It is a plaque psoriasis drug that targets and helps to block TNF-alpha.
Psoriasis has been linked to an overproduction of certain proteins, including one called TNF-alpha, which can cause inflammation.
Humira is responsible for blocking TNF-alpha, binding to it and helping reduce inflammation that can cause skin symptoms of plaque psoriasis.
Humira is prescribed for patients when they are prepared for systemic therapy or phototherapy to treat moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis.
Usually under the care and attention of a physician with the power to decide if other systemic therapies are less convenient.
Uses of Humira
Humira is used to reduce the signs and symptoms of:
- Moderate to severe polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children 2 years of age and older.
- Psoriatic arthritis in adults: Humira can be used alone or with some medications. Treatment can prevent further damage to your bones and joints and can help your ability to do daily activities.
- Ankylosing spondylitis in adults.
- Moderate to severe suppurative hydradenitis in adults.
- Moderate to severe Crohn’s disease.
Humira is also used to decrease symptoms and to achieve clinical remission in adults who have lost response or lack tolerance to infliximab.
- In adults, to help control moderate to severe ulcerative colitis: induce remission and keep it under control (maintain remission) when other medications have not worked well.
It is not known if Humira is effective in patients who have stopped responding or have a tolerance to anti-TNF drugs.
- Moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults : Humira can be used alone, with methotrexate, or with certain medications.
Treatment can prevent further damage to your bones and joints and can help improve your ability to carry out daily activities.
It is vital that you discuss the risks and benefits of using this medication with your doctor, as there is a possibility that it may reduce your immune system’s ability to deal with infections.
Avoid starting Humira if you have any kind of infection unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
There have been cases of serious infections in patients using this product, including tuberculosis and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body.
In some cases, these infections have resulted in death.
You need to be tested for TB before starting treatment, and closely monitored for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment, even if the TB test is negative.
The chance of getting lymphoma or other cancers may be increased in patients taking TNF blockers, including Humira.
There have been cases of unusual cancers in children, adolescents, and young adults using TNF blockers.
Some people have developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. It is common for this type of cancer to result in death.
If you use TNF blockers, your chance of getting two types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) may increase. These types are generally not life threatening if treated.
Tell your doctor about all your health conditions, even if you:
- You have an infection, are undergoing treatment for one, or have its symptoms.
- He suffers from many frequent infections.
- Have diabetes
- You have tuberculosis or have been in close contact with someone who has it, or was born, lived or traveled where there is a higher risk of contracting it.
- Living or having lived in an area where there is a higher risk of getting certain types of fungal infections, such as histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis. These infections can occur or become more severe if you use Humira. Consult your doctor if you are not sure if you have lived in these areas.
- You have or have had hepatitis B.
- You have plans for major surgery.
- Have or have had cancer
- You have numbness or tingling or a nervous system disease such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome.
- It has or had heart failure .
- You recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccination. Patients using Humira can receive vaccines, except for live vaccines. In the case of children, they must be up-to-date with all vaccinations before starting treatment.
- You are allergic to rubber, latex, or any ingredient in Humira.
- You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
- You have a baby and are using Humira during your pregnancy. Tell your baby’s doctor before your baby receives any vaccinations.
Also tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. You should not take Humira with Orencia® (abatacept), Kineret® (anakinra), Remicade® (infliximab), Enbrel® (etanercept), Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol), or Simponi® (golimumab).
Tell your doctor if you have ever used Rituxan® (rituximab), Imuran® (azathioprine), or Purinethol® (mercaptopurine, 6-MP).
Humira can cause serious side effects, including:
- Strong infections : These include tuberculosis and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Symptoms related to tuberculosis include cough, low fever, weight loss, or loss of fat and muscle.
- Hepatitis B infection in virus carriers : Symptoms include muscle aches, tired feeling, dark urine, yellowish skin or eyes, little or no appetite, vomiting, clay-colored stools, fever, chills, upset stomach, and rash.
- Allergic reactions : Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include hives , difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, eyes, lips, or mouth.
- Nervous system problems : Symptoms may include numbness or tingling, trouble seeing, limb weakness, and dizziness.
- Blood problems (a decrease in blood cells that help fight infection or stop bleeding) : you may have a constant fever, bruising or bleeding, or severe paleness.
- Heart failure (new or worsening) : Symptoms are shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles or feet, and sudden weight gain.
- Immune reactions including lupus-like syndrome : These manifest as constant chest discomfort or pain, trouble breathing, joint pain, or a rash on the cheeks or arms that worsens when in direct contact with the sun.
- Liver problems: Symptoms can be feeling very tired, yellow eyes and skin, poor appetite or vomiting, and pain in the right side of the stomach (abdomen). These problems can lead to liver failure and death.
- Psoriasis (new or worsening) : You may see red scaly patches or raised bumps that are filled with pus.
Call your doctor or get medical attention right away if you develop any of the above symptoms.
Common side effects of Humira include injection site reactions, upper respiratory infections, headaches, rash, and nausea.
These are not all the possible side effects of treatment. Contact your doctor if you notice any side effect that bothers you or is constant.
Remember, don’t hesitate to tell your doctor right away if you have an infection or symptoms of an infection, including:
- Fever, sweats, or chills
- Muscle pains.
- Short of breath.
- Blood in phlegm.
- Hot, red, or painful skin or sores on your body.
- Diarrhea or stomach pain
- Burning when urinating.
- Urinate more often than normal.
- Feeling very tired
- Humira is given by injection under the skin.