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Do Biologics Help Your Flares? I'm Seeing A Rheumatologist Soon

Hello everyone!

I am still undiagnosed but finally got an appointment with a rheumatologist, though they couldn't get me in until October 1.

I'm in the midst of a flare-up that started in mid-March and has persisted through three rounds of Prednisone.

What's the longest flare you've ever had? And do biologics make flare-ups happen less often?

  1. I'm sorry to hear you're in the midst of such a long flare-up and that Prednisone isn't working for you! I think different treatments work for different people, though I know that's not the most helpful answer. In my experience, a combination of a biologic and DMARD has helped reduce the number of flares I experience, but it took some time to find the most effective combination. Certainly worth having a conversation with your new rheumatologist about the risks and benefits of a biologic!

    1. that is so hard, and I certainly relate. Spondyloarthritis flares can be brutal in their length and severity! To answer your question, the longest flare I ever had off biologics was about...6 months. When I am off my biologic I am in almost a perpetual, never-ending flare. When I am on my biologic, they are much more short-lived and a lot less severe. I would say my longest flare on biologics was about a month or so.

      Biologics do help me flare less often, too. For me, they sort of take AS down from a screaming fiery roar to a dull ache. I have gone through a lot of ups and downs on biologics though, from near remission to losing remission to trying new biologics that I didn't respond to, to finally landing on one that helps just enough. It's a process.

      Since you are undiagnosed, is your general doctor prescribing the prednisone? Perhaps you can ask for some pain medication to get you through to your appointment given that prednisone hasn't helped enough. When you see the rheumatologist, some things to ask for would be imaging (X-ray or MRI of your most painful spots) and an HLA-B27 genetic test, which can cinch the diagnosis of AS if you are positive. If you are negative, you may have another form of spondyloarthropathy, which can be just as painful. Here's some more info that may be helpful if you haven't seen it already: https://ankylosingspondylitis.net/diagnosis/

      Please do come back and update us and let us know we can help in any other way! -Diana (Team Member)

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