4 Tips for an Easier Transition to a New Biologic

Finding your way to a new medication, especially a biologic, is frustrating and often lengthy. Depending on your current dosing schedule, it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to make the transition.

What can help in your biologic journey?

It is often a lengthy, not to mention frustrating, process. So if you're looking for an easy transition to a new biologic, I’ve come up with 4 tips that I hope help you in your treatment journey.

Document everything.

The best thing to speed up the process of transitioning to a new medicine is to document, document, document.

“I think it isn’t working anymore” doesn’t usually work for doctors, and certainly not for insurance companies, no matter how well we know our bodies.

Choose whichever documentation method works for you and do your best to do it. We have a great printable available to help you get started. Once you figure out what works for you, it becomes straightforward.

Doctor appointments

While I know that keeping up with doctor's appointments and trying to stay positive is at its most difficult when your medications aren’t working.

As symptoms continue to get worse and all we want to do is give up and crawl back into bed under heated blankets, we have to make sure we make it to our doctor appointments.

In some cases, virtual appointments might suffice. But your doctor can’t “see” that the medicine isn’t working if you aren’t getting to your appointments.

Tap in to loved ones

I can tell when my body is heading towards a backslide as a general rule. I may not know how long it will last, but I can certainly tell the downward trajectory of my symptoms. And yes, I am fully aware of how difficult it is to ask for help. As the President of the “I Don’t Want to Ask for Help Club,” it is often the last resort.

However, hiding it from my family forces them into a difficult position. Because if they can offer me any help, it makes their planning and scheduling more difficult.

I know it is difficult to admit that we might need help, but I’m sure those willing to help always appreciate the warning that we aren’t doing so well.

Plan on doing the “legwork” yourself

Maybe this should be the number one tip and should be repeated until the end of time. This one might be the most difficult because it involves endless hours on the phone and moments of frustration, the level of which I’m sure you have never experienced before.

In addition, if you are prone to anxiety, doing the legwork to get your hands on your medicine can undoubtedly trigger it.

So, this last time I went through transitioning to a new medicine, I decided that I would document the process.

You are your own best advocate

I did my best to keep track of each phone call, each form, each person I spoke with, and each message I left from the start of the process to when my medicine arrived on my doorstep. Any guess what the number was?

The total was 57. Yes, 57! 57 calls, messages, conversations, and forms. But the point here is that when it comes to pushing the paperwork through, you are your own best advocate.

In my experience (and this is just reality), as much as the doctor’s office staff wants to help, as much as insurance companies try to make the process “smooth,” and specialty pharmacies have advocated on the phone checking on the “process,” in the end, you absolutely MUST make sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed, all by yourself.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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