I thought the day would never come (6 weeks felt more like 6 months), but I had my first Entyvio infusion on last Thursday afternoon! It was a hassle free process, quick infusion, and I went straight back to the office after my appointment.
On top of waiting for prior authorization from my insurance company, I also had to wait for Lutheran to establish a relationship with a distributor and order the drug. I had a feeling that I was the first Entyvio patient at this particular facility, but my nurse confirmed that suspicion upon arrival.
In the past, all of my infusions have been at Lutheran Hospital’s outpatient clinic. Given the time constraints, my gastroenterology nurse chose to set this up in house at Lutheran Medical Group instead. The LMG infusion room is a small and quiet area staffed by two nurses. This is quite different than my experience at the outpatient clinic over the last two years. I’m normally one of 10-15 other patients on a floor staffed with 3-5 nurses and a volunteer who ever so kindly takes lunch orders for the cafeteria, passes around the snack basket, and will bring you a nice cold drink (I never could get him to bring me a beer).
The outpatient clinic isn’t exactly my number one choice for a Friday afternoon hangout, but if I’m going to have to park it somewhere for 3 hours… it’s not a bad place to be. It’s nice to see familiar and friendly faces, especially when you aren’t always comfortable or feeling well. Needless to say, I was quite hesitant about getting my infusions done somewhere else. But you know what? These Entyvio infusions are fast, the infusion room isn’t so bad, and my new nurse is awesome!
- 30 minute infusion time
- No Remicade hangover
- I’m only on Entyvio because I failed yet another drug
- Side effects I have experienced include joint pain and nausea
- This is a newer drug, so there isn’t as much long term data available as other drugs
Long story short? There was a woman in the infusion room for Remicade when I arrived. When I left, she was still there. Though Remicade may take time, I would gladly still be on it if I hadn’t had a reaction to it. I was always exhausted and achy after Remicade and now it looks like I’ve traded in the exhaustion for nausea.
Entyvio is an integrin receptor antagonist and is different from anti-TNFs that I took in the past (Humira and Remicade). It inhibits the ability of white blood cells to adhere to blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract which prevents inflammation.
Every drug is different, every patient is different, and every patient is affected by each drug differently. There is no one size fits all treatment plan when it comes to Crohn’s Disease. The best we can do is share our experiences, help others navigate their own health journey, do our research, and support each other along the way.
I go back for loading dose # 2 on July 2nd… I’ll make sure to give an update then!