Biologics pros and cons?

jackiespilates Member Posts: 4
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:07 in Living with arthritis

Hi I'm Jackie and new to the group. I've had RA for nearly 30 years but with the help of fab alternative therapists in S. Africa where I lived it was in remission in 3 and a half years. Normal life back until 6 years ago when a horse fly bite set it off again and my wrists and hands have got slowly worse and worse plus left knee. Back in UK I have lost my support group and my GP recommended a rheumatologist. A wrist surgeon consultant suggested biologics as I am losing control and strength in my hands due to the inflammation. Can anyone suggest anything or give me advice on biologics, please?


  • anneb82
    anneb82 Member Posts: 317

    Hello @jackiespilates,

    Welcome to the online community and thank you for joining us. I hope that you will find us a safe and friendly space to share more about yourself and your journey with arthritis.

    So I understand that after many years of using alternative therapy to treat your arthritis while in South Africa but since a horse fly bite, the arthritis has flared up again to the point that your wrists and hands have slowly gotten worse as well as your left knee. Your GP had suggested that seeing a rheumatologist might be of help and a wrist surgeon has suggested going on to some form of biologics as you as losing control and strength in your hands due to the level of inflammation. You are looking for advise of biologics but also want to know how other people find them as well as if anyone else has other suggestions to what else could help.

    I've found the following information on biologics that I hope will of be use to you. I've also included some information on ways in which you can manage your pain. Hopefully something in there will help.

    I'm sure once other members have had a chance to read your post, they will add there own suggestions of other things that may help.

    Please do let us know how you get on, especially once you've seen the rheumatologist. You may have more questions after that appointment so just know that there is always someone around on the community if you need to talk .

    Take care

    Anne (Moderator)

  • Yvie
    Yvie Member Posts: 4

    Hi. I have been using the biologic Cimzia for a few years now and I can only say that it has transformed my RA. The use of a biologic has enabled me to reduce some of the oral medication I previously took which is great. I self administer an injection fortnightly so it doesn't disrupt my life at all. There are several biologics and the first one I was prescribed affected the skin around the injection site so my nurse practitioner tried a different one and that was fine. So I think it is sometimes trial and error, but definitely worth a go. Good luck.

  • jackiespilates

    Thanks so much, Yvie, that sounds exactly the direction I need to go in and your experience has given me a lot of positive feelings about the whole thing. I've now been put on Leflunomide for 6 weeks as a way in to the biologics. Did you have any other side effects from any of the drugs?

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 743

    Hi @jackiespilates

    I was put on the biosimilar Amgevita(Adalimumab) in late July 2021 and can only say that it has had a significant beneficial effect on me. I'm not back to the way I was before my PsA kicked off in 2020 but I'm far better than I was before the Amgevita course started.

    As far as side effects are concerned I've so far had none from Amgevita other than bruising around the injection site a couple of times. Though I suppose the whole package of drugs - I still take MTX and Sulfasalazine as well - possibly reducing my immune system's ability to fight infection has had a significant impact on my social interactions during these covid times.

  • jackiespilates

    Thanks so much for the info Jamie. Yes I'm also trying to keep away from indoor gatherings; will be so much better with warmer weather to meet outside more. Hope the Amgevita continues to work really well for you.