oh I nearly died trying to keep my sniggering quiet!hahahahaha!)

This friday have decided to go to hydro like this;



HA HA! Mrs Bonnet will be jealous! LOL...

Isnt it nice to share some lovely news about a drug for a change?!
Is anyone else on the Cimzia?

Who's legs would you like to borrow?

Anyone got some spare pinnapples?! ;-)

5 comments:

ValleyWriter from RA (maybe) Mamma said...

Ha! Terrific! I have some extra pineapples I can lend you. Might be a bit expensive to ship them, though ;-)
Glad you're starting to feel better already - I hope it gets better and better each time!

deac-in-training said...

So relieved and excited for you! I think you should have Kate's legs because really she isn't using them nearly as well or as thoroughly as you would. It's the least she could do. As for your bonnet, don't forget the artichokes. It's a flower, after all, and it would be unfair to only use fruits.

Wonky Warrior said...

he he he. Artichokes- Like it. Have to agree that Kate's legs would look altogether on me!;-)

I did have a bit of a laugh looking up swimming bonnets on google there are some truly hideous creations on there! HA HA!

considering hanging a passion fruit from each ear lobe to complete the look....

rheumablog said...

I'm delighted to hear that you're doing so well on the Cimzia -- thank goodness! I hope it continues to work for you and that your pain and disability levels keep going down. It's SO nice when the drugs work as advertised!

I remember wearing a rubber "bathing cap" for swimming when I was a kid -- I hated them. The last one I ever wore had layers of blue and pink rubber flowers all over it. Talk about feeing ridiculous! "Swim bonnet" sounds so much more appropo if one is going to add fruit and artichokes to it as decorations. How about a few birds, too? A parrot, perhaps?

Thanks for the smiles, WW. Keep feeling good!
-Wren

Sherlock said...

So glad to hear the Cimzia is working well and no bad side effects. I, too, have serious and weird reactions to all kinds of meds. It's hard to find the right one. So funny about Mrs. Bonnet. Love your pictures :-)