I sat down for my second dose of Orencia two Fridays ago. I had been off the medication for three months and it was completely out of my system so for the week prior to the infusion I felt pretty low.
I did not have any reactions to the infusion itself except for a little tenderness in the injection arm but that was relatively normal.
Unfortunately, the effects of the medication did not kick in until the end of the weekend. I was extremely lethargic and weak. I kept zoning out and I needed rest after only 20 or 30 minutes of activity. I dropped multiple items and was just “under the weather”. This was beyond annoying but still normal. I generally felt like this for a few months before I fully became used to the medication.
After the weekend I felt fantastic. I lowered the prednisone dose to 9mg (I had been on 10 for nearly a year sometimes increasing to 12mg)! I experience no swelling in my joints or excess pain, and I kept up with a full time summer schedule no problem. The prednisone was not the only medication I changed. I eliminated the extra Tylenol from my evening medications and only took the 300mg that was already part of the Ultracet tablet (37.5mg of Tramadol and 300mg of Acetominophen). I tried to stop the Tylenol in the morning but was not able to do so.
So far, I feel better than I have for almost eight or nine months! I exercise every day, my appetite has decreased (a welcome change because of the lower prednisone dose) I feel more alert and overall in better spirits. I am inclined to think this is due to the Prednisone changes than the Orencia because the prednisone really messes with my mood. Of course, if the Orencia was not working I would not be able to lower the Prednisone dose. I do not know how long the Orencia will work because after a few months I always plateau but for now I will take advantage of feeling awesome!
Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.