caret icon Back to all discussions

Biologics & How Treatment of PsA Is Changing

So I was talking to my rheumatologist last week and she said something interesting to me. I was asking her why I wasn't prescribed Humira four years ago when I was initially diagnosed with PsA. (For the record, I was seeing a different rheumatoligst at the time.) Why was I put in NSAID's like Indomethicin for so long?

Her response was that the treatment of autoimmune disorders has really changed over just the last two years. Doctors were hesitant, until very recently, to prescribe biologics because they're serious and still pretty expensive drugs.

But more and more doctors are realizing the danger of inflammation. And current conventional wisdom is to curb the inflammation as quickly as possible, which has led to the prescription of bioligcs more quickly after initial diagnosis.

I'm not sure we're living in a "golden age" of having PsA because I'm no sure there is such a thing. But knowledge of just how to treat our condition is advancing at a pretty rapid pace. Hopefully, even better treatment options are just around the corner.

  1. This is helpful, thank you Sean! I too have been on anti-inflammatories, etc for years now and finally in February I saw a new Rheumatologist who said enough is enough, you are only going to continue to get worse. Friday I will start Humira and hope to have a positive experience with it!

    1. , thank you for posting this. I find this so interesting and it may explain some of my experiences.

      The first time I was diagnosed (long story, short version: denial) about 5 years ago I was told by the rheumatologist that I didn't seem bad enough to treat yet and discharged. At this point I was really struggling to walk or bend my knees properly due to the inflammation, and my inflammation markers were three times what they should have been. Like you, I was given anti-inflammatories though. Fast forward to this year, and I guess a confirmation of that diagnosis - I can walk fine and my inflammation markers are normal, but my rheumatologist was pretty keen to get me on something as soon as possible. There was some inflammation on a bone scan this time around though, so perhaps that had something to do with it. Either way, I found my rheumy's urgency very odd/interesting considering my first experience !

      - It sounds like your new rheumatologist is serious about getting things under control for you. I am wishing you the best for your Humira injection today. Let us know how you go!

      1. Humira has been out now since, I believe, 2003. So there's now 20+ years of data (going back to the initial trials) proving it's relatively (and I stress relatively because it IS an immunosuppressent) safe. I think until we knew what the long-term effects of the drug were going to be, doctors were hesitant to prescribe it. But the more data that comes in with regards to its effectiveness and safety (and, yes, if you Google hard enoug you can always find horror stories) the more willing doctors are to prescribe it and other like drugs. (I'm not sure my remarks had enough parenthetical asides in them.)

        1. Thank you! Learning to give myself a shot with the Humira pen was surprisingly easier than I thought. Still not a huge fan of doing so, but I am sure I will adjust as time goes on 😀 The only side effect I have noticed so far is some mild nausea, and each day has been less, so that is a definite plus!

          Please read our rules before posting.