I knew Orencia was working for me one week after my first infusion. Swelling in my hands, ankles and feet gradually disappeared until at three months I only have minor swelling in my hands. My daily dose of RA(RD) pain has subsided to mostly feet pain, occasionally hand pain and spine pain. My improvement is amazing and feels like a miracle.
It feels like a miracle because I had been in uncontrolled RA pain since the Fall of 2012. Now in the Fall of 2015, the pain is almost gone. Thanks to Orencia my RA fog is lifting. I have more energy. And I will have a lot more energy as I move more.
I am still on other medications for my RA(RD)*. I am also on Methotrexate injections. I take Plaquenil, meloxicam, gabapentin. My prednisone is 2/3 of original dose and decreasing.
I go to the infusion center once a month. Time is about one hour. Occasionally, I have what feels like a rebound effect. About a week after the infusion, I have a day or two of inflamed joints. Then it’s gone. Then it’s good.
Orencia is expensive. My insurance co-pays maxed out so I have no more co-pays until the beginning of next year. I have had local financial assistance this year. I do have an Advantage medicare insurance program so am not eligible for financial assistance from drug assistance programs.
I had the expectation that this drug would work. I have no idea why except that nothing had worked up until this medication. I am glad it works.
Hopefully, my experience will give you a little optimism. Eventually, you will find something that will work for you too.
*RA is rheumatoid arthritis; RD is rheumatoid disease and a preferred name. RA or RD is a systemic disease, not to be confused by osteoarthritis which is a wear and tear joint disease.