anti-tnfs anyone??

sian1001 Member Posts: 5
edited 25. Feb 2012, 16:23 in Living with Arthritis archive
hi! im new to the board, im 30 yrs old, married with 2 children & i was diagnosed with RA in august 2011. i have been on sulphasalazine, methotrexate & my consultant is now wanting to put me on 'cimzia' which is an anti-tnf, the hospital has given me a file which i assume is provided by the drug company but it doesnt give much info on the drug at all! apart from telling me taking this drug may increase my risk of cancer! is anyone on this drug? would really like some more info or advice... thanks! x


  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think I'm right in saying that all the biologics etc come with that risk. You are carefully monitored when on these drugs, I am now on my third anti TNF and my reasoning is they can cure cancer (thanks to the monitoring I am sure they would spot it early enough to do just that) so that small risk has never bothered me. For those who find the right med their life can be nicely sorted for a while and you won't know you're in that number until you try! I hope it works effectively for you, I still take meth and sulph alongside my humira and I have to say that this trio is working, OK it's not as good as would like but that doesn't really matter, I reckon I would be worse off without them! I wish you well. DD
  • tillytop
    tillytop Member Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Sian and welcome!

    There are lots of us here taking biologics/anti-tnfs but I'm not sure if we have any Cimzia users - I think I have seen it mentioned on here a couple of times.

    But you might find the links below helpful - one is a detailed booklet on the biologics generally, which does make reference to Cimzia and the other is the link to the Arthritis Research Uk Cimzia information.

    As for cancer risk - well I think all the biologics have a similar set of potential risks/side effects. But, my attitude is very much that I would rather have every opportunity to be as well as I can now, rather than denying myself that chance based on a very small risk of something which may never happen. So these days, I genuinely don't worry about the "what if's". I am on my third biologic, all of which have helped me - and I very much hope that Cimzia will work well for you.

  • salamander
    salamander Member Posts: 1,906
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sian, I used Cimzia for 9 months last year but, unfortunately, got infection after infection so came off it. Just started another anti tnf.

    As to other side effects, I found my skin became very dry & irritable, almost allergic to metal or anything scratchy; occasionally felt nauseous and once or twice had very low white cell count but that sorted itself out.

    The main problem for me was respiratory infections. It worked to some degree but I couldn't get my steroid use down. Don't know if that was because I had to stop taking it whenever I took antibiotics (which was often) so it didn't build up enough in the system.
  • Wonkylegs
    Wonkylegs Member Posts: 3,504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI Sian,

    I'm on Infliximab infusions (have had just over a year of them now) and whilst I can understand your reluctance and your worry, I'd say it is worth giving things a go once you've asked the right questions of the right people!

    Whilst the folks on here are good at advice about their own experiences, non of us are doctors, and sometimes this is where the Arthritis Care helplines come in very handy. Whilst they don't have specific medical training they can point us in the right direction to find reliable info on more complex questions like that of the supposed link between anti-TNF/biological drug therapies and cancer.

    Like you I was concerned about the 'link' between these drugs and cancer, and although my rheumatology team did say it wasn't an issue, I contacted the helplines team for further advice.

    I know they gave me a link to a reliable medical study which explained in much more detail than anything else I'd seen. I can't find the link for you, but if you post your query on the 'chat to helplines' page they may have even more up to date info.

    from what I can remember the article was much more reassuring than I'd expected.

    hope that helps

  • salamander
    salamander Member Posts: 1,906
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well said Wonky (how are you by the way?)

    My rheumatology team said they don't really know if there is a link, whether people who develop cancer would have developed it anyway.
  • mimiofdc
    mimiofdc Member Posts: 24
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and welcome, I am afraid I don't know much about your specific drug either.

    But regarding anti TNF, I have had a go and it was well worth it. In the end it wasn't right for me as it didn't give enough relief, and I didnt like the side effects (infections, etc).

    I eventually made the choice to go off it, but I have no regrets for trying.

    I wish you the best whatever you decide :)