Humira (Adalimumab)

Adalimumab (Humira) blocks a specific protein in your body that can cause inflammation (irritation) in the intestines. Humira may be used if other medicines, including Remicade, have not helped to reduce the inflammation.

How it is used

  • Humira is injected under the skin in the stomach or thigh.
  • The first injection is done in the doctor’s office and then the patient will learn to give the shots at home.
  • Shots are given every other week, (sometimes every week).
  • Use each pre-filled syringe only one time.
  • Throw away any unused medicine. Do not save for later.
  • Store the shot in the refrigerator, but do not allow it to freeze. If you have to travel with the shot, keep it in a small cooler with an ice pack and protect it from light.
  • Do not use the medicine if it has changed color or has any particles in it.
  • If you miss a dose, use the medicine as soon as you remember, and then go back to the regular injection schedule. DO NOT USE EXTRA medicine to make up for missed dose.
  • Do not use shot if the skin is bruised, red, tender or hard.

Side Effects

Get help immediately if you have signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat

Stop using Humira and call the doctor right away if you have these symptoms:

  • Serious infections such as Tuberculosis
  • Fever, chills
  • Sore throat
  • Unusual nausea, vomiting
  • Diarhhea
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Decreased mental alertness
  • Rapid breathing, or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • General feeling of being unwell.

Some of the most common side effects are mild and manageable:

  • respiratory infections, such as sinus infections and sore throat
  • headache
  • rash
  • nausea
  • injection site reactions (redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising)

Special Precautions/Instructions

  • Do not use if you had an allergic reaction to Humira or any ingredients in Humira (sodium phosphate, sodium citrate, citric acid, mannitol, and polysorbate 80)
  • Are allergic to rubber or latex (the needle cover on the prefilled syringe contains natural rubber)
  • Tell your doctor about ALL medicines (including over-the-counter), vitamins, herbal supplements you are taking.
  • Tell your doctor about any of the following:
    • An infection (as this drug weakens the immune system), or have infections that keep coming back.
    • Have any open cuts or sores on your body.
    • Hepatitis B infection.
    • Heart failure.
    • Scheduled for major surgery.
    • Multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, or any condition that causes numbness or tingling
    • Tuberculosis (TB), or have traveled or lived in a country where there is a risk of getting TB.
    • Are schedule for any vaccines.
    • Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
    • Are breast feeding or plan to breast feed.
    • Are taking the medication Kineret (Anakinra).

What to watch for while on Humira

  • Avoid being near people who are sick. Tell your doctor if you start to feel sick from an infection.
  • Do not get a “live” vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella, BCG, oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, yellow fever, chickenpox, H1N1 influeza, and nasal flu) while using Humira.
  • Call the doctor immediately if you have signs of infection including: fever, fatigue, cough, flu-like symptoms, and warm, red, or painful skin

Additional Information

For complete information, please visit: www.humira.com

North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN): www.naspghan.org