Humira: An Overview of FDA-Approved Uses and Mechanism
A brief description of common uses for Humira and how it works in rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.
Today in the first of three presentations, we are reviewing Humira, a medication in the class of drugs known as tumor necrosis factor, or TNF blockers.
Humira, known by the generic name of adalimumab, is approved by the FDA for treatment of adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, and for use in moderate to severe Crohn’s disease in patients who have not had success with other therapies.
Humira is also approved for treatment of other immune-mediated conditions, including plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
Normally, the immune system can defend the body from harmful effects. Inflammation is a normal process used by the body for repair of injury or illness. However, in autoimmune disease, healthy tissues are attacked in the body. Rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease are considered autoimmune diseases.
TNF is a protein normally found in the body that promotes the normal defense mechanism of inflammation. However, in rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, TNF levels are too high, and this leads to the inflammation, pain, and fever that are commonly seen with these diseases. Additionally, in rheumatoid arthritis, there is tenderness and swelling of the joints, and in Crohn’s disease there is abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Humira is a synthetic antibody and works by binding and blocking this TNF protein. By blocking this protein, Humira helps to keep the protein from attacking healthy cells, and reduces the inflammation, pain and other destructive effects seen on the joints and in the intestine.
Although Humira is an injection that is given under the skin, most patients, or their caregivers can be taught to give the injection at home, so it can be very convenient for the patient. Doses are variable based upon the needs of the patient, but usually injections are given only once every other week.
Humira is supplied in a single-use prefilled glass syringe, which makes it easier for the patient to give their own doses. Humira should be stored in the refrigerator until needed.
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
A review of Humira effectiveness by briefing looking at clinical trial results.
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