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What is adalimumab, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Humira is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, inducing major clinical response, inhibiting the progression of structural damage, and improving physical function in adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. HUMIRA can be used alone or in combination with methotrexate or other disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
Humira is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms of active arthritis, inhibiting the progression
of structural damage, and improving physical function in patients with psoriatic arthritis. Humira can be
used alone or in combination with DMARDs.
Humira is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis.
Humira is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms and inducing and maintaining clinical
remission in adult patients with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease who have had an inadequate
response to conventional therapy. Humira is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms and inducing
clinical remission in these patients if they have also lost response to or are intolerant to infliximab.
Humira is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy, and when other systemic therapies are medically less appropriate. Humira should only be administered to patients who will be closely monitored and have regular follow-up visits with a physician.
How does humira work?
Adalimumab is an injectable protein(antibody) that blocks the inflammatory effects of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and Crohn 's disease of the intestine.
Inflammation is the body's reaction to injury and is a necessary process for the repair of injury. TNF is a protein that the body produces when there is inflammation. TNF promotes inflammation and the signs of inflammation, which, in the case of arthritis, include fever as well as pain, tenderness, and swelling of joints.
In the case of Crohn's disease, the signs of inflammation include fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. The unchecked inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis eventually leads to destruction of the joints. The inflammation in Crohn's disease can lead to strictures (narrowing) of the intestine or intestinal perforation.
Adalimumab is a synthetic (man-made) antibody that binds to TNF in the body and thereby blocks the effects of TNF. As a result, inflammation and its consequences in the joints and intestine are reduced. In arthritis, the progressive destruction of the joints is slowed or prevented. Adalimumab is a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD) because it slows or prevents destruction of joints.
Adalimumab was approved by the FDA in December 2002.
What brand names are available for adalimumab?
Is adalimumab available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for adalimumab?
What are the side effects of adalimumab?
Individuals with active infections should not be treated with adalimumab. Adalimumab also may worsen the symptoms of diseases of the nervous system. In studies some patients who used adalimumab or other TNF blocking drugs developed cancer. Since patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher rate of cancers than the general population, the connection between cancer and use of adalimumab is unclear.
Common side effects
The most common side effects are:
Adalimumab may cause swelling, redness, pain and itching at the site of injection. Adalimumab suppresses the immune system and is therefore associated with minor infections of the urinary tract, respiratory tract, and sinuses.
Other side effects of adalimumab include:
- hypersensitivity reactions (including anaphylaxis) and
- reduced levels in the blood of platelets and red cells (aplastic anemia).
Adalimumab may increase the risk of reactivating hepatitis B virus in chronic carriers of the virus.
What is the dosage for adalimumab?
Humira is administered by subcutaneous injection.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis
40 mg every other week. Some patients with RA not receiving methotrexate may benefit from increasing the frequency to 40 mg every week.
Initial dose (Day 1) is 160 mg (four 40 mg injections in one day or two 40 mg injections per day for two consecutive days), followed by 80 mg two weeks later (Day 15). Two weeks later (Day 29) begin a maintenance dose of 40 mg every other week.
80 mg initial dose, followed by 40 mg every other week starting one week after initial dose.
Is adalimumab safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Adalimumab has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.
Use of adalimumab by nursing mothers has not been adequately evaluated.
What else should I know about adalimumab?
What preparations of adalimumab are available?
Prefilled glass syringe: 20 mg/0.4 ml and 40 mg/0.8 ml; Prefilled pen: 40 mg/0.8 ml.
How should I keep adalimumab stored?
Adalimumab should be refrigerated at 2-8 C (36-46 F).
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Adalimumab (Humira) is a drug prescribed for reducing the symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and Crohn's disease. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Early RA signs and symptoms include anemia, both sides of the body affected (symmetric), depression, fatigue, fever, joint deformity, joint pain, joint redness, joint stiffness, joint swelling, joint tenderness, joint warmth, limping, loss of joint function, loss of joint range of motion, and polyarthritis.
Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis.
Arthritis (Joint Inflammation)
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, gout, and pseudogout.
Scleritis is inflammation of the white part of the eye. It may be caused by a serious underlying condition, such as an autoimmune disease. Symptoms include redness, pain, tearing, sensitivity to light, and decreased visual acuity. Treatment may include eyedrops as well as treatment for any underlying disease process. Scleritis cannot be prevented.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes chronic inflammation of the spine. The tendency to develop ankylosing spondylitis is genetically inherited. Treatment incorporates medications, physical therapy, and exercise.
Sarcoidosis, a disease resulting from chronic inflammation, causes small lumps (granulomas) to develop in a wide range of body tissues and can appear in almost any body organ. However, sarcoidosis most often starts in the lungs or lymph nodes.
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms and signs include painful, stiff, and swollen joints, tendinitis, and organ inflammation. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medications and exercise.
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect other parts of the digestive system as well. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and weight loss are common symptoms and signs.
Relapsing polychondritis is an uncommon, chronic disorder of the cartilage that is characterized by recurrent episodes of inflammation of the cartilage of various tissues of the body. Tissues containing cartilage that can become inflamed include the ears, nose, joints, spine, and windpipe (trachea). Tissues that have a biochemical makeup similar to that of cartilage such as the eyes, heart, and blood vessels, can also be affected. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) is used as treatment for mild cases of the disease. Steroid-related medications also are usually required.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (Acne Inversa)
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS or acne inversa) is a chronic skin condition that causes painful red abscesses in the groin and armpits that may drain foul-smelling pus. Treatment options include weight loss, smoking cessation, topical antibiotics, and avoidance of tight-fitting underwear. Finasteride and adalimumab may be helpful for those with resistant cases of HS.
Scalp Psoriasis (Psoriasis of the Scalp)
Scalp psoriasis causes red, raised, scaly patches that may extend from the scalp to the forehead and the back of the neck and ears. Symptoms and signs include itching, hair loss, flaking, silvery scales, and red plaques. Treatment includes topical medicated shampoos, creams, gels, oils, ointments, and soaps, medications, and light therapy.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Arthritis
Arthritis is a general term used to describe joint disease. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of arthritis in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, causing chronic inflammation.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) annually affects one child in every thousand. There are six types of JRA. Treatment of juvenile arthritis depends upon the type the child has and should focus on treating the symptoms that manifest.
Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are chronic joint disorders. RA is also an autoimmune disease. OA and RA symptoms and signs include joint pain, warmth, and tenderness. Over-the-counter pain relievers treat both diseases. There are several prescription medications that treat RA.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Ankylosing Spondylitis (Bechterew's Disease)
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Crohn's Disease
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Hidradenitis Suppurativa (Acne Inversa)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)
- Behcet's Syndrome
- Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis FAQs
- Psoriasis FAQs
- Ankylosing Spondylitis FAQs
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- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
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- Medication Disposal
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- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
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- Popular Crohn's, Colitis Drugs Not Linked to Short-Term Cancer Risk: Study
- Drug Shows Promise Against Arthritis Common in People with Psoriasis
- Some Types of Skin Cancer Linked to Lower Chances of Alzheimer's
- Newer Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Don't Seem to Increase Risk of Shingles
- Lupus May Be Linked to Serious Pregnancy Complication
- Humira Approved for Ulcerative Colitis Treatment
- Newer Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Don't Raise Cancer Risk: Study
- Some Psoriasis Therapies May Cut Heart Attack Risk
- Humira Might Help Kids With Tough-to-Treat Crohn's Disease
- Study Compares Safety of 'Biologic' Meds for Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Newer Drugs Help RA Patients Live Longer
- Study: Actemra Tops Rival in Rheumatoid Arthritis
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