New Adventures, New Biologic

The time is quickly approaching, in just 5 days, I will be receiving my first injection of a new biologic that I will be starting. I am not sure how I feel about this entire situation.  There is part of me that is immensely heartbroken to be on this new drug. I do think it will offer some hope, however, knowing that it will only treat a component of my asthma and may not be as effective as my previous biologic, is a bit disappointing.

I was not originally assured that my investigational drug will continue however, I was absolutely ecstatic when my physician/clinician told me that there was an arrangement that has been made with the pharmaceutical company and I, at least even for a little while, that I would receive the drug in a compassionate use program. The research center was just waiting for the drug to arrive. A month had passed and when I followed up with further details, the drug had not arrived. I had heard that the US sites had already received the drug, however, this lone Canadian site had not.

The reality of this has stepped in, I am just going to have to suck it up and hope for the best, after all. I have made a decision tree for this decision, I have done my research and I am “mostly” okay with this decision. I am also exhausted from trying to move along Pharma. I have tried to get further information from my doctor (who had none and was equally frustrated), the pharmaceutical company who legitimately will not tell you anything. This has something to do with ethics and regulations, although I sometimes wonder if it because they are making it up as they go along…A topic for another time.

Time was passing by and I was nearly through the washout phase of my clinical trial and becoming symptomatic without a biologic on board. I noticed that I was losing overall asthma control. At first, I thought this merely being stressed out and then getting an early summer cold. (As an aside: Honestly, I think summer colds are the worst and they just keep lingering on forever ).

When you cannot continue a clinical trial treatment

Wash out phases: “A period of time during a clinical study when a participant is taken off of a study drug or other medication in order to eliminate the effects of the treatment.”1

This also means that if a treatment is working for you, that you will not get the positive effects of the medication because the study has concluded or it has been discontinued. My old symptoms were returning and I just have not been able to get them under control. I missed going up my stairs with ease or a spring, or the ridiculous wheeze that I thought I had left in my past was creeping back in. These are all signs that my asthma was once again becoming uncontrolled.

Being hopeful with a new treatment

I have given it all that I could and I just could n’t let my asthma control keep declining. I had to make a decision to move to another treatment in the interim. I am keeping a positive attitude and hoping for the best.

Update: While it is too early to tell what the maximum effect of this drug will be. I am feeling generally better and hoping that improvements in my asthma control will continue.

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