Can you change tnf drugs?

I've been on humira for ten months, the first 3-4 months I felt much better. I don't feel it's effective now.

I'm also on 15mg methotrexate /6 salfazalazine/2 naproxen per day!!

My meds have not been reduced as promised.

I've asked my rheumatologist today whether I can change from humira to another tnf drug,, I was told no!

Because I have Hla B27 gene/ no rheumatoid factor,, I have sero negative/psoriatic arthritis.

Apparently they can't change it because the commission for Essex won't allow it.. Is this true?

12 Replies

I am in the middle of changing my tnf, but I live in Havant hampshire and think the funding is quite good in my area, so I don't think this is the case for everyone, my specialist told my they never years ago let you change but thy do now


hi Debshe241, I started on embrel pens but changed to Cimzia, Embrel was auto pen weekly, while the Cimzia is injected fortnightly I am now concerned that the recent two month lapse in taking the Cimzia, because HAH did not deliver, that the Cimzia is not now working. as in constant pain, has anyone else had this anti-tnf problem? Hope you get sorted best wishes bluetit33


Thanks guys ;)

I'm going to take it up with the commissioners themselves- but if you tell them it's non effective they stop it completely :(


I'm in Edinburgh. Went for a talk prior to getting embrel through bupa. I was given a review appt in August, if embrel isn't working I can get another anti tnf. Was told that there wouldn't be a changeover delay to wash the stuff out of my system.

Don't let them stop it, it has taken me a year and a half to get back onto anti tnf after they thought I was in remission. Am still waiting


Hi, I live in Lincolnshire and in the last 6 yrs I started on methotrexate took off that as had huge allergic reaction. I was put on embrel after a year as it stopped working for me went on humira was on that 3yrs then same again my bloods started to show it wasn't working effectively anymore so I was changed to simponi jab pens and touch wood after 3 yrs it's still working. So in Lincoln they do change meds if they stop being effective.

Hope things go ok for you.

Best wishes



Hi Judy I am in in Lincolnshire too :) Allergic re-action to Enbrel so waiting to start Humira.


Hi, pm me and let me know where you are and what hospital u r with. I am the sole coordinator of the Lincoln/ Newark and surrounding areas NRAS group. We meet in North Hykeham.


Hi there

Not sure whether it's different for psoriatic arthritis rather than RA,but there are NICE guidelines for the sequence of drugs that can be given after failure of an anti-tnf. Here's the link. Anyway, health trusts are supposed to follow the national guidelines so perhaps quoting this at them might help.


I was taken off humira because it stopped working as well so my das score started to rise. Now nearly two years later I am finally being give another drug in May.


i live in Derry in the north of Ireland. over the past 3 years i have been on 4 anti-TNF's with no problem at all. i was told that once i was approved the first time that that approval would continue as long as i needed it. i have been on Abatacept since july last year. it was the best drug i have ever been on and i was able to do almost everything i was able to do before i became ill. i was never off this site telling others about how really great this drug is. however, in the past fortnight i have started to get 'old pain' back. its nothing like it was, i can still do most things but with associated pain. iit is spreading though and i'm very concerned. i am due to get my bloods done next monday and then again in may. i plan to wait to see if my rheumy team contact me if there is a change in my bloods. in the mean time i am going to stick my head in the sand and pretend that nothing is happening!!!!


I live in the Kingston upon Thames Clinical area, I have PsA, inject Enbrel and was told that if it did not work then there was others that I could try. Good Luck


If you have an allergic reaction to an anti-tnf .. I did with Enbrel but it also lost its efficacy quite quickly ... I was told the NICE guidelines allow you a second anti-tnf but then if you don't respond in the recommended time to that, you are to try a second line biologic. I tried Humira after Enbrel but that did nothing. I did have two weeks between starting Enbrel and Humira and had five weeks between Humira and Rituximab. The wash out periods differ for each med I was told depending on its half life, etc. I also know of other people who have gone through more than two anti-tnfs if they could not have/tolerate other biologics, etc so I think your Rheumatologist makes a case for allergies or other existing health conditions/situations which mean you can't have certain biologic meds. Good luck.


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