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Humira

Generic name: adalimumabAY-da-LIM-ue-mab ]
Drug classes: Antirheumatics, TNF alfa inhibitors

Medically reviewed by Judith Stewart, BPharm. Last updated on Mar 25, 2022.

What is Humira?

Humira is a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker that reduces the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation.

Humira is used to treat many inflammatory conditions in adults, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis, and a skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa.

Humira is also used in adults and children to treat Crohn's disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ulcerative colitis and uveitis.

Warnings

Humira affects your immune system. Adalimumab can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and you may get infections more easily. Serious infections caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria have happened in people taking this medicine. Some people have died from these infections.

Serious infections include tuberculosis (TB). Your doctor should test you for TB before starting and during treatment with Humira.

Before or during treatment with Humira, tell your doctor if you have signs of infection such as fever, chills, aches, tiredness, cough, skin sores, diarrhea, or burning when you urinate.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Humira if you are allergic to adalimumab.

Before you start using this medicine , tell your doctor if you have signs of infection--fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, tiredness, cough, bloody mucus, skin sores, diarrhea, burning when you urinate, or feeling constantly tired.

Humira should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old (or 6 years old if treating Crohn's disease). Children using this medicine should be current on all childhood immunizations before starting treatment.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Tell your doctor where you live and if you have recently traveled or plan to travel. You may be exposed to infections that are common to certain areas of the world.

Humira may cause a rare type of lymphoma (cancer) of the liver, spleen, and bone marrow that can be fatal. This has occurred mainly in teenagers and young men with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. However, anyone with an inflammatory autoimmune disorder may have a higher risk of lymphoma. Talk with your doctor about your own risk.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Make sure any doctor caring for your newborn baby knows if you used adalimumab while you were pregnant.

It may not be safe to breastfeed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.

How should I use Humira?

Use Humira exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Humira is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider will teach you how to properly use this medicine by yourself.

Do not start using this medicine if you have any signs of an infection. Call your doctor for instructions.

Read and carefully follow any instruction sheet provided with your medicine. Do not use Humira if you do not understand the instructions for proper use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

The dose schedule for Humira is highly variable and depends on the condition you are treating. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Prepare your injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed color, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Humira affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Your doctor will need to examine you on a regular basis.

Store this medicine in its original carton in a refrigerator. Do not freeze. If you are traveling, carefully follow all patient instructions for storing your medicine during travel. Avoid extreme heat or cold.

Throw away any Humira that has become frozen.

Use a needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Usual Adult Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

40 mg subcutaneously every other week

In some patients not taking concomitant methotrexate, the dosing interval may be increased to 40 mg every week.

Methotrexate, glucocorticoids, salicylates, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, or other disease modifying agents may be given concomitantly.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Humira for Psoriatic Arthritis:

40 mg subcutaneously every other week

In some patients not taking concomitant methotrexate, the dosing interval may be increased to 40 mg every week.

Methotrexate, glucocorticoids, salicylates, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, or other disease modifying agents may be given concomitantly.

Usual Adult Dose for Crohn's Disease -- Acute:

Initial dose: 160 mg subcutaneously on Day 1.
The initial dose may be given as 4 injections on Day 1, or as 2 injections per day for 2 consecutive days (Days 1 and 2).
Week 2: 80 mg subcutaneously on Day 15.
Maintenance dose: Beginning week 4 (Day 29), 40 mg every other week.

Aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, and/or immunomodulatory agents may be continued during treatment with adalimumab.

The use of adalimumab for Crohn's disease beyond one year had not been evaluated in controlled clinical studies.

Usual Adult Dose of Humira for Crohn's Disease -- Maintenance:

Initial dose: 160 mg subcutaneously on Day 1.
The initial dose may be given as 4 injections on Day 1, or as 2 injections per day for 2 consecutive days (Days 1 and 2).
Week 2: 80 mg subcutaneously on Day 15.
Maintenance dose: Beginning week 4 (Day 29), 40 mg every other week.

Aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, and/or immunomodulatory agents may be continued during treatment with Humira.

The use of adalimumab for Crohn's disease beyond one year had not been evaluated in controlled clinical studies.

Usual Adult Dose for Ulcerative Colitis:

Initial dose: 160 mg subcutaneously on Day 1.
The initial dose may be given as 4 injections on Day 1, or as 2 injections per day for 2 consecutive days (Days 1 and 2).
Week 2: 80 mg subcutaneously on Day 15.
Maintenance dose: Beginning week 4 (Day 29), 40 mg every other week.

Aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, and/or immunomodulatory agents may be continued during treatment with Humira.

The use of adalimumab for Crohn's disease beyond one year had not been evaluated in controlled clinical studies.

Usual Adult Dose for Plaque Psoriasis:

Initial dose: 80 mg subcutaneously.
Maintenance dose: 40 mg subcutaneously every other week, starting one week after initial dose.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis:

4 to 17 years:

Limited data are available for Humira treatment in pediatric patients with a weight below 15 kg.

15 kg (33 lbs) to less than 30 kg (66 lbs): 20 mg every other week

Greater than or equal to 30 kg (66 lbs): 40 mg every other week

Methotrexate, glucocorticoids, salicylates, NSAIDs, or analgesics may be continued during treatment with Humira.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you remember, and then go back to your regular injection schedule. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using Humira?

Do not inject Humira into skin that is bruised, red, tender, or hard.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using adalimumab. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), or zoster (shingles).

Humira side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Humira: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of lymphoma:

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

Older adults may be more likely to develop infections or cancer while using adalimumab.

Common side effects of Humira may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Humira?

Some drugs should not be used together with adalimumab. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Humira, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with adalimumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Popular FAQ

If you stop taking Humira. your medical condition may worsen. Withdrawal side effects are not likely to occur with Humira, but your signs or symptoms (based on your condition), like joint pain and inflammation, stomach pain or diarrhea, or structural joint damage may worsen or return. Do not stop taking Humira unless you and your doctor agree this is the best course of action. Continue reading

Using an online coupon, the retail cash price of one carton Humira (2 pens of 40 mg/0.4 mL) can run around $6,240. Your actual cost will depend upon which Humira product you need and the strength, if you have government or private insurance, and your specific copay. Continue reading

The manufacturer of Humira does not list weight gain or weight loss as a possible direct side effect associated Humira. However, other conditions, symptoms, or medications may affect your weight while you are using this medication. Clinical studies have also shown weight gain with Humira. Continue reading

Most patients will start to feel relief from their symptoms within 2 to 12 weeks. Your results will vary based on your condition being treated and other factors, such as tolerability to treatment and other medications you may be using. Continue reading

There are no known interactions between Humira (adalimumab) and food. Most patients should be able to safely follow their normal eating and drinking habits while taking Humira. Continue reading

If you are traveling or not able to keep your Humira in the refrigerator, you can store it at room temperature up to a maximum of 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) for a period of up to 14 days. Once your Humira Pen or prefilled syringe has reached room temperature, it must be used within 14 days even if it is put back in the refrigerator. Continue reading

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are man-made proteins that mimic the natural antibodies produced by our immune systems. Monoclonal antibodies can be formulated into medicines to treat various types of illnesses, such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis. Continue reading

Humira is a medication that is used over the long-term and many patients stay on Humira for many years. Your doctor will check your medication at regular intervals to be sure staying on Humira is appropriate for you. Your dose for Humira can also vary and depends on the condition being treated. Continue reading

A biosimilar is a biological product that is similar to a reference biologic (usually the original product) and for which there are no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety, purity, and potency. As an example, the biosimilar Amjevita (adalimumab-atto) was approved as the first biosimilar to Humira (adalimumab). Continue reading

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Humira only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.