Video: Humira: Important Precautions and Side Effects

A discussion of common side effects and precautions related to Humira use.

Video Transcript:

Hello and welcome to "VideoScript", presented by Drugs.com.

Today in the final of three presentations, we continue reviewing Humira, a medication in the class of drugs known as TNF blockers.

Humira is a treatment option for patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease.

We will review some important side effects and precautions you may want to discuss with your health care provider.

The most common Humira side effects include: upper respiratory tract infections or sinusitis, headaches, injection site reactions, and rash.

Injection site reactions, such as redness, itching pain and swelling, were generally mild and patients did not need to stop treatment.

Humira may lower the function of the immune system, and there are several important precautions related to this effect.

One of the most important warnings with Humira is that patients are at an increased risk of serious, or even fatal infections.

Bacterial, fungal, viral or other types of infections may occur.

If a patient is actively sick with an infection, they should not begin treatment with Humira until cleared by their physician.

Patients should contact their physician if they develop a fever, sweats or chills, muscles aches, cough, stomach upset, weight loss, general fatigue or other signs of an infection while receiving Humira therapy, and even for several months after stopping treatment.

Drug interactions with Humira are important as well

The use of a TNF blocker with anakinra or abatacept, also rheumatoid arthritis treatments, increases the risk of infection with no added benefit.

These drug combinations should be avoided

Additionally, live vaccines should not be given to patients receiving Humira. For example, the nasal flu vaccine is a live vaccine and should be avoided. However, patients can safely receive the flu shot, an inactivated, not live, vaccine.

Patient should always check with your physician or pharmacist for a complete a drug interaction review prior to starting any new therapy.

Patients should be tested for tuberculosis, or TB, before starting Humira and monitored while therapy is ongoing.

Lymphoma, skin and other types of cancers may occur with TNF blockers like Humira. Reactivation of viral hepatitis B, nervous system reactions, and heart failure have also been reported with Humira, although these are not frequent side effects.

There are other warnings, side effects and drug interactions that may occur with Humira.

Patients should closely review the medication guide that accompanies Humira each time they renew their prescriptions, as new information may have been updated.

Thank you for joining us at Drugs.com for a brief review of Humira. Please refer to our patient and professional information, drug interaction checker, and additional tools on Drugs.com.

Patients with a concern about the use of Humira should consult with their health care provider.

Visit www.drugs.com/Humira for more information

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