After being diagnosed with enteropathic arthritis in the summer, I was put onto biological drugs to help manage it. I’ve been put onto Simponi (Golimumab) which I’ve been taking monthly since August and I thought I’d share with you how I’m finding it!
Biological drugs are live drugs which are made from proteins and other substances produced by the body and are injected. Simponi is only injected once a month (whereas similar injections like Humira are every 2 weeks) and you don’t need a loading dose either.
If you head on over to my instagram I shared the process of an injection day, including answering some of your Q’s. It’s saved as a highlight and I’ll add to it monthly!
Side effects of Simponi
I’ve never had medication which comes with such a long list of possible side effects!
Some things I was warned about is that you are at an increased risk of skin cancer and drug-induced lupus. HOWEVER, as scary as that can sound, you have very regular blood tests to keep check (every 4-6 weeks).
Since starting Simponi in August, I’ve noticed a few things. Every so often I have days where I feel really sick and my bag gets it’s version of diarrhoea and I feel pretty grim. I also keep getting acid reflux and indigestion as well as breathlessness.
The problem with having multiple chronic illnesses is that you’re not always sure if something is a symptom or a side effect.
After talking to my rheumatologist about all of this, I’ve decided to stay on Simponi til the end of the year. This is mainly to see if I can get used to the side effects. I’m also going to see my stoma nurses/gastro team just to check that it is a side effect and nothing relating to that side of my chronic illnesses.
Has Simponi helped my arthritis symptoms?
The main reason I want to keep trying the Simponi injections is because I’m actually seeing real improvements in my arthritis.
Prior to starting the injections I had really bad fatigue, stiffness in most of my joints, swelling (especially in my ankles and fingers) and I couldn’t move very well.
Through injections, eating well and exercising regularly I’ve got a lot of my mobility back, I’m not constantly stiff AND the swelling has reduced a bit.
I do still have bad days. However, these aren’t as frequent as they used to be. As I’ve seen such an improvement, I’m a bit reluctant to try a different drug, even if I won’t get as many side effects!
Have you tried biological drugs? Let me know your experiences in the comments below!