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What happens when you stop taking Humira?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD Last updated on Apr 22, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Humira (adalimumab) is considered a biologic maintenance (long-term) medication. If you stop using your Humira, your condition may worsen. Your symptoms, like pain and inflammation, can return. Do not stop taking Humira unless your doctor tells you to stop.

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.

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.

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
  • feel very tired

Humira will not cure your disease but can help to relieve your symptoms, control your disease worsening, and achieve remission for some indications. Based on your condition and therapeutic 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.

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

References
  • Humira Injection [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc. Accessed April 22, 2020 https://www.rxabbvie.com/pdf/humira.pdf

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