Adalimumab

Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Humira; Humira Pediatric Crohns Start; Humira Pen; Humira Pen-Crohns Starter; Humira Pen-Psoriasis Starter

Brand Names: Canada

Humira

Warning

  • Very bad and sometimes deadly infections have happened in patients who take this drug. Most people who had these infections were taking other drugs to lower the immune system like methotrexate or steroid drugs. If you have any infection, are taking antibiotics now or in the recent past, or have had many infections, talk with your doctor.
  • TB (tuberculosis) has been seen in patients started on this drug. These patients were exposed to TB in the past, but never got the infection. You will be tested to see if you have been exposed to TB before starting this drug.
  • Lymphoma and other cancers have happened in people who take this drug or drugs like it. This has been deadly in some cases. Talk with the doctor.
  • A rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL) has happened with this drug and other drugs like it. These cases have been deadly. Almost all cases were in people who were using drugs like this one along with certain other drugs (azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine). Most of the time, this happened during treatment for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Also, most cases were in male teenagers or young men. Talk with the doctor.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It is used to treat psoriatic arthritis.
  • It is used to treat Crohn’s disease.
  • It is used to treat ankylosing spondylitis.
  • It is used to treat psoriasis.
  • It is used to treat ulcerative colitis.
  • It is used to treat juvenile arthritis.
  • It is used to treat a skin problem called hidradenitis suppurativa.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to adalimumab or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Abatacept or anakinra.
  • If you are using another drug like this one.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Hepatitis B testing may be done. A hepatitis B infection may get worse during care.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • Do not get a weakened bacteria like BCG for bladder cancer while you use this drug. Talk with your doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you have sunburn or other skin problems, talk with your doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • If you used this drug when you were pregnant, tell your baby’s doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Prefilled pens and syringes:

  • If you have a latex allergy, talk with your doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
  • Signs of lupus like a rash on the cheeks or other body parts, sunburn easy, muscle or joint pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Weakness.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Night sweats.
  • A big weight loss.
  • Fever that does not go away.
  • Change in color or size of a mole.
  • A skin lump or growth.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Pale skin.
  • Very bad skin irritation.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Heart failure has happened with this drug, as well as heart failure that has gotten worse in people who already have it. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, a big weight gain, a heartbeat that is not normal, or swelling in the arms or legs that is new or worse.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Headache.
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Runny nose.
  • Belly pain.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Back pain.
  • Irritation where the shot is given.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
  • Your doctor may teach you how to give the shot.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
  • Do not shake the solution.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • Do not give into red or irritated skin.
  • Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
  • If it makes the shot feel better, this drug can be taken out of the refrigerator 15 to 30 minutes before using. Allow to sit at room temperature without removing the cap or cover. Do not heat this drug.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Prefilled pens and syringes:

  • Throw syringe away after use. Do not use the same syringe more than one time.

Vials:

  • Throw away any part not used after use.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All products:

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Do not use if it has been frozen.
  • Store in the original container or in another container that protects this drug from light.
  • Protect from heat.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Prefilled pens and syringes:

  • If needed, you may store at room temperature for up to 14 days. Write down the date you take this drug out of the refrigerator. If stored at room temperature and not used within 14 days, throw this drug away.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2016-01-13

Copyright

© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.