Humira (adalimumab) reduces the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation.
Humira is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and plaque psoriasis. It is also used to treat Crohn’s disease after other drugs have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.
You should not use Humira if you are allergic to adalimumab, or if you are also being treated with abatacept (Orencia) or anakinra (Kineret). Some people using Humira have developed a rare fast-growing type of lymphoma (cancer). This condition affects the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, and it can be fatal. This has occurred mainly in teenagers and young adults using Humira or similar medicines to treat Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
However, people with autoimmune disorders (including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis) may have a higher risk of lymphoma. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk.
Before using Humira, tell your doctor if you have ever had tuberculosis, if anyone in your household has tuberculosis, or if you have recently traveled to an area where tuberculosis is common.
To make sure you can safely use Humira, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- an active or recent infection;
- open sores or skin wounds;
- hepatitis B;
- congestive heart failure;
- an allergy to latex rubber;
- a disease that affects the nerves or muscles, such as multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, Guillain-Barre syndrome;
- if you have recently been vaccinated with BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin); or
- if you are scheduled to receive any vaccines.
FDA pregnancy category B. Humira is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Your name may need to be listed on a Humira pregnancy registry when you start using this medication. It is not known whether adalimumab passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Humira.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Humira: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Humira and call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms of lymphoma:
- fever, night sweats, weight loss, tiredness;
- feeling full after eating only a small amount;
- pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your shoulder;
- easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate; or
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Stop using Humira and call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:
- signs of infection (fever, chills, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, flu symptoms);
- shortness of breath with swelling of your ankles or feet;
- confusion, neck stiffness, seizure (convulsions);
- pain or burning when you urinate;
- chest pain, ongoing cough, coughing up mucus or blood;
- numbness or tingly feeling, weakness in your legs;
- red, purple, or scaly skin rash, hair loss, joint or muscle pain, mouth sores;
- joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and/or seizure (convulsions); or
- patchy skin color, red spots, or a butterfly-shaped skin rash over your cheeks and nose (worsens in sunlight).
Less serious Humira side effects may include:
- stuffy nose, sinus pain;
- nausea, stomach pain; or
- pain, redness, itching, swelling, or bleeding where you injected the medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.