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I have psoriatic arthritis. I am unable to stay on Enbrel for long due to infections. Is there anything more that I can try?

By Anonymous January 21, 2009 - 3:58pm
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I have been on Humira in the pat, dr aid it stopped working, and put me on Enbrel. I have a bulging disc at L4-5 and spondylois, with arthritis in the facets. I have to stop the medication for weeks at a time and I know it can't possibly be doing its job having to stop and start multiple times. What can I do to preserve my joints aside from exercise and diet? Any suggestion? I have had this condition for 6 1/2 yr, and it took over 2 yrs to pinpoint what was actually wrong. I was alos diagnosed with iron depletion in the bone marrow, after a bone marrow biopsy, and rheumatic fever. HELP!!!

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Anon, I'm so sorry that you're dealing with all this, it sounds like you've had a rough 6 1/2 years.

What kind of infections are you getting? I am assuming that the reason you have to stop your medicine sometimes is because it lowers the ability of your immune system to fight infection, am I correct? Did you have this issue with Humira at all?

What both drugs do is help with the inflammation, and therefore the pain, of arthritis. Enbrel and Humira are both in a class of medicines called TNF-alpha inhibitors, and Remicade is another one of those. Has your doctor tried it?

This is a really good page from the Mayo Clinic on psoriatic arthritis and the treatments that are available. Has your doctor tried the immunosuppressant medicines with you?


Are there things that you specifically do in your diet to help fight your conditions? Here is a page of things to eat and eliminate from your diet to help with your symptoms:


Here's a page from the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center where a patient writes in about her psoriatic arthritis and a doctor answers her question about medicines:


And here is their main page on medicines:


Has your doctor tried the other categories of medicines with you? Did you get any relief?

What are you doing, if anything, for the iron depletion and/or the rheumatic fever? Anemia is common with arthritis; are you being treated for it as well? Are you still having menstrual periods or have you gone through menopause? (Loss of blood through periods can make your anemia worse).

Here's an article about anemia and arthritis. You can print it out -- it's a pdf. It's a bit dense but it has good information:


And a page from the National Anemia Action Council:


And just one more thing. You might appreciate this forum for people with psoriatic arthritis. They talk about symptoms, compare the effects of medications, and support each other:


Please feel free to answer and let us know any more specifics about your condition; we can submit your question to one of our medical experts and see if they have more advice. Take care, and pat yourself on the back for being such a good advocate for your own health!

January 22, 2009 - 10:09am
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