Has anyone experienced or heard of sudden deadly consequences from using Remicade? By that I mean serious health issues or even instant death. I understand the problems that can result from a weakened immune system over time. Is there any way to address that other than regular blood work and doctor's visits?
As to your first question, no. As to the second question, when your immune system is weakened, by drugs intended to do so, the first issues that usually arise are on the skin, which is your body's first line of defense against bacteria, and other microorganisms.. Before I was ever on Remicade, I was on antibiotics, and Entocort, which alter and suppress your body's immune response, and I had occasional bouts with yeast infections and warts. On my skin. Since I started Remicade I did not have those issues but I did develop pneumonia, after being exposed to a coworker who also had pneumonia. Do we know for sure that Remicade led to the pneumonia? No, but I have since recovered from it.
Eventually we all get older and our immune systems will weaken with age anyway. My parents, who do not take Remicade, are in their early 80s and they are both battling urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs are frequent with elderly people. Eventually these kinds of things will happen over time.
However, my doctors told me that as the immune system weakens with age, so does IBD, and therefore the need to medicate it. So perhaps as we get older our Remicade or other other biological dosages will get reduced as there will be less to suppress. There is that to think about as well. I do see a lot of people older than me in the Remicade room, and I am 56.
I don't think Remicade compromises the immune system in the same way as AIDS does. You are still able to defeat the routine stuff that needs to be fought off. In fact I did get over pneumonia although they delayed my Remicade by 2 weeks so I could be fully past all the symptoms. It did take some time.