What is this medication for?
Adalimumab belongs to the class of medications called biological response modifiers (biologics), also called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. It is used to treat moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. It is also used to treat juvenile idiopathic arthritis for children 4 to 17 years of age. For these three conditions, adalimumab may be used alone or in combination with another group of arthritis medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
Adalimumab can be used to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis for selected people (those for whom other treatments are medically less appropriate). It can also be used to treat ankylosing spondylitis (a condition that causes some of the bones in the spine to fuse together).
Adalimumab can be used to treat moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease. As well, adalimumab can be used to treat moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis for selected people who have had inadequate response to immunosuppressants such as corticosteroids, azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine.
Adalimumb works by "turning down" parts of the immune system that are believed to be involved in these conditions.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Humira® is available as:
- prefilled pen for injection
- prefilled syringe for injection
- 20 mg (0.4 mL)
- 40 mg (0.8 mL)
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
This medication is given by subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. The usual recommended dose for adults is 40 mg given every other week. Some conditions, such as Crohn's disease and plaque psoriasis, may have a higher starting dose, which is later reduced to the usual dose of 40 mg every other week. The dose for children is based on body weight.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important that this medication be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, administer it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not administer a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Adalimumab is used with the guidance and supervision of a doctor. Your doctor or nurse will assist you in the preparing and injecting your first dose (or first few doses). Do not attempt to prepare or inject this medication on your own until you completely understand how to mix and inject a dose. If you are having difficulty giving yourself injections, talk to your healthcare provider.
This medication must be refrigerated at a temperature between 36°F and 46°F. Do not freeze. Protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
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Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take adalimumab if you:
- are allergic to adalimumab or to any of the other ingredients in the medication
- have an active infection