Humira is a brand name for adalimumab, a drug of the antirheumatics and tumor necrosis factor alfa inhibitors classes. It inhibits tumor necrosis factors, a protein generated by white blood cells frequently linked to initial inflammatory processes.

This mechanism enables Humira to address numerous inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis, and hidradenitis suppurativa. Additionally, Humira may be prescribed to both adults and children for the management of Crohn’s disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and uveitis.

Precautions and Warnings of Humira

Using Humira may increase the risk of severe infections, which may require hospitalization or lead to death. These infections include sepsis, tuberculosis, and histoplasmosis. Those with compromised immune systems may be at increased risk for other diseases.

A doctor will diligently monitor the patient for signs of infection throughout your treatment. If a severe infection arises, discontinuation of Humira is likely. A doctor will conduct a tuberculosis test before patients take the medication. If tuberculosis is present, treatment will be necessary before starting Humira.

Humira also increases the risk of certain cancers including lymphomas. This has been the case for certain patients, including children and teens. Some of these cases were fatal.

Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, an uncommon subtype of lymphoma,  was found to predominantly afflict young adult and teenage males with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. These gastrointestinal conditions impact the digestive system and the cells in the liver and spleen.

Patients should talk to a doctor before taking Humira if they have a history of heart failure, nerve disorders or demyelinating diseases, hepatitis B, cancer, or liver damage. Individuals should also let their doctor if they have an active infection, an allergy to the medication, or and allergy to latex or rubber.

It is not yet known if Humira is safe to take during pregnancy. Those who are breastfeeding should also refrain from taking the drug.

Side Effects of Humira

Side effects of Humira may include redness, itching, pain, or swelling at the injection site. A doctor should be notified if these symptoms persist or worsen.

If a sore throat that does not resolve, a persistent cough, fever, chills, night sweats, difficulty breathing, painful or frequent urination, unusual vaginal discharge, or white patches in the mouth begin to occur, this can be an indication of infection. A doctor should be notified immediately if this is the case.

Serious Side Effects

Other serious side effects include:

  • Fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • New or worsening symptoms of heart failure, such as difficulty breathing, swelling ankles or feet, fatigue, or unusual weight gain
  • Blood in the stool
  • Mental or mood changes
  • Severe headache
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Leg pain or swelling
  • Numbness or tingling of the arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Unsteadiness
  • Unexplained muscle weakness
  • Difficulty with speaking, chewing, swallowing, or facial movements
  • Changes in vision
  • Joint pain
  • Butterfly-shaped rash on the nose and cheeks

Severe Side Effects

The most rare but serious side effects include seizures and chest pain.

Allergic reactions are rare but very serious. A doctor should be contacted immediately if there are symptoms of rash, itching or swelling of the face, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

There have also been some cases of possibly fatal Adalimumab. This is a liver disease found in individuals exposed to the hepatitis B virus. Indications of this disease include:

  • Nausea or vomiting that persists
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • Dark urine

Interactions With Humira

Inform your healthcare provider and pharmacist of all medications or supplements you are taking before taking Humira. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and dietary and herbal supplements. Humira may interact with certain substances.

There are many live vaccines and other medications that have been linked to harmful side effects if taken alongside Humira. If both medications are prescribed together, your doctor may adjust the dosage or frequency of one or both medications.

Vaccine Interactions

Interactions with live vaccines include:

  • Adenovirus Vaccine
  • Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine
  • Cholera Vaccine
  • Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine
  • Influenza Virus Vaccine
  • Measles Virus Vaccine
  • Mumps Virus Vaccine
  • Poliovirus Vaccine
  • Rotavirus Vaccine
  • Rubella Virus Vaccine
  • Smallpox Vaccine
  • Typhoid Vaccine
  • Varicella Virus Vaccine
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine
  • Zoster Vaccine

Drug Interactions

Interactions with other medications include:

  • Abatacept
  • Anakinra
  • Infliximab
  • Rilonacept
  • Tofacitinib (found in Xeljanz)
  • Etanercept (found in Enbrel)
  • Certolizumab
  • Golimumab
  • Warfarin
  • Cyclosporine
  • Theophylline

Strengths and Dosages of Humira

Humira is available in three single-dose forms:

FormAvailable Strengths
Single-Dose Pen40 milligrams (mg)/0.4 milliliter (mL)

40 mg/0.8 mL

80 mg/0.8 mL

Single-Dose Prefilled Syringe10 mg/0.1 mL

10 mg/0.2 mL

20 mg/0.2 mL

20 mg/0.4 mL

40 mg/0.4 mL

40 mg/0.8 mL

80 mg/0.8 mL

Single-Dose Vial of Liquid Solution40 mg/0.8 mL.

