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How long can you stay on Humira?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on April 20, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Humira (adalimumab) is considered a maintenance (long-term) medication. Your doctor will assess you at regular intervals to be sure staying on Humira is appropriate for you. Based on your antiinflammatory response, your treatment length may differ from other patients. Do not stop taking Humira unless your doctor tells you to stop.

Humira is a biologic drug used to treat many different autoimmune-types of diseases where inflammation leads to symptoms such as in rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, plaque psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, and psoriatic arthritis. Humira will not cure these diseases but can help to relieve your symptoms and control your disease worsening.

Always follow your doctor's instructions about when and how often to use Humira. Your dose for Humira can also vary and depends on the condition being treated. However, many patients stay on Humira for years.

In some cases, your doctor may decide to lower your dose or stop your treatment all together. In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers found that discontinuation of a biologic should not be attempted unless your doctor regularly assesses your activity, sets a treatment goal, and reinstates your medication if needed.

What is the mechanism of action for Humira?

Humira from AbbVie is a biologic injectable protein known as a monoclonal antibody. It's classified as a Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) alpha inhibitor, and binds to and blocks the action of TNF in your body to lower inflammation.

Humira is given as a self-administered subcutaneous injection (under the skin). Because TNF blockers like Humira affect the immune system, they can lower the ability to fight infections.

The most common adverse reactions seen with Humira in clinical trials include upper respiratory tract infections, injection site reactions, headache and rash.

Bottom Line

  • Humira (adalimumab) is a medication that is used over the long-term. 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. However, many patients stay on Humira for years.
  • Your treatment length may differ from other patients. Do not stop taking Humira unless your doctor tells you to stop.

See also: Humira: One Drug, Nine Uses, Billions of Dollars

References
  • Humira Injection [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc. Accessed April 17, 2020 https://www.rxabbvie.com/pdf/humira.pdf
  • Verhoef  LM, van den Bemt  BJF, van der Maas  A, et al. Down‐titration and discontinuation strategies of tumour necrosis factor–blocking agents for rheumatoid arthritis in patients with low disease activity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 5. CD010455. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010455.pub3

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