S has been using Enbrel for the past 4.5 years.
It started with a hospitalization while we were living in San Francisco. A flare up of her sickness that led to horrible head aches, high fever, joint pains and other symptoms.
These flare ups are not uncommon for her, but due to the nature of her auto-inflammatory sickness they can be (often are) associated with an internal inflammation happening somewhere in the body. Thus it’s very important to get medical attention as soon as a certain line is crossed to make sure that a potential serious inflammation does not lead to further complications.
(In the past she has had episodes of ulcers, acute uveitis and other symptoms that can lead to permanent damage if untreated.)
During the hospitalization, after seeing how simpler anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs and prednisone was unable to control the flare, the doctors suggested we try Enbrel, and it has been very effective in keeping the flares at bay.
S still gets symptoms and smaller flares from time to time, but they are shorter and lighter than before the Enbrel.
After moving to Sweden she was able to continue her Enbrel medication, but late last year due to a cost control program in Sweden we were asked to trial a generic alternative called Benepali (made by Samsung…).
Generics for biological drugs like Enbrel work different from other generics. They are actually called Biosimilars because replicating the exact medicine is impossible due to the manufacturing process. Instead a ‘biosimilar’ is judged based on its effect, and how close it is to the original medicine.
Unfortunately the Benepali did not work at all the same for S’s sickness and she had a serious flare up as a result. The doctors put her back on Enbrel right away, but she is still (after 4 months) feeling the effects of the lapse with constant pain, fatigue and frequent fever episodes.
My belief is that the effects of the Benepali will wear off and Enbrel will again be able to provide a certain level of relief, but it will likely take a while before S is back on her feet again.
I guess the point I’m trying to get across is that you really need to be careful when switching from a brand name medication to a generic version, and especially with Biosimilars…
Another record after the horrible knee pain. 4k without noticeable problems. Forefoot strike is getting stronger but it sure is more painful and taxing than the regular heel strike…
Source: nds_runners 0:26 h Löpning Move