 

Some common conditions and prescribed amounts include:

 

ConditionAdult Dosage
Plaque PsoriasisStarting dose of 80 mg

Follow-up doses 40 mg every other week after the first week of injection

Hidradenitis SuppurativaLoading dose of 160 mg

Follow-up dose of 80 mg on day 15

40 mg every week or 80 mg every other week after day 29

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)40 mg every other week

Possible increase to 40 mg weekly if not taking methotrexate

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)40 mg every other week
Ulcerative Colitis (UC)Loading dose of 160 mg

Follow-up dose of 80 mg on day 15

40 mg every other week after day 29

Crohn’s Disease (CD)Loading dose of 160 mg

Follow-up dose of 80 mg on day 15

40 mg every other week after day 29

UveitisStarting dose of 80 mg

Follow-up doses 40 mg every other week after the first week of injection

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)40 mg every other week

 

Smaller doses may be prescribed to children based on their body weight.

Cost of Humira in America

The cost for a Humira subcutaneous syringe kit of 40 mg/0.4 mL is around $7,299. This includes a supply of two kits. An 80 mg/0.8 mL Humira subcutaneous kit costs around $14,589. This also includes a supply of two kits.

Prices may vary depending on the pharmacy it is being purchased from. Discounts or coverage may apply with insurance or coupons.

Alternatives to Humira

Some tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, interleukin inhibitors, integrin receptor blockers, and Janus Kinase inhibitors may be prescribed as alternatives to Humira. These include:

  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors
    • Etanercept
    • Infliximab
    • Certolizumab
  • Interleukin Inhibitors
    • Ustekinumab (Such as Stelara)
    • Secukinumab (Such as Cosentyx)
    • Risankizumab-rzaa
  • Integrin Receptor Blockers
    • Vedolizumab
  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors
    • Upadacitinib (Such as Rinvoq)
    • Tofacitinib

Frequently Asked Questions about Humira

What is the most common side effect of Humira?

The most commonly experienced side effects of Humira include reactions at the injection site, upper respiratory infections, headaches, rash, and nausea. Indications of reactions at the site of injection include pain, redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising. Other less common side effects may still occur.

When is the best time of day to take Humira?

Many patients prefer taking Humira in the morning or at night before bed. Whichever time you choose, it is important to make sure that medication continues to be taken on a routine schedule with consistent times for best results.

How many days late can you take Humira?

If a dose of Humira is missed, the missing dose should be taken as soon as the user remembers. The number of days late the medication can be taken depends on when the next regularly scheduled dose is to be taken. If the next dose is close to due, the forgotten dose should be skipped and the schedule should be proceeded with as normal. Any thawed and unused medicine should be discarded after 14 days. A doctor or pharmacist should be consulted for any further information.

What are the side effects of missing a dose of Humira?

Depending on the condition Humira is being used for, missing doses can lead to reduced effectiveness, delayed treatment response time, increased risk of flare-ups, antibody development, and increased disease progression. It is important to keep up with a routine schedule for maximum effectiveness and reduced side effects.

What happens if you take expired Humira?

Do not take expired Humira. Some FDA studies found that drugs may be safe to use after they have expired. However, this is not guaranteed. The FDA recommends avoiding all expirations to guarantee the safety and the correct medication strength. Consult with a doctor for further questions.

What foods should you avoid while taking Humira?

While there are no specific foods that have been known to interact with Humira, it is recommended for those using the medication to avoid raw or undercooked animal products. This includes eggs, meat, and poultry. All high-risk foods should be avoided, as those taking Humira are at increased risk of infection.-

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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