Humira is a medication that reduces inflammatory effects caused by a substance called the tumor necrosis factor alpha. It is normally used as treatment for conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and psoriatic arthritis and also as a last resort for Crohn’s Disease patients.
Crucial Details About Humira
Using Humira can raise the chances of getting some kinds of cancers and autoimmune disorders. These changes are significantly higher in children and younger adults. One should consult with their doctor to calculate their individual level of risk.
Humira could reduce the body’s chance of fighting infection by lowering the blood cell count. This would make you bleed easier when injured and get ill more quickly when exposed to infection. You need to get a blood test regularly to ensure that it does not get too low.
At occasions, Humira treatments may result in serious and deadly infections. If you find any sign of an infection like a fever, cough, sweating, fatigue or shortness of breath, call your doctor instantly.
Prior to Using Humira
Those allergic to adalimumab or already being treated with anakinra or Kineret should not take Humira. You should also inform your doctor if you or a family member suffers from tuberculosis, or if you have traveled to a region prone to tuberculosis.
An adjustment to your dosage or some specific tests might be required to ensure that you use the medication safely. Before taking the medication, please inform your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Open wounds or sores
- Hepatitis B
- Congestive heart problems
- Are allergic to latex rubber
- Diseases that affect the nervous or muscular system
- If you have had the BCG vaccine recently (Bacille Calmette-Guerin)
- Future vaccination schedules
Inform your doctor if you are or plan to get pregnant. Although it is not expected that Humira would cause harm to an unborn child, you may need to be listed on a Humira pregnancy registry. It is still unclear if adalimumab would pass on to breast milk. Thus consult a doctor if you intend to use it while breastfeeding.
How to Use Humira
Before beginning treatment, the doctor would conduct some test to ensure that you do not suffer from tuberculosis or any infections. Be sure to inform your doctor about where you live, any recent travel and future travel plans while on Humira.
Be sure to follow all prescription directions. Do not consume the medication in higher amounts or for a longer time than what is recommended. Be sure to comply to all directions that explain how to consume it effectively and safely and clarify all doubts with your doctor or pharmacist.
Normally, Humira is usually prescribed once a week or every other week. Use a syringe only once and dispose of any remaining medication immediately. Dispose all used needles and syringe in a puncture proof box. Be sure to keep this container safe from children and pets and dispose it properly.
It is also pertinent that you consume Humira regularly as prescribed to reap the maximum benefit. In case you require any type of surgery, be sure to inform your surgeon in advance.
You need to store Humira in the refrigerator but ensure that it does not freeze. If you are travelling, be sure to store the pre filled syringe in a cool and dark place. Do not remove the syringe from the refrigerator till you are ready to take the injection.
Change your prescription in case the medication has a different color or you find any particles in it.
In Case of Missed Dosage
Take the injection as soon as you remember and then resume your regular schedule. Never take extra medication to make up for missed dosage.
In Case of Overdose
Go seek emergency help immediately. A Humira overdoes is not known to lead to life threatening situations.
What to Avoid While on Humira
Avoid interacting with people suffering from contagious diseases. If you develop any infection, call your doctor immediately. Do not get a “live” vaccine. Avoid injecting the medication into bruised, tender, red or hard skin areas.