Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Remicade/Infliximab » Anyone taking Inflectra or another biosimilar? Your experiences?

12-05-2018, 01:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Providence, Rhode Island

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Anyone taking Inflectra or another biosimilar? Your experiences?

Hello all -- looks like insurance denied Remicade, but Inflectra was listed as "preferred," so perhaps that's what I may be looking at. Waiting to hear. In the meantime, anyone here on Inflectra or another biosimilar? If so, what are your experiences on it?
Hi, I'm Jesse!

Current meds:
Inflectra (5mg/kg)
fluoxetine (20mg)

Previous meds:
Dexilant (too pricey!), Xifaxan (short course), budesonide (tapered off), prednisone (fun!), Pentasa (had to switch in January 2016), Lialda, generic mesalamine, omeprazole, LDN

2000IU vitamin D-3

gastritis & duodenal ulcers, August 2011
Mild Crohn's in terminal ileum, February 2012
5cm of narrowing w/ no signs of active inflammation, May 2014
12-06-2018, 05:43 AM   #2
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emmaaaargh's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom

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I actually started Inflectra yesterday, for the same reason: the NHS prefers to begin patients on biosimilars rather than the original-brand biologic now, for cost reasons. The literature indicates that there's no real difference between the original and the biosimilar in terms of effectiveness, which is fine by me!
Hi, I'm Emma!
20 years old.
Diagnosed: Crohn's disease, August 2007
Currently on: Inflectra 5 mg/kg, azathioprine 37.5mg
01-02-2019, 01:37 PM   #3
kiltubrid's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Madison, WI, USA

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After being on Remicade for four years, my symptoms were completely controlled for the past two years, and I was in complete remission. But my insurance wanted me to try the cheaper biosimilar, Renflexis. I was game and was really hoping it would work, due to the high price of Remicade. However, I flared and my symptoms returned with a vengeance, especially arthritis which hits me particularly hard. Given this, my doctor wrote a letter to the insurance company to get me back onto Remicade. The gastro symptons are much better now that I'm back on Remicade, but I still suffer from arthritis. I hope it gets better soon on Remicade, as it did last time. It just took a couple of years the first time around.

A couple of the nurses in the infusion center told me quietly that several other patients were experiencing the same thing.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease Oct 1982; Enteropathic Arthritis Nov 1985; Ankylosing Spondylitis June 2015
Taking 150mg Azathioprine; Remicade
Been there, done that: Renflexis; Sulfasalzine, Pentasa, Asacol, Prednisone, Budesonide, Cimzia, and more colonoscopies than I can count
01-02-2019, 08:24 PM   #4
Tim641's Avatar
Join Date: May 2017
I've been on Inflectra for just over a year now and it has helped to control my symptoms. Although I do have a few flare ups every so often so I have the infusions more frequently. Other than that it has been very good for me. I have more energy and I can do lots more activities than before I started Inflectra.

01-03-2019, 02:25 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Providence, Rhode Island

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Thanks for the input y'all! I FINALLY got approval to start my infusions next week, so I'll let you know how it goes.

kiltubrid, this is interesting. I'm wondering if those patients experiencing the same thing were also started on Remicade, but then switched to a biosimilar and started experiencing problems. As a complete aside, I used to live in Madison for quite a while! Not sure how you're feeling at the moment, but if you're up to it, have an old fashioned and some cheese curds for me.
01-04-2019, 06:58 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: United Kingdom

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I read a research paper a while back, albeit talking about Imuran, where the GI doc stated that whenever he starts patients on the brand, and moves them to the generic, they flare. Yet when he starts them on the generic, and then moves them to the brand, they remain well - and his recommendation was always to not take people off the brand name if they've already started.

I mean this makes no sense, as theoretically it should be the same drug, but that was his experience over a number of years.

(I'll update this post if I can find a link to the paper.)
Advocate of the dietary treatment of Crohn's, as detailed in The essential guide to controlling Crohn's Disease, Colitis and Other IBDs by Professor John Hunter

Other supplements as needed: Adcal D3, Sytron (liquid iron, much more gentle on the stomach)
01-15-2019, 01:51 PM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Providence, Rhode Island

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Well, first Inflectra infusion went OK last week. Took some Tylenol and Claritin, and then had the infusion. The only two bad parts:

1. I now have a huge bruise on my forearm around the injection site -- doesn't really hurt much, but it isn't pretty.
2. Even though it's streaming, Netflix didn't allow me to download Black Panther to my device. So I couldn't watch it during my infusion. THANKS FOR NOTHING, NETFLIX.

Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Remicade/Infliximab » Anyone taking Inflectra or another biosimilar? Your experiences?
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