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What happens when you stop taking Humira?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Sep 8, 2022.

Official answer

  • Humira (adalimumab) is considered a biologic maintenance (long-term) medication. If you stop using your Humira, your condition may worsen. Humira is not a cure.
  • 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 symptoms, or structural bone damage may worsen or return.
  • If you are in remission (few to no symptoms), this effect may reverse if you stop treatment. Do not stop taking Humira unless you and your doctor agree this is the best course of action.

Humira is used to treat the symptoms of many different types of conditions where inflammation and pain may play a role, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, plaque psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, and psoriatic arthritis. Your doctor will assess you at regular intervals to be sure staying on Humira is right for you.

Your Humira may not work right away so be sure to stay on your treatment. 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.

Do not miss any doses of Humira unless okayed by your doctor. If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the regular time. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if you should take your dose.

Does Humira cause effects?

You may experience some side effects, but these usually subside over time. Check with your doctor if a side effect interferes with your treatment. One of the most common side effects with Humira is injection site reactions that can cause pain, redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising. These symptoms usually will go away within a few days.

Other common side effects with Humira are upper respiratory tract infections (sinus infections), headaches, a skin rash, and feeling sick to your stomach (nausea). Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers like Humira may lower your ability to fight infections and may cause other serious side effects. If you develop an infection or a serious side effect, your doctor may decide to stop your treatment, but you should never do this on your own. Humira can also make you more likely to get infections or make any infection that you have worse.

After starting Humira, call your doctor right away if you have an infection, or any sign of an infection, such as:

  • fever, chills, or sweats
  • muscle aches
  • feel very tired
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • blood in your phlegm or sputum
  • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
  • diarrhea or stomach pain
  • weight loss
  • burning when you urinate or urinate more often than normal
  • feeling very tired

Humira will not cure your disease but can help to relieve your symptoms, control your disease worsening, and achieve remission (when symptoms subside) for some uses. Based on your condition and clinical response, your treatment length may differ from other patients.

There are many other side effects with Humira. Be sure to discuss side effects with your doctor before you start treatment.

This is not all the information you need to know about Humira for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full product information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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