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What to expect from Stelara infusion

I finally got insurance approval for the Stelara infusion. I will be switching from Humira to Stelara, my gi says it is not necessary to have a waiting/washout period in which the Humira gets removed from my system before commencing Stelara.

That said, I am a bit of a nervous type when it comes to new meds (have had some incredibly bad reactions to the thioprone drugs and others), so just wondering what to expect from the infusion and whether it might be prudent to wait an extra week or so for a little washout before doing the infusion. Also, might it be prudent to tell the infusion operator to put it on a really slow setting, to monitor for adverse reaction?

I guess I am also a little confused about how meds like this can be either infused, which I think means into your vein/bloodstream or can be injected subcutaneously, in which I guess it gets where it needs to be, but not quite sure how, or how quickly relative to infusion.

I am concerned, as I say, about potential adverse reaction, like anaphylactic or otherwise making me very ill. So trying to come up with a plan to minimize the likelihood of that.

Also, I have read of some patients complaining of stuffy nose. How long might the stuffy nose persist, and does meds such as Afrin/nasal decongestant help?



Staff member
If it helps, in the arthritis world, there are many drugs that can be either injected or infused. For RA, I can think of three biologics - Simponi (subq) and Simponi Aria (IV), Orencia (subq or IV) and Actemra (subq or IV).

My daughter hasn't been on Stelara (yet!) so I can't really answer your other questions. But a stuffy nose is listed as a side effect for all of the biologics - neither of my daughters has ever had one.

Good luck!
Well, I called to schedule my infusion and the nurse said don't worry because they can stop the infusion any time and can use steroids and/or antihistamines to immediately reverse any adverse reactions. She also said they have not observed any adverse reactions from the other patients who have had Stelara infusions.